Performing Arts

Approximately 65% of Bishop’s students participate in the performing arts where they are encouraged to direct, choreograph and perform. Classes in the performing arts are available from the sixth through twelve grades.

The program offers classes at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. A variety of theatre courses in both performance-technical theatre are offered. Acting Workshop the most advanced performance class gives students a more in-depth exploration of theatre arts. Its technical theatre/design counterpart is Advanced Theatre Production.  Co-curricular plays are produced throughout the year, with auditions open to all grades. An upper school musical is produced every other year.

An extensive dance program offers classes in modern, jazz, ballroom and tap. For the advanced student the Performing Dance Group, an audition-only ensemble is available. Students interested in music can select from a broad list of offerings from choral to instrumental music.  The instrumental program includes chamber to jazz classes.  In choral music a wide variety of choirs are available. The Bishop's Singers have received the highest recognition in the California Music Educators Choir Festival since 1995. This auditioned group has performed in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2003 and 2010, and Symphony Hall in Chicago.
  • ACTING WORKSHOP

    (fine arts; year; grades 10 - 12; prerequisite: one semester of drama and an audition; however, students in grade 12 with practical performance experience may waive the semester of drama with teacher approval)
    This is a course for the serious acting student and includes advanced work on characterization, improvisation, scene study, directing and other areas of study that vary from year to year. This course may be continued over the three-year period. Attendance at professional performances is required as is rehearsal time outside of class.

  • ADV THEATER PRODUCTION

    (fine arts; year; grades 10 - 12; prerequisites: Theater Design and Production I and II, running crew for two major productions; by application/audition)
    This course is for serious technical theater students who wish to continue their development as theater technicians and artisans. Continued hands-on work in all facets of theater production as well as design projects will prepare them for leadership roles in major productions. Students may focus more heavily on one or more of the following areas: stage management, set design, lighting design, costume design, props design, sound design/engineering and technical direction, but they will continue to work in all areas. Students will be required to participate in the run crew for two productions during the year: one stage management role and one designer/operator role.
  • ART DANCE 6

    (non-academic; quarter; grade 6)
    Students are introduced to basic theatrical movement through space, shape, and time exploration. This month-long course progresses with movement combinations choreographed to music by instructor and students. Body placement, basic theatrical dance terminology, and musicality are emphasized. Each quarter culminates in a group performance.

  • ART DRAMA 6

    (non-academic; quarter; grade 6)
    This course is a required part of the 6th grade arts rotation. Students learn the fundamentals of drama through creative dramatics and theatre games. This course also includes exploration of some of the following: puppetry, clowning, juggling, stage combat, performing from a text, impromptu speech making, storytelling, and script writing. Each quarter culminates in a group performance.

  • ART SINGING 6

    (non-academic; quarter; grade 6)
    This music course focuses on the young singing voice. Physical and vocal exercises, along with music reading skills will be explored. Songs appropriate to this age group will be sung. The aim of these activities is to introduce students to all of the components that make singing fun. Students should feel encouraged and prepared to join a choral ensemble after taking this course. Each quarter culminates in a group performance.

  • ARTS ROTATION 6 (YR)

    (fine arts; year; grade 6)
    The performing arts portion of the rotational program is designed to introduce students to various disciplines. In small groups, students move through units including drama, music and visual art.

    Vocal Music (five weeks) This course focuses on the fundamentals of singing, with an introduction to music theory and sight-singing. Students learn how to breathe for singing, how to create a well-supported, open singing tone, and read and interpret a music score. Students approach singing as a form of art and creative expression, and discuss how it relates to identity and self-expression. As a class, students prepare a final ensemble performance for their peers.

    Instrumental Music (five weeks) This course focuses on music instruction through learning to play the violin. Students learn the basics of music theory and performance through playing beginning songs on the violin and preparing a final ensemble performance.

    Drama (five weeks) Over the course of the year, students will use drama and creative play to develop a number of skills, with the goal of meeting the requirements of the National Standards for Arts Education. Each class will include vocal and physical warm-up; exploring creative movement and sound. Students will participate in improvisational games and activities to practice basic skills used in theater. The focus of the class will be on creative drama and storytelling, using miming, expressive use of the body and gesture, voice, sound effects, simple props and sets. Students should also gain confidence in performing as an individual and as an ensemble. Each rotation will culminate in a showing of a short play with all students having the opportunity to perform on their own and with others.

