Students have the opportunity to perform in or assist with two to three productions each year. Auditions are held six to eight weeks prior to each production. Two-hour rehearsals take place after school three days a week. The week of the show is exciting yet exhausting. However, by the time the curtain is pulled on opening night, cast members are ready to perform!
The beauty of the all-school production is being able to watch our youngest students interact on and off stage with those students who are in our upper grades. The more seasoned actors take responsibility and oversee those that are new to the stage. Those that are just starting out watch and learn from those that are more experienced. The relationships that are formed between cast members last throughout the year.
Another production is selected for students in grades 6 through 12. This production varies in size and style. Everything from dramas to comedies to ensemble musicals have been selected in the past dependent upon those students who show interest and are committed to working hard to deliver a challenging production.
- The Vocal Ensemble is a performance group comprised of non-auditioned singers. The group sings music from Bach to Broadway in the school and at community events. Students learn simple music reading skills, sing in four part mixed harmony, and learn proper choral etiquette. The Ensemble participates in the NC Independent School Choral Festival and travels regularly to perform. Past destinations have included Orlando, Florida, Williamsburg, Virginia, New York City, England, France, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
- The Chamber Singers ensemble is an auditioned mixed choir, open to students in grades 10 through 12. Singers auditioning for Chamber Singers need to have excellent music reading skills and advanced vocal technique. The repertoire can include anything from Renaissance Madrigals, Sacred Baroque and classical octavos, secular folk songs, vocal jazz, pop, and Broadway. This group has preformed in the East Room of the White House as well as in area competitions. Members from this group have also participated in choral trips to Florida, Virginia, New York, England, France, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
- Advanced Placement Music Theory enables highly motivated students to do challenging college level work in the areas of reading/analyzing notated music and aural training. Particular emphasis will be placed upon developing listening skills, sight singing ability, and knowledge of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and other compositional devices. The work of the course will emphasize preparation for the AP Music Theory Exam, while fostering each student's creativity and compositional style. An entrance exam is required to assess a potential student's music reading ability before being admitted to the course.
- Guitar, cello, and voice lessons are offered to all Upper School students as an enrichment class after school. Lessons are taught privately and semi-privately with our expert instructors. The students have performance opportunities playing in solo and group settings for the holiday and spring concerts during the school year and possibilities beyond. This is a tuition based program.
The Upper School Art Department offers the following coursework:
- Art I—an introduction to basic processes, art history and design
- Art II—an introduction to observational drawing, color design and painting, three-dimensional design and printmaking
- Art III—a pre-AP class, this course focuses on refining technical skills and exploring personal expression
- Advanced Placement Studio Art—an advanced level course in which the art student develops a portfolio in drawing, two-dimensional design or three-dimensional design
- Advanced Placement Art History—a college level class that covers the entire history of man’s creation of art, artifact and architecture, studied in its historical and cultural contexts. The focus is on the development of critical thinking and writing skills and the understanding of man’s global artistic heritage.
The art curriculum promotes the creative development of the individual student through challenging coursework and enriching studio experiences. Students are encouraged to take risks, to develop their own ideas and to explore a variety of artistic materials. Art students are expected to pursue excellence through their creative problem solving, development of technical skills and commitment to artistic craftsmanship.
All students are welcome to join the Art Club, a committed group of students whose mission is to raise the artistic awareness of the WCDS community. Activities include service projects, contests, the creating of art work and enrichment through seminars and field trips.