Our Arts faculty work closely to deliver a rich program that allows each boy to experiment and explore, and to find his passions.
Our arts program consists of visual arts, music, and drama. They celebrate their work with an annual Arts Day. This school-wide event features student artists and performers at each grade level sharing creative work with family and friends. Musical performances range from individual recitals to full orchestra performances. Dramatic performers present the work—finished or in progress—they’ve prepared. Displays of visual art, both two-dimensional and sculptural, are displayed around the school and frequently students present their processes and outcomes.
We believe that all students can create art. Beginning in Kindergarten, our students have a hands-on, safe, varied experience in art that includes drawing, painting, sculpting, using clay, using fibers, printmaking, photographing, and designing. The pillars of our program include: using art as language and as a tool, art as a form of communication, art as a form of personal expression, art as construction and craftsmanship, understanding art in its context, and art as a means of learning about others while honoring individual students’ backgrounds and experiences. Our studios model professional art-making environments in which students move freely, take responsibility for themselves and for their materials, and practice discussing their work within a supportive environment.
The Drama program aims to engage students in active practice of all aspects of theater. Our fifth through twelfth grade sequence will prepare students to create as actors, playwrights, directors, and designers. Our classes emphasize the qualities of gratitude, play, inclusion, optimism, courage, and joy; and we strive to help them develop their individual artistry while emphasizing the value of collaboration.
Starting in Middle School, students have the opportunity to audition for at least one production per year. One of our most beloved Collegiate traditions is the annual seventh and eighth grade Shakespeare play. Our seventh and eighth graders collaborate on the Shakespeare play with students from our peer schools. Past middle school productions have included Twelfth Night, Macbeth, James and the Giant Peach, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
Every year Upper School students have the opportunity to audition for three faculty directed productions. These pieces range from contemporary plays to the classics and musical theater. We also have a rich tradition of student directed work, each spring senior theater students produce and direct the Senior Project Plays. Past upper school productions have included Eurydice, Hamlet, Proof, Into the Woods, and American Buffalo.
Students have the opportunity to perform in our 300 seat Auditorium and the more intimate Black Box Theater. These state of the art spaces also give boys the opportunity to learn about theatrical lighting and sound design, and set design in our scene shop.
Every year Collegiate brings visiting artists from the professional world into the classroom through our Schaffzin Visiting Artist Program. Past residencies have included Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Los Chantas tango band, and the Tape Art Crew.
The Music Department strives to promote excellence in music by creating meaningful experiences through performance, understanding, and appreciation of the art of music. We aim to help students develop their individual talents and interests as well as cultivate their musical and artistic development. Further, we want students to explore the areas of expression and imagination. We believe that every student should be given the opportunity to learn music and to share in musical experiences. We work to foster self-confidence, creativity, responsibility, and self-expression.
The Department also promotes a high standard of excellence, a passion for life-long learning and enjoyment, through the highest level of comprehensive musical study in a supportive and challenging environment. Additionally, every year, we produce sixty to seventy student performances, both on and off campus, through assemblies, recitals, concerts, and concert tours.
Orchestra and Chorus
Students who like to sing can join our very lively after-school chorus starting in the Lower School. The Middle School offers a sixth/seventh grade chorus, a seventh/eighth grade chorus, and a Middle School a cappella ensemble. Singers can join the Upper School Chorus and can audition for our Upper School a cappella group, “The UnDutchables,” starting in the ninth grade.
Students who play a string instrument can join the Lower School after-school orchestra beginning in second grade. The Middle School Orchestra is open to any interested string student in fifth grade, and the Upper School Orchestra starts in ninth grade.
The Collegiate Music Department holds regular concerts throughout the year to showcase our progress and to celebrate musical excellence. In addition to performances at school for family and friends, we have performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Music in the Parks, and in joint concerts with other New York City independent schools.
There are three all-school recital programs every year, open to any student who plays or sings.
Students can take music lessons through the Collegiate Conservatory of Music. Instruments available to study include violin, viola, cello, double bass, classical piano, jazz piano, drum set, Afro-Cuban drumming, banjo, guitar, and electric bass.