    • Visual Arts - 2D - This course, a part of the sixth grade art rotation, familiarizes students with the principles and elements of art and design. Through the exploration of concepts and theories in art, students are encouraged to make personal connections to the subject matter and to make creativity a part of their educational routine. The class covers traditional and non-traditional art making approaches. Students complete a variety of hands-on activities with printmaking, painting, drawing and digital media.

    • Visual Arts - 3D - This class shares the same concepts of the 2d rotation with an emphasis on 3-dimensional design. Students projects will cover 3d modeling and hand modeling and will expose students to the ceramic, wire and concrete mediums.
  • BEL CANTO WOM CHORUS III & IV

    (fine arts; year; grades 10 - 12; can be repeated; audition-only)
    This course is an advanced, audition-only women’s choral ensemble for the more serious singers who already read music, have had experience with singing in a choral ensemble, and wish to expand their experiences by learning and performing more advanced repertoire. This course is designed to develop more advanced musical and performance skills through singing choral literature from a variety of periods and musical styles. Students must demonstrate competency in reading music, singing in an ensemble, and advanced vocal production and development. This ensemble represents the School community at a wide variety of events throughout the year. Numerous performances are scheduled throughout the year, including participation in choral festivals and trips. Rehearsals outside of class time may be required.
  • BISHOP'S SINGERS

    (fine arts; year, grades 9 - 12; audition only)
    This course is an audition-only mixed choral ensemble for the more serious singers who already read music, have had experience with singing in a choral ensemble and wish to expand their experiences by learning and performing more advanced repertoire. This course is designed to develop more advanced musical and performance skills through singing choral literature from a variety of periods and musical styles. Students must demonstrate competency in reading music, singing in an ensemble, and advanced vocal production and development. This ensemble represents the School community at a wide variety of events throughout the year. Numerous performances are scheduled throughout the year, including participation in choral festivals and trips. Rehearsals outside of class time are required.
  • CHAMBER ENSEMBLE INTERMEDIATE (SEM)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 10; audition recommended)
    The instrumental music course is available for intermediate instrumentalists in the middle school and first two levels of upper school, with at least three years of experience on their instruments under private instruction. Students who play woodwind, brass, strings, piano or percussion will form musical ensembles that will perform a variety of musical styles, including classical. This class may be taken yearlong or semester only. Participants will perform at least four times during the school year at School events and at additional community-related performances. Students will be introduced to elements of music theory and music history and will be graded on their attendance at performances, practice habits and mastery of their individual instrument.
  • CHAMBER ENSEMBLE INTERMEDIATE (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 10; audition recommended)
    The instrumental music course is available for intermediate instrumentalists in the middle school and first two levels of upper school, with at least three years of experience on their instruments under private instruction. Students who play woodwind, brass, strings, piano or percussion will form musical ensembles that will perform a variety of musical styles, including classical. This class may be taken yearlong or semester only. Participants will perform at least four times during the school year at School events and at additional community-related performances. Students will be introduced to elements of music theory and music history and will be graded on their attendance at performances, practice habits and mastery of their individual instrument.
  • CONCERT BAND: JAZZ II (SEM)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12; prerequisite: audition or departmental recommendation)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of three years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. Performance-oriented in the many styles of improvisational music (jazz), this course is about learning to play music with others. Students are introduced to a cross section of jazz styles and the concepts and theories behind them. (Jazz Basics or special audition is required.) This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • CONCERT BAND: JAZZ II (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12; prerequisite: audition or departmental recommendation)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of three years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. Performance-oriented in the many styles of improvisational music (jazz), this course is about learning to play music with others. Students are introduced to a cross section of jazz styles and the concepts and theories behind them. (Jazz Basics or special audition is required.) This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • DANCE 7/ 8

    (non-academic; semester; grade 7 or 8)
    This semester course offers 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to explore the elementary level of modern and jazz techniques. Daily classes include a warm-up for stretch and strength, locomotor exercises across the floor, and combination work. Students will perform a choreographed dance in the semester-end enrichment periods and 8th grade night of achievement.
  • DANCE 8

