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 the 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 Utah, 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 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. A Grades 7 and 8 ceramics club meets weekly.
Artwork by every child is displayed as a completed project in our hallways throughout the school year. In early 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
"WES has taught me to pursue what you want to do. Through all of my experience with music and performing arts, I feel confident to audition for other musicals in the future, and see what I can accomplish in the musical world."
— Ryan, Class of 2015
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 and public speaking and theatrical performances, we try to find each student’s creative talents and help them grow independently.
Students in Grades 1-8 have numerous opportunities to read a scripture lesson, sing in two-part harmony, or stand up and perform on a solo instrument that they privately study during Chapel services throughout the year.
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.
By Middle School, students decide on a performing arts elective between chorus and band. Grades 4-8 give two concerts a year at Christmas and in spring. Students with stronger musical affinity and talent can also join the a cappella group, the Band Ambassadors, and Jazz Band. Offerings vary from year to year dependent upon the interest of the students.
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.
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.
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 December, Grade 8 students perform Scroogein a black box format. Grade 7 students begin the school year by performing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and end the year with a presentation of the Italian plays which they rehearse in ancient city of Paestum during their study trip to Italy.
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.