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Noble and Greenough School is a rigorous academic community dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good. Through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential and to lead lives characterized by service to others.

Performing Arts

Academics, Afternoon Program

Through experiential learning, the Performing Arts inspire students to develop creative thinking and become more culturally literate, while building self-esteem as well as practical and communication skills. The department has developed a progressive program that provides students of all skill levels and interests with opportunities for individual and group expression through Music, Theatre and Dance.

Theatre and Dance
Our theatre and dance curricula help students develop skills, regardless of previous experience. All students have the power to create and communicate! Our teachers challenge and nurture students as they develop into confident, creative, and hardworking, team-oriented individuals.

Music
Music is a universal language. All students at Nobles, regardless of musical background or skills, are encouraged to participate in choral or instrumental groups. Nobles firmly believes that a degree of musical literacy is an essential part of the educational experience. With this in mind, there are several "core" musical ensembles (Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble, Drum Ensemble) which are scheduled so that they do not conflict with any other courses or activities.

Acting I | Fall or Spring
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Intro. to Theatre or permission of Department

This entry-level course is designed for students with a pre-existing interest in acting.  (Those wanting to try theatre for the first time should enroll in Introduction to Theatre.)  Acting I participants will learn and apply the basic language of script analysis and rehearsal. Movement and vocal work will be emphasized, to develop the actors' ability to play a wide range of characters as vividly and believably as possible.  Acting I students focus on scenes and monologues from contemporary American plays.

This course may be taken only once.

 
Acting II | Fall Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III
Prerequisites: Acting I or permission of the department

Acting II builds on the foundations laid in Acting I. Students take on longer, more in-depth scene work, from plays outside of the modern American experience: Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Sophocles. The course will culminate in a short scene-study performance, given during an X-Block. Completion of Acting II is required for enrollment in the Advanced Acting Ensemble.


This course may be taken only once.

Introduction to Theatre | Fall or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I,II,III,IV

This entry-level course is designed for students who may not have experience or a pre-existing interest in theatre. In the course of the semester the class will explore the basic concepts in various components of theatre including acting and design. Each student will perform a monologue and scene. The course will challenge the imaginations of all involved and will employ readings of, attendance at, and written responses to Nobles productions.

This course may be taken only once.

The Advanced Acting Ensemble | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I,II,III
Prerequisites: Acting I and Acting II, or permission of the Department.

This course will focus on the art and craft of acting and on the process of directing actors. Each student will act in several scenes. Texts will vary from semester to semester. This safe, process-oriented classroom environment will grant students the opportunity to develop skills that will serve them in future auditions and rehearsals.

 

Design for the Theatre | Fall or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III
Prerequisites: Intro to Theatre or a season of theatre in the afternoon program

Students will be introduced to the four fundamental design disciplines of the theatre, focusing on lighting and scenic design, but also studying costume and sound design. By designing for theoretical productions, the class will travel though the production process from concept to completion of design paperwork. Students will develop skills in play analysis, concept generation and practical research to develop the final design packet. Technological tools such as Vectorworks (CAD drafting) will be used.

This course may be taken only once.

 

 

Playwriting and Directing Laboratory | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I,II,III
Prerequisites: Acting I, Acting II, or Introduction to Design for the Theatre

For the first half of this course, students will learn and practice how to create drama on the page. All class members will read about how accomplished playwrights practice their craft, draft their own scenes, and perform their classmates' work. By March break, each student will complete a one-act play. From late March to June, our focus will shift to the process of the director. Topics will include text analysis and interpretation, leadership of the design team and cast, the rehearsal process, and staging. Students will engage in several practical projects in these areas. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I,II,III

The AP Music Theory course is designed to develop students' ability to recognize, understand, and describe the materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The elements of music composition (rhythm, melody, harmony, texture and form) will be reinforced through an integrated approach in five skill areas: Aural, Sight-Singing, Written, Compositional and Analytical. Regular assessments in these areas will prepare students for the AP Music Theory Exam in May. This course is essential for any student wishing to do serious musical composition or formal study of music in college.

So You Think You Can't Dance? | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

This M-Block class is open to all students interested in exploring the basics of movement through a variety of styles. Improved coordination, balance, efficiency, strength, flexibility and rhythm are the goals of this class. Students study different dance techniques, culture and history while learning how to move. No dance experience required. 

Concert Choir | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: None

This is Nobles' large mixed vocal ensemble, open to all interested singers in the Upper School, regardless of prior singing experience. The group rehearses twice a week during the academic day. Repertoire is a varied selection of classical and popular choral music. The Concert Choir performs in two major concerts each year and gives occasional informal performances. Members of the Concert Choir may also audition for Chamber Singers, a select vocal ensemble.

Chamber Singers | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: By audition or permission of the director

Chamber Singers is a select vocal ensemble that performs music of many genres, spanning the centuries. Recent repertoire has included music of Brahms, Mozart, Palestrina and Bach, as well as challenging contemporary works. Students will learn advanced musical skills and proper choral/vocal technique. The group performs in at least two major concerts at Nobles each year, and in recent years has begun a touring program which has included performances in Bermuda and Montréal. Members of the Chamber Singers are encouraged to audition for the Massachusetts Eastern District Chorus.

Drum Ensemble | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Permission of the Department

This ensemble rehearses twice a week during the academic day and performs music using a wide array of percussion instruments and techniques. The group performs in major concerts and also gives occasional informal performances. Selected members of the drum ensemble will occasionally be asked to rehearse and perform in collaboration with other ensembles.