    (fine arts; spring semester; grade 8)
    This semester course offers eighth grade students the opportunity to explore the elementary level of modern and jazz techniques. Daily classes include a warm-up for stretch and strength, locomotor exercises across the floor and combination work. Students will perform a choreographed dance in the semester-end enrichment periods and at Eighth Grade Night of Achievement.
  • DRAMA 7

    (non-academic; semester; grade 7)
    Taught by faculty in the visual and performing arts departments, this course gives students an opportunity to explore aspects of theatrical performance and design. In the first quarter, students learn fundamentals of performance by exploring improvisation and scripted text; in the visual arts, they explore different ideas to enhance acting by creating masks, projections, puppets, and other visual possibilities. In the second quarter, students will work on a final production, continue to work on acting, and create visual elements for the play. There are some required rehearsals outside of class time.
  • DRAMA 8

    (fine arts; spring semester; grade 8)
    This course will include improvisation and a scene preparation and performance. Students will also work on a devised drama prepared for adjudication by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and will participate in the California State Junior Thespian Festival.
  • DRAMA/VOCAL 7

    (fine arts; year; grade 7)
    Drama (one quarter) This course helps to develop young actors' verbal and non-verbal communication through pantomime and storytelling. Students gain confidence through improvisation games and learn to trust their instincts. Students will rehearse and memorize a monologue that can be used for future theatrical auditions. Actors practice empathy as they share and perform stories from someone else's perspective. This class culminates with students having the opportunity to perform short scenes or monologues for their peers.
    Vocal Music (one quarter) Building on the skills learned in sixth grade vocal music, this course reviews basic vocal techniques used in singing, the anatomy of the vocal mechanism and preparing a song for vocal performance. In addition, students learn the building blocks of song composition and write a song using GarageBand. Through singing and composition, music is approached as an art form for personal expression. The class culminates in the class ensemble having the opportunity to perform for their peers.
  • FIRST STEP: BEGINNING JAZZ

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 8)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may request this class. A minimum of one year of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course will introduce students to the world of jazz, and they will learn the first steps of style and improvisation on their instruments. This is a yearlong or semester-only class, and students will meet two times per cycle during period X for rehearsals. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • INTRO TO COSTUME DESIGN

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9-12; maximum 6 students; UC approval pending)

    This class is designed to introduce students to basic construction techniques and elements of costume design. Students will learn the tools of clothing construction, including sewing machines.  They will also learn stitching techniques for both hand sewing and machine sewing. Throughout the course, students will construct clothing items and/or other basic sewing projects, learn how to use patterns, and assist with a staged production. Students will learn about the costuming process, the people involved, and how these roles translate to the stage, as well as backstage procedures and wardrobe care.  A final project will include designing costumes for a play or musical, including fabric choices, colors, pictures, and presenting this to the class.
    Required: assistance with costuming for one after school production, may require after school commitment during tech week of a production.
  • JAZZ COMBO BASIC (Jazz I) (SEM)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12. This class is a prerequisite to the more advanced Concert Band: Jazz Theory and Methodology course. Audition recommended.)

    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of two years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course emphasizes scales and their relation to chords, principles of harmonic progression such as the Circle of Fifths, and fluency in reading rhythm. It incorporates a combination of playing and music theory designed to prepare students for a more advanced level of jazz understanding. This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • JAZZ COMBO BASIC (Jazz I) (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12. This class is a prerequisite to the more advanced Concert Band: Jazz Theory and Methodology course. Audition recommended.)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of two years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course emphasizes scales and their relation to chords, principles of harmonic progression such as the Circle of Fifths, and fluency in reading rhythm. It incorporates a combination of playing and music theory designed to prepare students for a more advanced level of jazz understanding. This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • JAZZ DANCE I

    (fine arts; fall semester; grades 9-12)

    This course focuses on the development of introductory theatrical dance vocabulary. Students begin each class with a set warm-up that emphasizes correct body placement, strength, stretch and control. The process of combining skill with theatrical aesthetics will be addressed and constantly reiterated. This course progresses with movement phrases utilizing full body motion and musicality. This semester course ends with a final enrichment performance.
  • JAZZ DANCE II

    (fine arts; spring semester; grades 9-12; prerequisite: Modern I/Jazz Dance I or departmental placement; this class is offered in alternating years with Tap Dance; not offered in 2019-2020)

    This is an intermediate level continuation of Modern Dance I/Jazz Dance I. Students move through a more technical warm-up as the pace of the class accelerates. Emphasis is placed on balance, increased flexibility, extension, movement/performance quality and performance artistry. Research into dance history is required, as is a research project. This course culminates in an enrichment performance.
  • JAZZ I

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12. This class is a prerequisite to the more advanced Concert Band: Jazz Theory and Methodology course. Audition recommended.)

