Fine Arts

Art gives meaning to our lives.

At Pomfret, we believe the arts are what make us most human, most complete as people, by helping us see what we are looking at, hear what we are listening to, and feel what we are touching. Making art enriches our lives and gives expression to the innate urgings of the human spirit. Incoming third formers must take six terms of fine arts. Recommended Sequence: two as a freshman, two as a sophomore, one as a junior, and one as a senior.

Adv. Ind. Sculpture and Ceramics

OFFERED: fall, winter, and spring terms

This course allows an experienced and motivated student to choose a direction or theme for projects of their own choosing. The student may work on the potter's wheel on one specific form or many forms. The choice to work on one large piece of reductive sculpture or many smaller forms in a variety of media will be left entirely up to the student. The goals of this term course will be developed by the student with guidance and supervision of the instructor. Approval by the instructor is required for enrollment.


Adv. Studio Art: Painting and Drawing

OFFERED: yearlong

The Advanced Painting and Drawing class is geared toward dedicated, responsible, creative and self-motivated students with strong drawing and painting skills. The students are expected to have an understanding and a command of a variety of different rendering techniques. Students are expected to challenge themselves and experiment with the materials they use. They must complete all their artworks to the best of their ability and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, time management, and creativity. As advanced students they are also expected to spend time outside of class time in the studio, and participate in all figure drawing sessions. The goal of this class is to successfully complete a portfolio that clearly showcases the artist's creative abilities. Approval by the instructor is required for enrollment. Fee: $125.00 per term


Advanced Music Theory

OFFERED: winter term

This two-term course examines the fundamental principles of Tonal Harmony such as elements of pitch, diatonic triads and seventh chords, principles of voice leading, part writing, harmonic progressions, cadences, phrases, secondary functions, modulation, forms and many other elements of the harmonic vocabulary. Atonal harmony will be included along with an introduction to the principles of musicology. The course is intensive and is open only to those with prior experience on a musical instrument or voice. Prerequisite: Music Theory Fundamentals or departmental approval required


Arts Immersion

OFFERED: yearlong

Beginning September 2016, freshmen at Pomfret will participate in a new experiential learning course that integrates multiple programs in the arts. Designed as a full immersion into creativity in varied disciplines, students will develop their imagination as a necessary life-long resource to problem solving, as well as hone their skills in written and oral presentation. Armed with this experience in self-expression, reflection and metacognition, our freshman will make more informed choices about their course of study for their remaining three years at Pomfret.

Audition Preparation

OFFERED: fall term

Each student will work with a private instructor on a weekly basis to prepare an audition. Seniors will prepare a recording to be sent as part of their college admissions application. Non-seniors will prepare audition material for Pomfret's "Broadway Night" performance and the winter musical. Instrumentalists will prepare a short selection appropriate for an all-school chapel performance. Minimum weekly practice time is the equivalent of a full course block. Students will attend weekly meetings with other members of the class during which they will perform their repertoire and critique the performances of their peers. The culminating experience will be a recording session of their prepared repertory. The final grade will be partially based on the outcome of the recording session. Fee: $495 per term

Chorus

OFFERED: fall, winter, and spring terms

Chorus is offered as a musical experience available to any student with a desire to sing in a choir. Performance expression and personal involvement in the music is emphasized alongside professionalism and development of sight-reading skills. Chorus is intended to be a dynamic course that is challenging. This course is open to students without prior musical training.


Contemporary Music Performance

OFFERED: winter term

This course offers hands on experience in a performance band for contemporary musicians. Students participate in selection and arrangement of performance material. The material is rehearsed during classroom time and performed at a variety of venues, including a final concert. Music to be studied includes rock, jazz, folk, reggae and a variety of other modern styles determined by skill, experience and preference of the musicians involved. Students should have some prior knowledge and experience with the instrument on which they intend to perform. Vocalists will be considered and may be requested to audition for the various groups.

Dance Fundamentals

OFFERED: fall, winter and spring terms

Dance Fundamentals is a class designed for the athlete, novice dancer, or simply the student interested in discovering their “physical voice”. During the term, students will learn how to express what makes them unique through movement. They will practice the techniques of yoga, ballet, modern/contemporary dance, and partnering. This class will also help students learn to gain balance, upper body and core strength, flexibility, and injury prevention through creative exploration.


