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.
  • Ninth Grade Seminar in Art

    Ninth Grade Art Experience is an experiential semester-long course for ninth graders. This course includes interactive activities and studio projects representing a variety of artistic styles and art media. It is designed to develop students understanding and appreciation of the arts through discovery, and creative problem solving and expression. This course is designed to provide students with a familiarity of how to use creative expression in a variety of artistic media while developing an understanding of the role of creativity in personal expression. It also provides students with a broader perception of the visual and performing arts.

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  • Theater

    From auditions to performance, this course takes students through the creative process of staging a production. Depending on the season, students serve as the production staff for the school play and are responsible for the major aspects of the show. During the course, the students also study the fundamentals of acting, drama, improvisation, playwriting and analysis, storytelling and theater basics. This theater course is designed to give students an increased appreciation of and additional experience in theater as an art form.

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  • Stagecraft

    Stagecraft is an introductory level course for students interested in technical theater. This course would provide a focused opportunity to learn the basics of technical theater including set construction, lighting, sound design and set design. Stagecraft is a hands-on course that gets students working with the tools and techniques of theatrical production in a practical way. Students work on school productions, and will be expected to perform physical tasks such as painting, carpentry and rigging. This is a project-based course. Students will learn the terminology, history and evolution of technical theater.

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  • Intro to Acting

    This course is a basic introduction to acting for the stage and video. Course work includes exercises and improvisations exploring awareness, relaxation, observation, the senses, voice, and physical and emotional life.

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  • Acting and Scene Study

    This semester-long course is designed to give students the opportunity to create advanced work in the areas of acting, directing, playwriting, and video production. Student will acquire and develop the basic skills of acting while increasing their comfort level with performing on stage. Through monologues, scenes, and exercises, students will examine the techniques an actor uses to develop a character. Exercises include movement, sense memory, personalization, objective, beat work, and beginning text analysis. In this course, there will also be opportunities to analyze, critique, and construct meanings from informal and formal theater, video, and film. This course is open to 11th grade and 12th grade students only.

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  • Creative Movement for Athletes

    This performance based course has students engaged with four core elements of dance: basic dance steps, combinations, theories and contexts, and projects and performance. These elements are taught through daily class warm ups, exercises and practice, and in individual and group work. Students will be moving during every class. The emphasis is on fusing physical practices and creative collaboration with social, cultural and historical context. Student athletes will work parts of their bodies while developing their individual movement language. The class will end with an original choreographed performance by each student.

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  • English 4: Shakespeare Page to Stage

    In this team taught class, students will work toward an understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays through performance, their own and others’. Students will learn the basics of film study and analyze the various ways actors and directors have approached Shakespeare. Students will also enhance their understanding of language, character and story through their own performance. Students do not need to have a strong understanding of Shakespeare to enjoy the class; they should, however, be willing to take creative risks and be a member of a supportive community.

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  • Chorus Fall

    Chorus will be working on a variety of pieces written for mixed voice group singing, with the opportunity for solo and small group work. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to the large world of choral singing, both in style, genre and time period, as well as building basic music comprehension and sight-singing. They will perform a concert each semester, with many other performance opportunities including Chapel. The course is offered on a semester basis and will be graded pass/fail.

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  • Chorus Spring

    Chorus will be working on a variety of pieces written for mixed voice group singing, with the opportunity for solo and small group work. The aim of each semester will be to expose students to the large world of choral singing, both in style, genre and time period, as well as building basic music comprehension and sight-singing. They will perform a concert each semester, with many other performance opportunities including Chapel. The course is offered on a semester basis and will be graded pass/fail.

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  • Band Fall

    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. Prior individual instruction is required for enrollment in the course; This instruction does not need to have been taken at Holderness. This course is offered on a semester basis and is graded pass/fail.

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    No textbook required.
  • Band Spring

    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. Prior individual instruction is required for enrollment in the course; This instruction does not need to have been taken at Holderness. This course is offered on a semester basis and is graded pass/fail.

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    No textbook required.
  • Music History

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  • Studio Recording Practices

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View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • 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
  • Alec Sisco

    Music Director
    The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam - BFA Music Education
    Bio
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257