    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of two years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course emphasizes scales and their relation to chords, principles of harmonic progression such as the Circle of Fifths, and fluency in reading rhythm. It incorporates a combination of playing and music theory designed to prepare students for a more advanced level of jazz understanding. This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • JAZZ II THEORY/METHOD (YR)

    (non-academic; semester or year; grades 6 - 12; prerequisite: audition or departmental recommendation)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may apply for this class. A minimum of three years of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. Performance-oriented in the many styles of improvisational music (jazz), this course is about learning to play music with others. Students are introduced to a cross section of jazz styles and the concepts and theories behind them. (Jazz Basics or special audition is required.) This is a yearlong or semester-only class. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • KNIGHTINGALES CHORUS I & II (YR)

    (fine arts; fall semester or year; grades 9 - 12; non-audition)
    This introductory-level choral performance group is open to young women in grades 9 - 12 who enjoy singing. Singers build foundational choral singing skills, including healthy vocal production, music theory, reading and developing aural skills for multi-part singing. This chorus performs in the winter choral concert. Students are prepared to audition for advanced choral groups during this course. It is recommended that singers take Bishop’s Chorus I and II during their freshman or sophomore year, although enrollment is open to students in grades 9 - 12.

    KNIGHTINGALES (Bishop’s Chorus II - Second Semester) This chorus is a continuation of Bishop’s Chorus I, with more focus on performance skills. This semester includes performing in the spring choral concerts, while continuing to develop the voice and aural skills. Students will have the opportunity to audition for Bel Canto Chorus and the Bishop’s Singers during this semester.
  • KNIGHTINGALES WOM CHORUS I & II

    (fine arts; fall semester or year; grades 9 - 12; non-audition)
    This is the recommended course sequence for Bel Canto Chorus and the Bishop’s Singers.

    KNIGHTINGALES (Bishop’s Chorus I - First Semester) This introductory-level choral performance group is open to young women in grades 9 - 12 who enjoy singing. Singers build foundational choral singing skills, including healthy vocal production, music theory, reading and developing aural skills for multi-part singing. This chorus performs in the winter choral concert. Students are prepared to audition for advanced choral groups during this course. It is recommended that singers take Bishop’s Chorus I and II during their freshman or sophomore year, although enrollment is open to students in grades 9 - 12.

    KNIGHTINGALES (Bishop’s Chorus II - Second Semester) This chorus is a continuation of Bishop’s Chorus I, with more focus on performance skills. This semester includes performing in the spring choral concerts, while continuing to develop the voice and aural skills. Students will have the opportunity to audition for Bel Canto Chorus and the Bishop’s Singers during this semester.
  • KNIGHTS CHORUS (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or yearlong enrollment is available as is repeated enrollment; grades 9 - 12; non-audition)
    This introductory-level choral performance group is open to young men who enjoy singing. Singers build foundational choral singing skills, including healthy vocal production, music theory, reading and developing aural skills for multi-part singing. Special attention is paid to the changing male voice and helping young men continue singing successfully through this transition. This chorus performs in the winter choral concert. Men are prepared to audition for advanced choral groups during this course. It is recommended that singers take Knights Chorus I and II during their freshman or sophomore year although enrollment is open to grades 9 - 12.

