High School Fine Arts Courses

There are a wide range of Fine Arts courses—photography to drawing to theatre—offered to pique students’ interests in creative expression.

CERAMICS I - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
An introduction to ceramics, focusing mainly on hand-building techniques (pinch, slab, and coil). Second semester will focus on sculpture (both functional and decorative), and a crash course on how to throw a bowl on the pottery wheel.

CERAMICS II - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Ceramics I with instructor approval.
Students with further their skills in ceramics, using the construction methods they learned in Ceramics I. They will learn new ways to work with clay (including new glazing techniques, sprig molds, agateware, oxidation-reduction firing) and apply them to whatever construction method they choose.

COMPUTER GRAPHICS - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
This computer graphics course will provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the power, precision, creative inspiration and control of computer graphics. Graphic design pushes the boundaries of digital imaging and is a must for students pursuing careers in marketing, business, journalism, PR work, design, advertising, illustration, web design, and video game design. Students will explore Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC. Course work will involve the use of Macintosh computers, digital cameras, printers, and various multimedia in individual and collaborative projects.

ADVANCED COMPUTER GRAPHICS & VIDEO EDITING - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Computer Graphics or Digital Photography I with instructor approval.
This computer graphics and video editing course will provide students with the opportunity to further develop their skills in the digital field. We will use the Adobe Creative Suite with an emphasis on Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. Students will complete projects with the use of cameras, lighting and the green screen. They will be able to dive into the depths of digital video editing while uncovering new techniques and ways to view film along the way.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY I - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
Students will learn the basics of digital SLR camera operation and photo creation. Emphasis is on creating artistic photographs using the elements of art. Students will expand their skills in creating artistic photographs while exploring various experimental photographic techniques. Registrants for this course will be expected to provide a digital SLR camera with manual light and speed adjustments.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY II - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Digital Photography I and instructor approval.
This course is designed to help the student who has basic technical and aesthetic knowledge to further his understanding of the principles and techniques of photography. In-class critiques will provide feedback on students' work. Students will explore advanced concepts relating to contemporary artistic and photographic practice, with special emphasis placed on portfolio development. Students should expect to provide their own DSLR camera.

DRAWING I - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
Students will be involved in a unique series of studio drawing activities designed to develop understanding of the principles of drawing: Form, contour, line, proportion, and perspective. Skills learned will include pencil shading, sketching from observation, blending colored pencils, charcoal, and portraits.

DRAWING II - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting I with instructor approval.
Students will further their skills in drawing, using the techniques they learned in Drawing I. They will work more independently on drawing projects that will interest and challenge them.

PAINTING I - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting I with instructor approval.
Students will be involved in a unique series of studio drawing activities designed to develop understanding of painting composition, color theory and value. Media will include pen and ink, acrylic, oil pastel, and watercolor.

PAINTING II - Grade Level: 10-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting I with instructor approval.
Students will further their skills in drawing, using the techniques they learned in Drawing I. Students will learn the additional media of oil painting, and will work more independently on painting projects that will interest and challenge them.

MUSIC


GUITAR: BEGINNING - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
Beginning Guitar is an entry-level fine arts elective course for those students interested in gaining knowledge and skills related to acoustical guitar. Over the length of this course, students will learn the parts of the guitar, chord progressions, scales, strumming patterns, accompaniment figures and arpeggios. By the conclusion of the course, students should be able to play and accompany basic folk and rock songs in their own student-led ensembles. School-owned guitars are available for use during class time and to check-out for at-home practice. Students will receive a grade based upon the following factors: knowledge of the instrument, mastery of basic guitar chords, note reading, scales, attitude/behavior, and small group ensemble playing.

STA CHOIR - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
The focus of this class is to help young men develop their singing voice through singing and performing many styles of music. Students participate in rigorous daily activities that include study in rhythm, vocal technique, solfege, sight singing and movement. Choir members work together as a team, learning how to perform together in both small and large ensembles. The choir performs at school concerts and events, the community and tours bi-annually with the other VISTA performing groups.