Eng IV: Playwriting

OFFERED: fall and spring terms

Playwriting is designed to identify and investigate the tools needed to specifically craft a stage worthy play. Through a series of reading and writing assignments based on Aristotle’s six elements of drama, each student will explore action, character, idea, language, music, and spectacle. Reading assignments will include plays from a variety of successful playwrights. Each student will be responsible for writing a one-act play by the end of the term. This course may count toward the fulfillment of either a student's English or fine art graduation requirement.


Func Forms on Potter's Wheel I

OFFERED: see Sculpture and Ceramics - General for more information

The focus of this class will be the creation of functional forms on the potter’s wheel: mastery of fundamental techniques and the appreciation and understanding of artistry and functional design will be stressed. Students will be encouraged to develop a style or concentrate on mastering a specific form. We will experiment with different methods of glazing and firing as well as introducing the concept of combining thrown and cast elements. Exhibition of selected works is required for credit in this term course. Various completed projects and assignments may be included in an individual’s portfolio. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics I & II or with approval by the instructor.


Func Forms on Potter's Wheel II

OFFERED: see Sculpture and Ceramics - General for more information

In addition to creating more complicated forms on the potter’s wheel, students will focus more of their attention on decorating and glazing in this course. Students will be asked to combine hand built and thrown forms as well as altering thrown forms. Pursuing a particular individual direction in a series of works will be encouraged. Exhibition of selected works is required for credit in this trimester course. Various completed projects and assignments may be included in an individual’s portfolio. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics I & II and Functional Forms on the Potter’s Wheel I or with approval by the instructor.


Guitar Ensemble

OFFERED: fall term

Guitar ensemble is an introductory course—no previous guitar study is required. This class will introduce students to reading notation for guitar, by performing literature for guitar ensembles: duets, trios, quartets and larger groups. This literature includes compositions written for guitar ensembles as well as arrangements of pieces originally written for other settings, including solo instruments, full orchestras, and popular music. The ensemble harnesses individual skills towards a collaborative effort, resulting in a beauty of expressive execution. The ensemble will also develop the ability to communicate as one with an audience, culminating in our public performance in the spring. Ownership of a nylon string guitar is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Honors A Cappella Ensemble

OFFERED: yearlong

Members of the Griff Tones learn how to perform and sing contemporary a cappella music. Repertoire is selected from a wide variety of musical styles. This is a challenging course offered only to students with a high degree of musical talent and motivation. Acceptance into this course is by competitive audition in the spring term. Students meet four times a week plus joint ventures with the Chorus. Students who are in the Griff Tones perform regularly both nationally and internationally. Each year they give between 10-20 performances. The most recent tour was to Italy during the spring break of 2015. Members of the Griff Tones are expected to enroll in Honors A Cappella every term of their Pomfret career upon acceptance into the group.

Honors Contemporary Music Performance

OFFERED: yearlong

This honors level ensemble builds upon the skills developed in Contemporary Music Performance. Students will drive song selection and arrangement, though jazz standards and other music selected by the instructor will be studied to help broaden the students' musical background. This course focuses heavily on improvisation and composition. The material is rehearsed during classroom time and performed at a variety of venues, including a final concert each term. Students will be required to understand the basics of standard Western musical notation and have an intermediate level of skill on their primary instrument. Vocalists will be considered and may be requested to audition for the various groups. Permission of the instructor required.


Honors Painting and Drawing

OFFERED: yearlong

The Honors Painting and Drawing is designed for responsible, creative and self-motivated students with strong drawing and painting skills. In this yearlong class students will work under the tutelage of four to six guest artists. These professional artists will share their passion for the arts, and work alongside the students for a two-week session. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, creativity, and productivity. Students are expected to complete all pieces to the best of their abilities, and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Prerequisite: Intermediate Painting & Drawing and Intermediate Painting and Drawing II to be considered for this course or with approval by the instructor. Fee: $125.00 per term

Honors Sculpture and Ceramics

OFFERED: fall, winter and spring terms

The honors level sculpture and ceramics course is for students who have acquired knowledge and expertise in a number of sculptural media and wish to explore a specific medium or style in depth. This course is for students who wish to hone their skills and capacity for communicating ideas three dimensionally. Students will be asked to develop an idea or concept through a variety of techniques and in a variety of media. The goal of the course is to help students develop and demonstrate excellence and mastery of the techniques used in the execution of an idea or concept. Students will be expected to complete up to six pieces a term which may necessitate studio work in addition to regularly scheduled class time. Approval by the instructor is required for enrollment.