    Knights Chorus II (Second Semester) This chorus is a continuation of Knights Chorus I, with more focus on performance skills. This semester includes performing in the spring choral concerts, while continuing to develop the voice and aural skills. Students will have the opportunity to audition for the Bishop’s Singers during this semester.
  • MODERN DANCE I/JAZZ I

    (fine arts; fall semester; grades 9 - 12)
    This course focuses on the development of introductory theatrical dance vocabulary. Students begin each class with a set warm-up that emphasizes correct body placement, strength, stretch and control. The process of combining skill with theatrical aesthetics will be addressed and constantly reiterated. This course progresses with movement phrases utilizing full body motion and musicality. This semester course ends with a final enrichment performance.
  • MODERN DANCE II/JAZZ II

    (fine arts; spring semester; grades 9 - 12; prerequisite: Modern I/Jazz Dance I or departmental recommendation; this class is offered in alternating years with Tap Dance I)
    This is an intermediate level continuation of Modern Dance I/Jazz Dance I. Students move through a more technical warm-up as the pace of the class accelerates. Emphasis is placed on balance, increased flexibility, extension, movement/performance quality and performance artistry. Research into dance history is required, as is a research project. This course culminates in an enrichment performance.
  • MODERN DANCE II/TAP DANCE I

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9 - 12; prerequisite: Modern I/Jazz Dance I or departmental recommendation; this class is offered in alternating years with Jazz Dance II)

    This course focuses on the development of introductory theatrical tap dance vocabulary. Students begin each class with a set warm-up that emphasizes correct body placement, coordination, musicality and control. The process of combining skill with theatrical aesthetics will be addressed and constantly reiterated. This semester course ends with a final recital performance.
  • MS CHOIR

    (fine arts; fall and spring semesters; grades 6 - 8)
    This course is designed to introduce singers to the basics of choral music singing. Students will learn elements of healthy vocal production, singing harmonies and music reading skills. Most importantly, students will discover the joy experienced while performing in a choir. This ensemble performs in the annual winter and spring choral concerts. Offered during X period, students can opt to take Middle School Choir and participate in a sport.
  • MS INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 8)
    This instrumental music course is available for all middle school students with at least one year of experience on their instrument under private instruction. Students who play woodwind, brass, strings, piano or percussion will form music ensembles that will perform a variety of musical styles, including classical. This class may be taken yearlong or for one semester only, and students will meet two times per cycle during period X for rehearsals. Participants will perform at least twice during the year at school events. Students will be introduced to the basic elements of music theory and will be expected to attend performances, develop good practice habits and improve mastery of their individual instrument.
  • MS JAZZ BAND (SEM)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 8)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may request this class. A minimum of one year of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course will introduce students to the world of jazz, and they will learn the first steps of style and improvisation on their instruments. This is a yearlong or semester-only class, and students will meet two times per cycle during period X for rehearsals. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • MS JAZZ BAND (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 8)
    Students who play woodwind, brass, drums, guitar, bass and piano may request this class. A minimum of one year of study on an instrument under private instruction is required. This course will introduce students to the world of jazz, and they will learn the first steps of style and improvisation on their instruments. This is a yearlong or semester-only class, and students will meet two times per cycle during period X for rehearsals. Various performance opportunities will be available throughout the school year.
  • MUSIC THEATER 8 Performance

    (fine arts; fall semester; grade 8)
    The focus of this semester course, which is team-taught by the music, theater and dance departments, is the production of a musical. Students develop and hone their singing, acting and dancing skills in preparing a musical theater performance in the theater with staging, lights and costumes. This course involves some after school rehearsals, especially right before the performance. Attendance at one professional production outside of school is required.
  • MUSIC THEATER 8 Tech

    (fine arts; fall semester; grade 8)
    Students learn skills necessary to build stage sets and props, create stage lighting and serve as the production crew for the final Musical Theater 8 Performance class production. This course involves some after school rehearsals, especially right before the performance. Attendance at one professional production outside of school is required.
  • MUSIC THEORY I:Fundamentals

    (academic; fall semester; grades 9 - 12)
    Students will learn basic written theory, such as music notation, key signatures, scale, and chord spelling. In addition, students will practice auditory skills through solfeggio and ear training exercises. Students will also begin to distinguish periods and styles of music based on instrumentation and listening. Students will be able to identify errors in diatonic melodies both aurally and visually.
  • MUSIC THEORY II: Musicianship

    (academic; spring semester; grades 9 - 12)
    This course builds upon the foundations learned in Music Theory I. Further score analysis will allow students to understand relationships between form, style. and music history. The student will become familiar with diatonic and chromatic harmony up to and including modulation to closely-related keys.
    Students will be able to identify, visually and aurally, scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, non-chord tones, cadences, and secondary dominants and will be required to play on the piano certain major and minor scales and intervals. Basic part-writing, chordal analysis, and dictation will also be introduced.
  • PERFORMING DANCE GROUP

