Westchester’s music program promotes musical literacy and appreciation while helping students excel to their potential in performance. Classes, lessons, and opportunities to perform are offered to students at all grade levels.
Students are first introduced to concepts such as beat, rhythm, melody, harmony, movement, singing, and playing pitched and unpitched instruments in Lower School. Middle School students continue their exploration of music by learning to apply elements of music and techniques to sing and play music with accuracy and expression. By the time students reach Upper School, they have the foundation and confidence to refine their skills and accomplished musicians, and they are encouraged to participate in one of the elective music ensembles.
Students PK-12 present winter concerts in December and spring concerts during ArtsFest in April featuring the works they have prepared in their music classes.
At least two out of three of the school’s annual drama productions are musicals, allowing students the opportunity to showcase a triple-threat set of skills in singing, acting, and movement.
All students in grades 3-5 are welcome to join Footnotes, an after-school children’s choir. This group participates in school concerts, concerts in their community, and may take an optional trip in the spring to sing in a festival or a competition.
Students perform a variety of choral repertoire, representing various styles, as they become more accomplished musicians through participation and performance. The choir performs at school concerts and community events, sings the National Anthem for athletic games, and provides entertainment and cheer to residents at local nursing homes. In the past, the choir has also had the opportunity to travel and participate in choral festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Contemporary Music Ensemble (Rock Band)
Students strengthen their instrumental skills while sharing popular contemporary works as well as original music. Each school year, this class selects a new band name, develops a set list, and performs for the student body and community in a variety of formal and informal settings. Recent bands have had the opportunity to stage a professional-style concert with sound and lighting in collaboration with electronic entertainment students from Guilford Technical Community College.
Voice and Instrumental Instruction
Westchester also offers private instruction in violin, piano, guitar and voice for an additional fee. Lessons are taught by experienced instructors and can be scheduled during and after the school day, based on availability and a student’s schedule. Recitals are held at the end of the fall and spring semesters. See the WCDS School of Music for more information.