Improvisation and Sketch Comedy

OFFERED: winter and spring terms

Improvisation and Sketch Comedy is a course that uses each student’s intuition and imagination in the creation of live theater. Through a series of exercises and projects, students will learn how to speak and move on impulse, collaborate with others, and structure their own creativity in a form that is immediate and alive. Student will also investigate techniques of sketch comedy used successfully by many comedy groups including Second City. A class performance will be open to the school community at the conclusion of the term.

Intermediate Painting & Drawing

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

In the Intermediate Painting and Drawing class, students are presented with a challenging topic which they are required to depict visually. They will experiment with a range of mediums and create original pieces through various painting and drawing techniques. All projects are completed in class, but the students are encouraged to use the studio outside of class time. Intermediate Painting and Drawing students are expected to display strong drawing skills and think outside of the box. Students are graded on attendance, productivity, and effort. Fee: $125.00 per term

Intermediate Painting & Drawing II

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

The Intermediate Painting and Drawing II class is designed for responsible, creative and self‐motivated students with good drawing and painting skills. Students are expected to have an understanding of the human figure, color, composition, and the use of different mediums. Each student works on independent projects chosen either by themselves or in collaboration with the painting instructor. Students are expected to keep a personal sketchbook and are encouraged to challenge themselves and experiment with materials. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, creativity, time management, and productivity. Students are expected to complete all pieces to the best of their abilities and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Students are also encouraged to spend time in the studio outside of classroom time. Prerequisite: Intermediate Painting & Drawing or be approved by the instructor. Fee: $125.00 per term

Intro to Painting & Drawing I

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

In the Intro to Painting and Drawing class students learn basic drawing and rendering skills. They are given projects that teach them how to look. Students work from still life and photographs, and experiment with several drawing and coloring techniques. They will learn to transfer images to scale using a grid system. By the end of the term, each student completes numerous pieces in a variety of sizes, styles, and mediums. Students are encouraged to push the media by developing a unique and creative relationship with it. All projects are completed in the art studio. Grades are based on attendance, and classroom performance. Fee: $125.00 per term

Intro to Painting & Drawing II

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

The Intro to Painting and Drawing II course, while including a review of basic drawing skills, is designed to introduce students to a variety of drawing, painting and rendering techniques. Each assignment is an introduction a new medium and/or material. All projects are completed in class, but the studio is always open for them to use outside of class time. Grades are based on attendance, and classroom performance. Fee: $125.00 per term


Intro to Sculpture & Ceramics I

OFFERED: see Sculpture and Ceramics - General for more information

Students will be introduced to the basic elements of design and will work with clay exclusively. Basic hand building techniques will be taught and students will create a variety of sculptural and functional forms. Glazing and decorating techniques will be explored, and students will learn how ceramic objects are fired in kilns. Assignments will be functional, sculptural and conceptual and emphasis will be placed on the importance of detail and fine artisanry. Students will be encouraged to develop individual styles and ideas. Assignments and projects will help students begin to construct a portfolio. Exhibition of selected works is required to earn credit in this course.

Intro to Sculpture & Ceramics II

OFFERED: see Sculpture and Ceramics - General for more information

Students will continue the investigation of three-dimensional form and the elements of design begun in Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics 1, but the focus of this class will be on reductive sculpture. A variety of media will be introduced and projects will be both figurative and non-figurative. Students will be encouraged to approach assignments with the goal of developing individual styles, ideas and adding to their portfolios. Exhibition of selected works is required to earn credit in this course.


Movement for Athletes

OFFERED: fall, winter and spring terms

Movement for Athletes explores dance as it relates to overall fitness, strength and conditioning. Students will explore dance-based exercise such as yoga-dance, pilates, Latin-American Zumba, barre conditioning, and dance therapy. Regardless of athletic background, students in this class will build a foundation in strength and fitness that will carry over into other creative and athletic endeavors.