    (fine arts; year; grades 10 - 12; audition only)
    This is the most advanced dance class in the program and, fundamentally, operates as an adolescent theatrical dance company. Students continue to develop advanced technique and artistry while rehearsing/performing several different theatrical dance foundations (ballet, jazz, modern, ethnic). Emphasis is placed on depth of movement quality, requiring students to connect with an internal motivation as a source of expression. This course is designed for advanced students, passionate about dance and interested in developing pre-professional performance skills. Students have the opportunity to study movement composition as well as costuming and theatrical lighting. Outside of class time rehearsals are required.
  • RELATED FIELDS IN THEATRICAL DESIGN

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9-12; prerequisite: Theater Design and Production I or departmental placement; UC approval pending)

    The purpose of this course is to explore the related fields of theatrical design and implement them into other creative projects. Some of related fields include archi-tainment, themed entertainment, and corporate theater/ industrials. Students will create designs for these various events, through drafting techniques, rendering techniques, and organizational paperwork. The students will create theoretical designs and present them in class as if they are presenting them to producers, heads of studios, and other head of companies. The importance of these projects will allow students to learn to keep the integrity of a brand, marketing strategies, and foster new and innovative designs. Students will work on individual projects and as well as group projects to test their collaborative capabilities.
  • SELECT ENSEMBLE 8

    (fine arts; spring semester; grade 8)
    At the end of seventh grade, students can audition to participate in Select Ensemble in eighth grade. This second-semester course builds upon skills learned in the Middle School Choir, sixth and seventh grade vocal music and Musical Theater 8. Students will participate in the spring choral concert and, at the discretion of the director, an overnight trip to a choir festival and competition. They will be introduced to a broad range of choral repertoire, including gospel, pop, show choir and traditional choral music. Students will learn to be more literate and independent singers, preparing them for ensemble singing at the upper school level. This course is open to eighth grade students.
  • STUDIO DANCE GROUP

    (fine arts; year; grades 9 - 12; audition only)
    This performance-based course is a continuation of jazz and modern technique work. This course is designed for students who want more performance opportunity while still working on the techniques needed to perform at the highest levels available at The Bishop’s School. Students in this course perform in the fall enrichment series and have a one hour-long, culminating performance in second semester. Entrance into this course does not ensure future entrance into Performing Dance Group.

  • SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA (SEM)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12; prerequisite: audition or departmental recommendation)
    Similar to a large symphony orchestra, but smaller in size, the symphonic orchestra is meant for the more serious and dedicated instrumental musician. Students who play woodwind, brass, strings, piano or percussion may apply for this class. Playing orchestral music requires the highest level of musicianship and commitment. Each individual must have the technical and musical proficiency to immediately adjust their playing and react with musical intelligence to variations in pitch, rhythm and articulation, which occur during live performances. The Symphonic Orchestra class is open to intermediate and advanced players. Students will learn the fundamental elements of music theory and biography of selected composers. Various performance opportunities are available throughout the school year.
  • SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA (YR)

    (fine arts; semester or year; grades 6 - 12; prerequisite: audition or departmental recommendation)
    Similar to a large symphony orchestra, but smaller in size, the symphonic orchestra is meant for the more serious and dedicated instrumental musician. Students who play woodwind, brass, strings, piano or percussion may apply for this class. Playing orchestral music requires the highest level of musicianship and commitment. Each individual must have the technical and musical proficiency to immediately adjust their playing and react with musical intelligence to variations in pitch, rhythm and articulation, which occur during live performances. The Symphonic Orchestra class is open to intermediate and advanced players. Students will learn the fundamental elements of music theory and biography of selected composers. Various performance opportunities are available throughout the school year.
  • TAP DANCE I

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9-12; no prerequisite; this class is offered in alternating years with Jazz Dance II)

    This course focuses on the development of introductory/intermediate theatrical tap dance vocabulary. Students begin each class with a set warm-up that emphasizes correct body placement, coordination, musicality and control. The process of combining skill with theatrical aesthetics will be addressed and constantly reiterated. This semester course ends with a final recital performance.
  • TAP DANCE II