VISTA CONCERT/MILITARY BAND - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Two years experience playing a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument or prior approval by the director.
The VISTA Concert Band/STA Military Band is open to any students with prior band experience. The band presents three formal concerts annually and also performs at military ceremonies, athletic and community events. In addition to furthering personal growth as individual musicians, emphasis is placed on creating a unified musical expression by the entire ensemble through large group rehearsals, sectionals, and chamber music. Attendance at a limited number of rehearsals and performances outside the school day is expected of all members. Students may be invited by the instructor to do honors level work placing an emphasis on private lessons or participation in auditioned ensembles that meet outside the normal school day.

VISTA CONCERT/MILITARY BAND HONORS - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.1
Prerequisite: Two years experience playing a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument or prior approval by the director.
The VISTA Concert Band/STA Military Band is open to any students with prior band experience. The band presents three formal concerts annually and also performs at military ceremonies, athletic and community events. In addition to furthering personal growth as individual musicians, emphasis is placed on creating a unified musical expression by the entire ensemble through large group rehearsals, sectionals, and chamber music. Attendance at a limited number of rehearsals and performances outside the school day is expected of all members. Students may be invited by the instructor to do honors level work placing an emphasis on private lessons or participation in auditioned ensembles that meet outside the normal school day.

VISTA JAZZ BAND - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight 1.0
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of audition in May for the following academic year. Participation is limited to traditional jazz instruments: saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythm section (bass, guitar, piano, drum set.) This course is open to students from both STA and Visitation.  The VISTA Jazz Band meets three times weekly during zero hour for full ensemble and sectional rehearsals.  Students will study, prepare and perform jazz music from a wide variety of genres and historical periods.  VISTA Jazz performs at three formal concerts and other school and community events.

VISTA STRING ORCHESTRA - Grade Level: 9-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Two years experience playing a string instrument.
The Vista Orchestra includes string players in grades 9 – 12 from Visitation and Saint Thomas Academy. Musicians interested in this class must play the violin, viola, cello, or bass, and must have at least two years of playing experience.  String Orchestra is an elective that meets as a regular class in the school day schedule. The string Orchestra curriculum focuses not only on developing musical skills, but also on developing an understanding and appreciation of music through the study, rehearsal, and performance of concert repertoire. The string orchestra participates in numerous concerts and special events throughout the school year.

THEATRE


THEATRE - 1 Semester, Grade Level: 12    Weight 1.0
This course explores the elements of theatre from the varied perspectives of actor, scenic designer, technical director, choreographer, producer, and director. The class studies the introduction to acting techniques using monologues and scene work, scenic design and how it affects a production, the job of a director, costume design as it defines the character, and the technical aspect of production. The course also looks at roots of drama and the history of musical theater.

INDEPENDENT STUDY:  THEATRE - 1 Semester, Grade Level: 11-12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
The area of study is determined by the student and the teacher. Areas of focus may include: acting, directing, scenic design, costume designing, marketing, play writing, or musical theater. An instructor interview is required, along with approval from the Director of Academic Life.

Cross-Curricular Course

RELIGIOUS THEMES IN ART - 1 Semester, Grade Level: 12    Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
This course will explore a variety of spiritual themes and the means artists use to express them. Judeo-Christian traditions will serve as content base. Students will grow in their appreciation of their own spiritual experiences and above all, will understand religious themes, religious and historical leaders, and church architecture. Students will create art for the following units: Stations of the Cross (woodworking), Carolingian Illumination (calligraphy, painting, and gold leaf) and Batik Portraits (wax resist fabric dying). Students MUST also register for Advanced Morality.

The Advanced Morality seminar uses the maturity of seniors to discuss issues chosen and led by students. The list of possible issues is extensive but the course potentially covers abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, discrimination, poverty, religious freedom, and other moral and ethical issues of our time that the Pope has highlighted as being critical in today’s society. Using Catholic social teachings and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, students study the principles that define and clarify the Church’s position on these issues in order to illuminate their thought processes.

03/14/17