Every child at Washington Episcopal School studies visual and performing arts.
Students have full use of two beautiful art studios, a ceramics studio with a kiln, multiple music rooms, and a stage. From the youngest children in Nursery to the oldest in Middle School, students perform in plays, create two- and three-dimensional art, and learn music.
Learning expands beyond school walls on field trips to local art museums and theaters, as well as fantastic opportunities to create and observe art on study trips to the Desert Southwest, Italy, France, and Spain. WES strives to expose students to a wide range of artistic forms, to create in them a lifelong appreciation of art, and to provide an outlet through which they can express their individual voices.
We believe that every child is filled with a spirit of creativity and has the ability to produce wonderful art.
Classes nurture this spirit. Art-making integrates themes and concepts that children explore in science, math, history, and literature.
All children have art twice a week for 40 minutes. Children may extend their experience in art clubs and in a variety of After-School Enrichment Program offerings that meet weekly.
Our Art Center features two beautiful studios with ample natural light and space. Students create art using a wide variety of media, including paint, charcoal, pastels, and ink. The Ceramics Studio, with two computerized kilns, sculpture wheels, glazes, and tools for hand-building techniques in clay, allows students to work in three dimensions.
Artwork by every child is displayed as a completed project in our hallways throughout the school year. In spring, WES hosts an Arts Celebration Week as the culminating celebration of artwork produced by all WES students. Activities include special guest artist presentations, self-guided parent tours, and more.
The Art-Making Process
"Art is the product of everything that we learn in life. It is an expression of who we are and what we know from the inside out."
— Courtney Clark, Art Teacher
Our kind, accepting environment allows each student to flourish artistically and shine on stage.
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.
Providing the opportunity for expression, appreciation, and development.
Music is an integral part of the curriculum at WES, for all students. Through singing, public speaking, and theatrical performances, we try to find each student’s creative talents and help them grow independently. 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.
Students learn basic music theory and performance, as well as a mixture of Kodaly and Orff music reading methods. Students in Grade 3 learn to play the recorder and play at Chapel and during the Christmas Chapel for Grades 1-4.
During the summer before they enter Grade 4, students work with the band instructor to choose an instrument to explore and learn. Band instruction takes place during school at no cost. In addition to belonging to one Band ensemble, they also belong to one Chorus and give two concerts per year with Grades 6-8.
In addition to having fun and learning new skills, students develop self-confidence and learn to feel more comfortable with their ability to communicate through our program.
Throughout the school year all students present projects, read at Chapel, share written stories, and more! Even the most reluctant public speakers learn key skills and develop the confidence to present their ideas and work in a variety of group settings.
Each class explores the stage by presenting plays and musical performances that often include reciting poetry, dressing in costumes, singing songs, dancing, and 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 two performances. Grade 5 provides choral accompaniment. Recent productions include Footloose, The Lion King Jr., Peter Pan Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., and Alice in Wonderland Jr.
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. Faculty and staff also provide accompaniment, sing, and play instruments with the students in performances during Chapel, concerts, graduation, and other gatherings.
WES students explore music, performing arts, and speech and drama as their spirit of creativity helps them grow and expand their cultural awareness.