Arts in the Upper School
The Upper School arts program strives to create a strong sense of discipline in the advanced learner but never stifles creativity or exploration. We respect the product but enjoy the process as well.
Students who love to sing will find plenty to engage them. Two large choirs—not auditioned but requiring top-notch musical skills—come together frequently during the school year. A smaller chamber choir, the Ensemble, travels during spring break each year.
Creativity is not just fun: it’s daring, adventuresome, and exotic.
A memorable trip around the world is possible in theatre arts as well. Courses in public speaking help you find your voice. In dance, our students fly through the air, personifying exuberance, elegance and grace. Main-stage theatre performances each year pull from the works of Arthur Miller, Sondheim, and Shakespeare, and have included Les Mis, The Music Man, and Oklahoma! One-act plays and student-led writing competitions fill out the year. If your passion takes you behind the scenes, a vast array of technical theater work is available. Build sets, learn about stage lighting or design costumes.
Band and orchestra programs have flourished at Westminster since its beginning. Upper School orchestra students appear numerous times on campus during the year, in chamber-music concerts, in early morning coffee concerts, with members of the symphonic band, and accompanying major choral works, such as the haunting Requiem of Gabriel Fauré or Vivaldi’s exuberant Gloria. Students whose taste runs to jazz continue to find an outlet for their passion: the jazz ensemble rehearses and plays concerts throughout the school year. Meanwhile, the wind ensemble and symphonic band excel in classic repertoire, both old and new.
The Westminster Ensemble, a 24-member auditioned choir, travels to Europe each spring to perform in different cities and venues. In 2018, the group traveled to Spain and performed twice in Madrid (including at La Almudena Cathedral), at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia, and at La Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. In recent years, Ensemble has traveled to Prague, London, Paris, and Rome
An annual Westminster tradition, the Messiah is a joint orchestra and choir performance that brings students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff together during the Christmas season. Performing arts alumni are invited to perform with the students.