Music for Dance

OFFERED: fall, winter and spring terms

In Music for Dance, students will explore music and rhythm as a catalyst for creative movement and choreography. Through exercises in rhythm analysis, peer musical accompaniment and research of popular music and dance genres, students will gain an understanding of the ways in which musical and rhythmic appreciation informs and expands the creative process of dance.

Music of Social Justice

OFFERED: spring term

Music has always been an active force in social justice movements: galvanizing people, communicating tone and mission, and inviting new audiences to join the cause. We Shall Overcome: The Music of Social Justice is an arts course that will investigate the ways music has been integral to many key social movements. As we listen to examples of protest music, we will learn how the songs were used to unite people who already believed in the cause, communicate human dignity in the face of oppression, and inspire new members. Areas of study can include work song as a form of subversion, the emergence of jazz & blues as African American art forms, 60’s protest music, reggae and Rastafarianism, Hip Hop, and the music of the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. As part of our investigation we will also practice select protest songs in class so that students can directly explore their tone and impact. No previous musical experience is required.

Music Theory Fundamentals

OFFERED: fall term

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of tonal music theory. Pitch and rhythmic reading skills are presented and reinforced through sight-singing and keyboard exercises. The basic principles of tonal harmony, i.e., intervals, modes, scales, triads, and chord progressions, are the primary subject matter of the course.


Painting and Drawing - General

OFFERED: fall, winter, and spring terms

Any student wanting to enroll in Painting and Drawing (other than Advanced or Honors) should sign up without indicating a specific course level. Once the term begins, the teacher and the student will together establish the level which best corresponds to that student's ability (see individual course descriptions). That course title will appear on his/her transcript. Fee: $125.00 per term

Private Instruction - Music

OFFERED: fall, winter, and spring terms

Private Instruction is designed for students with a sincere desire to learn to sing or play a musical instrument. No prior musical experience is necessary. The course meets for the equivalent of four class periods per week. One meeting time is with a private instructor. The student is expected to practice during the remaining class time. The Music Department will assist in finding the appropriate private teacher for the student when possible. Private Instruction is offered for diploma credit for one term per year with the requirement that the initial term be taken for credit. Students are encouraged to continue private lessons for additional terms on a non-credit basis or, when appropriate, request to enroll in Recital Class and Recital Performance. Fee: $495 per term


Recital Class

OFFERED: winter and spring terms

Each student will work with a private instructor on a weekly basis to prepare repertoire appropriate for a solo recital. Minimum weekly practice time is the equivalent of a full course block. Students will attend weekly meetings with other members of the class during which they will perform their repertoire and critique the performances of their peers. The culminating experience will be a class recital during the spring term. Fee: $495 per term

Recital Performance

OFFERED: spring term

The course will culminate with a public solo recital. The student will work with the private instructor on a weekly basis to prepare repertoire appropriate for a solo recital. Minimum practice time is the equivalent of a full course block. Students will attend weekly meetings with other members of the class during which they will perform their repertoire and critique the performances of their peers. A pre-recital hearing will partially determine the student’s grade. Fee: $495 per term




Meet the Fine Arts Department

Nancy Ducharme

Independent Music Instructor

Michael Fura

Music Instructor

Priscilla Gale

Music Instructor

Wayne Gasiorek

Music Instructor
Charles Houmard

Charles Houmard

Director of Music, Scripps Endowed Chair for Fine Arts
Jean-Paul Jacquet

Jean-Paul Jacquet

Studio Art Teacher
Nina Joly

Nina Joly

Dance Teacher
Chip Lamb

Chip Lamb

Arts Department Chair and Theatre Director
Lindsay Lehmann

Lindsay Lehmann

Photography Teacher

Frederick O'Neal

Music Instructor
Timothy Peck

Timothy Peck

Artist-in-Residence/Dir of Contemporary Music

Trisha Snyder

Music Instructor

Monica Vanderbaan

Independent Music Instructor
Kathi Yokum

Kathi Yokum

Ceramics & Sculpture Teacher



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