Spotlight: Creative Arts
Self-Expression Inspires Self-Discovery
Students devote many hours to high level academics, and they also strive to reach their creative potential, often with breathtaking results.
All student work—brightly colored geometric designs, negative space created by strips of ripped paper in muted colors, and haunting charcoal self portraits—decorate the halls of the Ramaz Upper School. The studio art program is renowned for its advanced aesthetic training, as well as its prolific creativity. Students undertake sophisticated and challenging projects such as Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
One of the highlights of the school year is Celebration of the Arts, an evening that showcases student achievements of impressive breadth in all the arts. The walls are lined with photographs and artwork; student-made videos and animations play. Students read their original fiction and poetry and perform scenes, both comic and tragic. They play their instruments, in groups and alone; singers sing opera and hard rock; and dancers perform intricate routines they have choreographed. Students who lead the dance troupe have trained with Alvin Ailey and the Joffrey Ballet. Beit Café night is a similar celebration of Hebrew music and dramatic skits.
Each day after school, every room is occupied, and student voices, male and female, confident and strong, ring out. Our chorus and chamber chorus sing everything from Salomone Rossi to Hebrew pop songs to James Taylor. The Upper School band not only performs at student events, but also provides the accompaniment for the annual musical. Members of the Percussion Ensemble write their own pieces. Speaking of writing, our literary and art magazine, Parallax, is nationally renowned for its urban sophistication, and since 1998 has been awarded the Gold Crown Award—the highest accolade from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.