At WES, there's much to applaud. It may be an individual choral performance, a trumpet solo, a Shakespearean production, or a comedic play that makes you want to cheer. Our kind, accepting environment allows each student to flourish artistically and shine on stage.
Our goal is to give students the opportunity and ability for expression, appreciation, and development in music. This is achieved through independent and ensemble performance, movement and expression, music reading and notation, and observing professional performances.
Music and Performing Arts
Music is an integral part of the curriculum at WES, for all students.
Our youngest students learn songs, sing, and retell the Christmas story at their annual performance.They take the stage in spring in an always-memorable May Day performance in front of an audience of parents and friends.
In Grades 1, 2, and 3, students learn basic music theory and performance, as well as a mixture of Kodaly and Orff music reading. Students in Grade 3 learn to play the recorder and play at Chapel and during the Christmas Chapel for Grades 1-4.
Students have the opportunity to read a scripture lesson, sing in two-part, or stand up and perform on a solo instrument that they privately study during Chapel services. At WES, we try to find each student's creative talents and help them grow independently.
In Grades 4, 5, and 6, students belong to one Chorus and one Band ensemble where they choose an instrument to explore and learn, as band instruction is offered during school and as part of the after-school enrichment program, at no cost. By Middle School, students can decide on a performing arts elective between choral and instrumental. Grades 4-8 give two concerts a year, at Christmas and in spring.
Speech and Drama
Each class from Kindergarten through Grade 5 explores the stage as each class presents a play, which can range from reciting poetry to dressing in outlandish costumes, to singing songs, or portraying historical figures. A highlight of the year for Grade 6 students is the eagerly awaited Sixth-Grade Musical in March, which showcases the talents of the class, as they are responsible for all aspects of the production in three performances. Grade 5 provides choral accompaniment. Recent productions include Beauty and the Beast Jr., Alice in Wonderland Jr., and The Wizard of Oz Jr. Middle School students are exposed to more dramatic productions based on literature read in class. The study of Shakespeare and the iambic pentameter, operative words, and emotional meaning are the main focus in Grade 8, as students prepare for an abridged version of a Shakespeare play. In addition to having fun and learning new skills, students develop self-confidence, and feel more comfortable with their ability to communicate though their dramatic involvement.
As professional musicians and performers themselves, the music and drama teachers know that every student can bring something new and exciting to the stage and that each one has his or her own special talents.