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9 - 12; prerequisite Tap Dance I or departmental recommendation)
    This is an intermediate level continuation of Tap Dance I. Students move through a more technical warm-up as the pace of the class accelerates. Emphasis is placed on technique, history, composition and performance artistry. Research into dance history is required, as is a research project. This course culminates in a final recital performance.
  • TBS CHOR-WOMENS ENS III/IV

    (non-academic; year; grades 10 - 12; audition only)
    This is a recommended course for the Bishop’s Singers
    This course is an audition-only women’s choral ensemble for singers who already read music, have had experience with singing in a choral ensemble and wish to expand their experiences by learning and performing more advanced repretoire. A wide variety of music periods will be studied and performance opportunities are made available throughout the school year.
  • TBS CHORUS-WOMENS ENS

    (non-academic; fall semester or year; grades 9 - 12)
    This is a recommended course sequence for Bel Canto Chorus and the Bishop’s Singers

    Bishop’s Chorus I (First Semester) This group is open to young women who enjoy singing. Singers build foundational choral singing skills, including healthy vocal production, music theory, reading, and developing aural skills for multi-part singing. This chorus performs in the December concert, which includes one large concert work (usually with orchestra) and a variety of other smaller works. Ladies are prepared to audition for advanced choral groups during this course. It is recommended that singers take Women’s Chorus I and II during their freshman or sophomore year.

    Bishop’s Chorus II (Second Semester) This chorus is a continuation of Women’s Chorus I, with more focus on performance skills. This semester includes performing in the gospel music concerts and Pops concerts, while continuing to develop the voice and aural skills. Students will have the opportunity to audition for Bel Canto Chorus and the Bishop’s Singers during this semester.
  • TECHNICAL THEATER 8

    (fine arts; spring semester; grade 8)
    Students learn skills necessary to build stage sets and props, create stage lighting and serve as the production crew for the final class production of the Drama 7 class and middle school play/musical. This course involves some after school rehearsals, especially right before the performance but does not interfere with the middle school athletic program. Attendance at one professional production outside of school is required.
  • THEATER ARTS I

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9 - 12)
    This course is the basic requirement for all of the more advanced high school theater performance courses. The focus of this class is on performance skills. Students explore improvisation, voice, physical work and stage combat, in addition to Stanislavski-based actor training with monologue and scene study. Attendance at one professional production is required as is attendance at the Bishop’s Upper School theater productions.
  • THEATER ARTS II: ACTING

    (fine arts; semester; grades 10 - 12; prerequisite: Theater Arts I)
    This course continues the acting work begun with Theater Arts I with a more rigorous approach to technique both in text work and improvisation. It will include an exploration of various theatrical styles, a major scene study and a final performance project. Attendance at one professional production is required.
  • THEATER ARTS II: CHILDREN'S THEATER

    (fine arts; spring semester; grades 10 - 12; prerequisite: see Curriculum Guide; not offered in 2018-2019)
    In this course, students will produce and perform a fully-designed production intended for family audiences and presented as part of the Bishop’s theatrical season; students also produce a show that will be taken to area elementary schools. This course requires some rehearsal and production time outside of the regularly scheduled class period.
  • THEATER ARTS II: IMPROV

    (fine arts; semester; grades 10 - 12; prerequisite: see Curriculum Guide; not offered in 2018-2019)
    This course focuses on a variety of improvisation techniques, including a focused study of Commedia dell’arte, and culminates in a final production.
  • THEATER ARTS II: MOVEMENT

    (fine arts; spring semester; grades 9-12; prerequisite: Theater Arts I and also see curriculum guide)

    This course will focus primarily on creating theatrical productions through use of the body. Students will explore physical theater topics such as high comedy/comedy of manners, stage combat, mime, mask, clowning and devised theater from Lecoq and Delsarte to Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward to the Frantic Assembly. The semester will culminate in a performance for the public of devised pieces and stage combat, and will require some rehearsal outside of class time.
  • THEATER DESIGN & PROD I

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9 - 12)
    This course offers the students hands-on training in the behind-the-scenes world of performing arts productions. Primary emphasis is on basic tool usage and stagecraft, along with basic understanding of lighting and audio. Students will gain practical knowledge and experience in set and props construction, basic scenic techniques, stage lighting, and theatrical audio technology. Attending a Bishop’s Performing Arts production is required, as is running crew for one production before the end of the semester.
  • THEATER DESIGN & PROD II

