Performance is one of the oldest and most widely practiced methods of self-expression.
We gain an understanding of ourselves and each other through the power of music, dance, and theater. By studying the performing arts, you not only hone skills of communication and collaboration, you create community. The benefits of performance are immediate and can last a lifetime. Through witnessing the beauty of the human body in motion, exploring the interplay of melody and harmony, and the desire to tell a gripping story, we celebrate all aspects of performance as a path to understanding, meaning, and joy.
Whether learning vocal or instrumental music, students at Pomfret are engaged in a rigorous course of study as they seek to discover their unique voice as musicians. Individual and ensemble opportunities are offered and tailored to the needs of each student in a supportive and collegial atmosphere. In addition to becoming comfortable performing for their peers, students are challenged to integrate their life experiences into their performances by applying critical thinking and analysis to the varied genres and styles of music studied. A graduate of Pomfret who has been active in this program will be prepared for continued study in college and a lifelong connection to music.
Humans are profoundly impacted by the physicality and aesthetics of dance. Pomfret offers a comprehensive introductory dance program to all students, with opportunities to explore movement through rhythmic and musical accompaniment, to refine jazz, ballet and modern technique, and to create original work. As they learn to express themselves through movement, our dancers also gain balance, strength, flexibility, learn injury prevention, and broaden their movement vocabulary. The program incorporates performances at the conclusion of the fall and winter terms, as well as field trips and guest artists.
Telling our stories is a fundamental human impulse. The theater program invites participation in this ancient art form that is both immediate and alive. Classes in acting, playwriting, improvisation and sketch comedy offer opportunity for anyone to get involved. Productions are mounted each term, offering students an immersive experience in creating and performing. The entire school attends all productions, creating a forum for discussion, debate and seeing the world through the eyes of others. Frequent field trips to professional theater, including Broadway, are an essential component to the program.
- Arts Immersion
- Concert Choir
- Vocal Performance and Stage Skills
- Honors Vocal Chamber Ensemble
- Chamber Music Ensemble
- Guitar Ensemble
- Honors Guitar Ensemble
- Private Instruction - Music
- History of Dance and Music in American Culture
- Advanced Dance Repertory
- Movement for Athletes
- Improvisation and Sketch Comedy
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.
Concert Choir is a year-long course designed for singers of all backgrounds and abilities. The course will meet in the evening (fall/spring) and during the day (winter). It will meet concurrently with Chamber Orchestra (to allow musicians to participate in both). Members of the Concert Choir will prepare and perform vocal repertoire representing various genres, styles, and cultures, through means of proper expression, technical accuracy, tone quality, vowel shape, and articulation. Students will sing in three or four part harmony with piano/orchestral accompaniment. While not a requirement for the course, students will develop musical reading skills and gain a greater understanding of music history. Concert Choir will prepare music for programming throughout the year including Fall Family Weekend, Lessons and Carols, MLK Day, Spring Music Showcase, Chapel, Admission Open House, as well as other special events. The Concert Choir will regularly collaborate with Honors Vocal Chamber Ensemble and the Festival Chorus.
Vocal Performance and Stage Skills is offered as a dynamic, musical experience available to any student with a desire to perform vocal music. This course seeks to provide students with a general understanding of vocal technique including the history of singing and how that informs performance practice both in contemporary and more traditional musical genres. The course is designed to serve both the solo artist or the member of an ensemble. Basic fundamental musical theory will be covered as a means to enhance reading skills. Performance expression and dramatic intention will be emphasized as a means to develop stage etiquette and inform performance. This elective course is open to students without prior musical training.
Honors Vocal Chamber Ensemble (Grifftones) is a year-long course designed for the advanced singer and is by audition only. This course provides students with the opportunity to prepare and perform vocal repertoire representing various genres, styles, and cultures, through means of proper expression, technical accuracy, tone quality, vowel shape, and articulation. Students are expected to sing in three or four parts and with or without accompaniment. Students will develop skills in reading vocal scores and identifying how musical elements are used and implemented. Students will also focus on developing stage skills and etiquette as a means to enhance performance practice.
OFFERED: Spring term
Chamber Music Ensemble is an audition-based performance ensemble that performs chamber music work written for a specific ensemble genre. Depending on student interest and ability, this ensemble might range from a string quartet to a piano trio to a saxophone quartet. Over the term, students learn chamber music skills: non-verbal communication, collaboration, musical equity, performance skills, and refined technique on their instruments. This is a performance ensemble and students will perform multiple times for the school and the greater community.
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.
Offered: Winter Term
Honors Guitar Ensemble is an upper level performance course and requires an audition or other form of instructor consent to enroll. 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.
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
This Fine Arts/History elective explores the ways that dance and music performance are inextricably linked to and within the development of American pop culture. Through readings, movement, watching, listening and discussion, students trace the evolution of American popular dance and music, delving into its many multicultural influences, from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the present day. Through this work, students explore how creating and consuming performance art throughout our modern history has functioned as a holistic expression of the constantly-evolving American identity. Students are assessed on citizenship and engagement, creativity, analytical skills and positive contributions to the class environment.
Offered: Fall Term
Advanced Dance Repertory is an advanced composition and performance workshop. Students explore work at a quick pace that is technically and rhythmically complex, in preparation for performance in the Dance Showcase at the end of the fall term. This class is appropriate for students who have prior acceptable experience learning and creating dance work in the Pomfret Dance Program or elsewhere- participants must obtain permission from Ms. Joly prior to enrollment. Students are assessed on citizenship and engagement, creativity, analytical skills and positive contributions to the class environment.
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.
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.