Academics
Departments and Curriculum

Performing Arts

At Holderness, we believe that the arts are not a frill, but an essential means of developing creativity, imaginations, resourcefulness, teamwork, and self-discipline. The theater department mounts full–scale fall and spring productions in addition to regular coursework, helping students build skills of communication, analysis, problem–solving, and organization while working toward a common goal. Our music program offers opportunities for budding musicians in the Jazz Band as well as with String Ensembles. Music Composition and Theory and Music History courses are available as part of the curriculum. A songwriting afternoon activity also provides students the chance to write and record their own compositions.

The Carpenter Arts Center—a spacious and sunny renovation of the original Holderness School gymnasium—features soundproof rehearsal rooms and a recording studio. The Hagerman Center—which features a 325–seat auditorium—hosts student and professional performances as well as weekly all–school assemblies.
  • Experimental Music

    Introductory course
    This course is an introduction to music performance, composition, and appreciation. Students will be introduced to the work of prominent experimental musicians and explore their creative methods. Fundamental musical concepts will be explored including: perceptions of time, harmony and the harmonic series, melody as spoken language, naturally occurring and man made form in music (ambient music vs. popular song forms), etc. Concepts will be incorporated during lab style creative projects, where discoveries are documented and shared as part of the peer learning process. Improvisation and various styles of notation are part of experiencing musical concepts. This is an ideal environment to begin creating music or continue a musical practice.

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    Textbook info coming soon.
  • Intro to Acting

    Introductory course
    This course offers students the opportunity to study the fundamentals of Acting utilizing the Sanford Meisner method of “repeat” exercises, learning to work moment to moment, listening and response, and, most importantly, how to put one’s attention on the other person to be truthful in an imaginary situation. As the semester progresses, students will advance from short impulse dialogues to scripts from a variety of genres written for both stage and film. There also will be an improvisation and monologue component of the class which will include some basic work in creating original theater. It will be fun; it will be physical, and students will learn a vocabulary for how to discuss the art and craft of acting.
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    No textbook required.
  • A Capella (Fall)

    A Capella will be working on a variety of pieces written for mixed voice group singing, with the opportunity for solo and group work. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to the extensive world of a Capella. They will perform a concert each semester, with many other performance opportunities including chapel, assembly, and competing at the International Competition of High School Acapella (ICHSA.) The course will especially appeal to students who are interested in furthering their knowledge and abilities in singing and general musical knowledge.

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    No textbook required.
  • A Capella (Spring)

    A Capella will be working on a variety of pieces written for mixed voice group singing, with the opportunity for solo and group work. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to the extensive world of a Capella. They will perform a concert each semester, with many other performance opportunities including chapel, assembly, and competing at the International Competition of High School Acapella (ICHSA.) The course will especially appeal to students who are interested in furthering their knowledge and abilities in singing and general musical knowledge.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    No textbook required.
  • Band (Fall)

    1. Students will play a variety of genres of music based on the abilities and instruments provided in the group as it varies year to year. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to a breadth of music, work on playing as an ensemble, solo/improvisation work, basic music comprehension and putting on a concert. The ensemble performs throughout the year at many school events and will have access to use of the ProTool’s recording studio.
    2. Prior individual instruction is required for enrollment in the course; This instruction does not need to have been taken at Holderness.
    3. This course is offered on a semester basis and is graded pass/fail.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    No textbook required.
  • Band (Spring)

    1. Students will play a variety of genres of music based on the abilities and instruments provided in the group as it varies year to year. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to a breadth of music, work on playing as an ensemble, solo/improvisation work, basic music comprehension and putting on a concert. The ensemble performs throughout the year at many school events and will have access to use of the ProTool’s recording studio.
    2. Prior individual instruction is required for enrollment in the course; This instruction does not need to have been taken at Holderness.
    3. This course is offered on a semester basis and is graded pass/fail.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    No textbook required.
  • Movement as Exercise and Art

    Introductory course
    This active and multi-faceted course considers the realm of physical movement as a vehicle for communication in art and in life. Beginning with the proper way to stretch safely, center oneself, and increase balance and strength, students will explore how movement, as a theatrical activity, is used to demonstrate an idea, elicit a response, define a piece of music or visual art, or express a theatrical text such as Samuel Beckett’s short play--Act Without Words. All students will learn to perform accessible and fun combinations, and those who wish to work in a more specifically defined modern dance-theater study will have the opportunity to train technically and engage in projects which offer that type of choreography. Performed works this year will include the fusion of different types of stage and dance movement in pieces such as Searching for the Heart of Saturday Night which is an imagined live scene of Edward Hopper’s famous painting, Nighthawks at the Diner to the music of Tom Waits, a class ensemble work titled Walking By Flashlight to the jazz composition of the Maria Schneider Orchestra by the same name, an inquiry into Pop and Blues, or perhaps a pre winter-break work called-- Solstice. All students also will have the opportunity to work in small groups to create short movement patterns of their own through prompts of music, photography, 2D art, sculpture, video, or scenes of non-verbal communication. Dance expertise is not required—just a willingness to branch out of your comfort zone and explore how the human body can utilize movement as a form of theater.
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    No textbook required.
  • Music Production

    Description coming soon.

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    Textbooks will be assigned in class.
  • Live Mic—Storytelling, Spoken Word, and Slam!

    Introductory course
    This class explores all the components in finding your voice to tell a story through various styles and methods of articulation including a Moth Radio Hour inspired approach to Storytelling, Spoken Word Poetry, and the more metered and energetic genre of Slam. Students are trained in all of these styles and will have the opportunity to perform in one area of choice by the end of the semester. The focus in this class in on process, honest and polished articulation, and learning the difference between successfully telling a story that is not written as a set text, and performing a more specifically constructed work of Spoken Word or Slam. This is a celebration of the oral tradition in humanity. Everyone has a story; what’s yours?
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    Coming soon.
  • Contemporary Performance Ensemble

    Advanced course
    The Contemporary Performance Ensemble is a collective of advanced instrumentalists and vocalists focused on performing and recording the music of living artists. Projects include off campus performances and collaborations with professionals, as well as regular features at school events. Students are encouraged to develop original work and share it with the ensemble during monthly studio classes. This is a supportive and challenging course ideal for students interested in continuing their musical growth beyond high school.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    Textbook info coming soon.

View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • Photo of Marylena Sevigney
    Marylena Sevigney
    Visual Arts Faculty & Art Department Chair
    (603) 779-5227
    Bio
  • Photo of Monique Devine-Robichaud
    Monique Devine-Robichaud
    Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair
    (603) 779-5352
    CW Post College of Long Island University - BS
    Westlake High School, Thornwood, NY
    Goddard College (VT) - MFA-IA
    Bio
  • Photo of Alex Ellsworth
    Alex Ellsworth
    Music Director
    (603) 779-5358
    Bio

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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245

MAIL P.O. Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
PHONE (603) 536-1257
EMAIL info@holderness.org