Fine and Performing Arts
At Notre Dame, we believe that the Fine and Performing Arts are both a creative and an academic pursuit. By creating, students learn to appreciate the creative process, to solve problems, to respect others’ forms of expression, and to work in groups. The Arts faculty consider the development of imagination, creativity, and aesthetic judgment to be essential complements to the critical thinking skills developed in other disciplines.
Art programs at Notre Dame are developmental and all sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students have art classes each year. After ninth grade, students can continue in an elective or major program. We believe that offering an art program in a nurturing environment that is built on success develops each student’s self-esteem, and a freedom to experiment, think critically, and take risks.
Students have the opportunity to experience art through field trips to leading museums in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, DC, and Baltimore.
Student works are regularly displayed on campus for others to experience and enjoy. Students are encouraged to enter contests and have won awards in juried contests.
AP Studio Art and AP Studio Art History have prepared our students to enter art and design programs at many fine colleges, including Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Philadelphia University, Syracuse University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and University of the Arts.
The Academy of Notre Dame offers three choirs for students. At the middle school level, students may audition and be selected to the Middle School Women's Chorale if singing is their passion. When students reach the upper school, they can enroll in the upper school chorus "The Notre Dame Nightingales" or may be selected by a yearly audition to participate in the select, "Women’s Chorale." Students of all grades may choose to sing in the Academy’s Liturgical Choir, and have the opportunity to cantor at school liturgies throughout the year.
For students who wish to continue their music education but who do not wish to sing or play an instrument, the Academy also offers a Music Theory course.
The Academy of Notre Dame’s dance program offers dance to all interested students with varying degrees of dance experience. Whether a student has been dancing for years or is a beginner, there is a class for everyone. At the upper school level, students can take the following performance courses: Introduction to Dance, Dance Appreciation and Performance, or Dance Company.
At the middle school level, Dance is a required course. All dance classes, with the exception of Dance for Fitness, perform in the Winter Performance in January and the Spring Performance in May.
The Academy of Notre Dame Dance Company is an auditioned group of students who practice and perform year round. The Dance Company course is designed for students who are serious about the art of dance. Auditions for the Dance Company are held each March, prior to student course selection.
Notre Dame’s middle school and upper school instrumental ensembles offer students who play string and wind instruments the opportunity to perform in concerts on campus, at special events, and in All Catholic Band and Orchestra performances. In addition to the curricular music courses, Notre Dame offers private music lessons in the areas of voice, piano, and violin. Additional fees are required of those students electing to take private lessons at the Academy.
Notre Dame’s thriving Theater Program includes an upper school musical in the fall, a middle school musical in the winter, and an all-school play in the spring. Additionally, students who want to be involved in theater, but not as a performer, can join Stage Crew for productions throughout the year and gain experience in designing props and scenery and managing lighting and sound equipment.