 

Guitar Ensemble | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I,II,III,IV
Prerequisites: Permission of the Department

This ensemble rehearses twice a week during the academic day and emphasizes both rhythm and lead techniques. Students learn material both by ear and by use of traditional guitar notation. All players are given solo opportunities. The Guitar Ensemble performs in major concerts and occasionally in other settings. Selected members of the Guitar Ensemble will occasionally be asked to rehearse and perform in collaboration with other ensembles.

 

Nobles Orchestra | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: By audition or permission of the director

The Nobles Orchestra is open to all Upper School string players (violin, viola, cello and double bass) and to Upper School wind (flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon), brass (French horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba) and percussionists, by invitation and/or audition.

Under the direction of a conductor, this full symphonic orchestra will rehearse two periods per week to prepare repertoire of varying styles, with emphasis placed on enhancing the skills necessary for each student to play in a large ensemble. Students will be given the chance to explore the historical context of their specific repertoire through the writing of program notes, and will be given a glimpse into the professional music world with opportunities to attend rehearsals and concerts by some of Boston's best music ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Nobles Orchestra will perform two concerts per year, as well as in morning assemblies.

Wind Ensemble | Fall and/or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: By audition or permission of the director

The Wind Ensemble rehearses twice a week and plays a variety of music, with a focus on various styles of concert band literature. Repertoire is chosen with regard to the size, instrumentation and skill level of the ensemble. The Wind Ensemble performs in the Winter and Spring Concerts and occasionally in assembly. There is a strong emphasis on reading and rehearsal technique. Musicians in this group are strongly encouraged to study privately. Select members of the Wind Ensemble will be invited to audition for the Nobles Orchestra.

Ballet Fundamentals | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Dance experience or permission of the department.

Throughout the semester, students will continue to develop and improve their ballet technique. Each class will include a full barre warm-up, technical exercises across the floor, as well as center work, while emphasizing technical vocabulary needed in performance.  This course will also allow students to develop their artistic expression using classical and contemporary ballet variations. The final dance piece created in this course will be presented in the Spring Dance Concert.

Musical Theatre and Tap | Fall Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Some dance experience or permission of the department.

Students will learn and develop dance technique necessary for musical theatre performance as well as express themselves and tell stories through movement.  Collaboration, exploration, and expression are key components of this course.  As a class, we will study classic and contemporary Broadway musicals, focusing on the choreography and dance styles unique to each. We will concentrate the first half of the semester learning musical theatre jazz and the second half of the semester learning musical theatre tap.  This course offers students the opportunity to prepare for the dance involved in the Winter Musical! The final dance piece created in this course will be presented in the Fall Dance Concert. 

Jazz Band | Fall and/or Spring
Non Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of the department

Jazz Band is a creative ensemble offering guided exploration through the broadest range of music built by combining groove or swing, personal expression, and improvisation.  The group meets one evening a week after Afternoon Program, and develops a varied repertoire in collaboration with the director.  In the process students are exposed to examples from the masters in a wide variety of styles and learn about listening, their instruments’ roles in the ensemble, improvisation and the construction and accompaniment of solos, arranging and compositional techniques, basics of jazz chord/scale theory, ear training, and conventions of performance practice.  The band performs in two concerts during the year and occasionally in assembly.  Musicians in this group are strongly encouraged to study privately.

 

Blues, Funk and Soul Revue | Full Year
Non Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of the director

This band performs an eclectic repertoire of blues, funk, soul and old school R&B, as well as other related styles of music from the past 70 years of this genre. It utilizes a rhythm section of electric guitars, bass, drums and percussion, keyboard, a full horn section, and various vocalists. The band rehearses in the evening, once a week, and performs in the winter and spring concerts and occasionally in assembly.

 

Applied Study in Music
Non Credit
Open to: All Students

Nobles offers private music instruction at all levels on virtually any instrument or voice. Students arrange lessons with the Applied Study Coordinator who will match them with an appropriate teacher. The Applied Music faculty is comprised of working musical professionals in the Boston area. Academic credit is not available for Applied Study. Students who participate in musical groups are encouraged to study privately as a means of developing the skills required to perform the material encountered in their respective groups. Lessons are also available to students who do not participate in school-sponsored musical groups. The cost for Applied Study lessons is not covered by tuition and is billed separately. Financial aid may be available. There are approximately 30 lessons a year.

 

Greensleeves
Non Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Audition

Nobles' female close-harmony a cappella group rehearses on Sunday evenings and performs a challenging repertoire of contemporary a cappella music. The Greensleeves give frequent performances at morning assembly and at special events. They also perform at area a cappella festivals.

 

Nobleonians
Non Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Audition

Nobles' male close-harmony a cappella group rehearses on Sunday evenings and performs a challenging repertoire of contemporary a cappella music. The Nobleonians give frequent performances at morning assembly and at special events, such as area a cappella festivals.

 

Independent Study: Playwriting or Theatrical Design | Fall or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: Fulfillment of Performing Arts requirement or permission of the department

This course is intended for students who wish to specialize in a particular area relating to theatre. The courses are designed to meet the needs, interests and experience levels of the particular student or students enrolled in the independent study. Past courses have allowed students to create original pieces of theatre literature and concentrate on scenery or lighting design.

Imani - Full Year | Full Year
Non Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, faculty
Prerequisites: None

Nobles' co-ed Gospel and Multi-cultural ensemble open to all students and faculty regardless of prior singing experience. The group rehearses on Sunday evenings. Imani performs in two major concerts each year, morning assembly, and other outside of school events.

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