    (fine arts; semester; grades 9 - 12; prerequisites: Theater Design and Production I)
    This course continues the hands-on element of Theater Design and Production I, with students continuing to further their knowledge and expertise in all areas of theatrical production. In addition, they will be introduced to the process of set, audio, and lighting design. They will learn the beginnings of both lighting and sound design and will complete both an audio design and lighting design project near the end of the semester. Students will also learn stage management responsibilities and practices. Attending a Bishop’s Performing Arts production is required. This course is designed to be taken with Theater Design and Production I to complete one full year of arts credit. Students will be required to run crew for one production.
UPPER SCHOOL PROGRAM OVERVIEW

-  The minimum course load each semester for grades 9 through 12 is six courses.
-  A minimum of four courses must be academic.
-  One trimester of physical education or an approved sport or activity counts as one of the required six courses.
-  To graduate, a student must earn a minimum of 48 semester credits (six per semester) in grades 9 through 12.
-  32 semester credits must be earned in academic courses.
-  One year of world languages credit may be earned in grades 7 and 8.
-  A student who enters the School after grade 9 may receive credit for coursework at a previous school. Credit will be determined by placement exams, transcripts and in consultation with the dean of studies.
-  The minimum graduation requirements for each subject are listed below.

ACADEMIC COURSE REQUIREMENTS

English               
4 years: students must always be enrolled in English.

World Languages
Through Level 3 in one language with a minimum of two years taken in grades 9 through 12.

History and Social Sciences                    
2 years: one year of world history and one year of U.S. history.

Math                                
3 years and at least through completion of Math 5.

Science
3 years: physics or conceptual physics in 9th grade and two lab sciences (chemistry and biology) in grades 10 through 12.

Religion and Ethics  
1 year: one semester of Introduction to Biblical Literature taken before the beginning of junior year and one other semester course from the Religion and Ethics Department. (Students who take Hebrew or Christian Scriptures prior to the fall of 2014 may still use that class to satisfy the introductory scripture requirement.) 

Health                             
1 semester: taken in 9th grade.

NON-ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

Fine Arts                        
1 year of visual or performing arts; may be two, one-semester courses or a year-long course. Advanced Placement Art History satisfies one semester of Bishop’s fine arts credit.

Physical Education                       
2 trimesters per year

ELECTIVE REQUIREMENTS
16 semesters selected from any of the departments listed below. Electives may be academic or non-academic.

Academic Electives                    
All courses in English, world languages, history and social sciences, math, science, religion and computer science.

Independent Electives                     
Journalism, yearbook, senior capstone project and teaching apprenticeship.

Non-Academic Electives
All visual and performing arts courses.

Body Electives
Associated Student Council, peer support.

Faculty

  • Photo of Christine Micu

    Christine Micu

    Chair, Performing Arts; Director of Choral Music
    The College of St. Rose - B.S.
    Westminster Choir College of Rider University - M.M.
    Rutgers University - D.M.A.
    Bio
  • Photo of Rob Anderson

    Rob Anderson

    Instrumental Music
    University of South Carolina - B.M.
    University of Southern California - M.M.
    Bio
  • Photo of Cresence Birder

    Cresence Birder

    English/Dance
    Northwestern University - B.A.
    University of Miami - M.S.Ed.
    Bio
  • Photo of Donna Cory

    Donna Cory

    Performing Arts, Dance
    (858) 875-0761
    Catawba College - B.A.
    University of Mississippi - M.F.A.
    Bio
  • Photo of Nathan Emmons

    Nathan Emmons

    Performing Arts, Theatre
    Reed College - B.F.A.
    University of Delaware - M.F.A.
    University of Southern Oregon - M.A.
    Bio
  • Photo of Lara Korneychuk

    Lara Korneychuk

    Performing Arts
    Northwestern University - B.M.
    Bio
  • Photo of Jean Moroney

    Jean Moroney

    Performing Arts, Costume Design
  • Photo of AJ Paulin

    AJ Paulin

    Performing Arts, Technical Design
    California Baptist University - B.A.
    San Diego State University - M.F.A.
    Bio
THE BISHOP’S SCHOOL     7607 La Jolla Boulevard     La Jolla, CA 92037     (858) 459-4021
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.