Academics


Performing Arts

ABOUT PERFORMING ARTS

The Performing Arts Department teaches skills and promotes understanding and exploration of creativity and talents. Students are exposed to a diversity of art forms, building understanding and appreciation for performance art. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for further academic studies in the arts, as well as having gained a life-long appreciation for the performing arts.

Concert Band - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

The Concert Band is a large ensemble, which will be dedicated to the performance of concert band material. The group will combine with the Wind Ensemble to form the Pep Band. As a Concert Band they will perform at three concerts over the course of the year. The group will also perform at festivals around the area such as the CMEA Festival. The class will cover the basics of reading music, musical styles, performance practice, and music theory. As a Pep Band, the group will be required to play at home football games in the fall.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: none

Wind Ensemble - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

This course is a performance-based class, focusing on concert and pep band music. The group will combine with the Concert Band to form the Pep Band. The class will learn techniques such as performing in an ensemble, solo techniques, and advanced theory. As the Wind Ensemble they will perform in four concerts over the course of the year. The group will also perform at festivals around the area such as the CMEA festival. As a Pep Band, the group will be required to play at home football games in the fall.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Concert Band or teacher recommendation. Audition required for freshmen.

Orchestra - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

The Orchestra is for string instruments, including violin, viola, cello, and double bass. This class is a more intense study of music, focusing on major works by classical composers. Students will work on developing sight-reading skills and advanced string techniques. There will also be a deeper look into music theory. The Orchestra will perform at four concerts over the course of the year, as well as festivals around the area.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: None

Jazz Band - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

The Jazz Band is a select group of 20 to 25 musicians dedicated to the performance of jazz music. A student may join the Jazz Band only through an audition. The Jazz Band will perform at four concerts and selected athletic events during the year The class meeting time is 7 a.m. four days a week. . The class will cover the basics of reading music, musical styles, performance practice, music theory and solo performance. The Jazz Band travels to a variety of locations, which in the past have included Disneyland, Reno, and the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival. Jazz Band does not satisfy the 6 class per semester requirement.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Audition required, Concurrent enrollment in another music class (Exodus, AP Music Theory, Wind Ensemble, etc) required.

Guitar Ensemble - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

This course is an introductory class for the beginning guitar players. No experience is necessary, although the course is designed such that students with more experience will be enriched by class exercises that will challenge them individually.  The class covers correct posture, playing technique, and basic music theory, including scales, chords, sightreading skills and rhythm.  While the course will follow a beginning method book, it will also be supplemented with learning a variety of songs including Rock and Pop music from the early sixties to modern times. Students will learn how to improvise, play by ear, as well as create their own songs. Upon completion of this course, students will be equipped with the knowledge of how to learn new songs on their own. This class will give one performance at the end of the year. 

UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: none

Vocal Ensemble - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

Vocal Ensemble is specially designed to teach the inexperienced chorister. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.  The class covers the basics of singing technique, performance practice, reading music, musical styles, and solo performance. A wide variety of musical styles are explored through the choral selections. Performances include the Christmas Concert, the Spring Concert, and special performances both on- and off-campus throughout the year. 
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: none

Concert Choir - Grades 10-12 - Yearlong course

The Concert Choir is a more advanced choral experience than is Vocal Ensemble. A student may join the Concert Choir only by audition. The Concert Choir performs extensively both on- and off-campus for venues/events such as CMEA Festivals and the fall, as well as at Christmas, winter, and spring concerts.  This is a mixed choir and both men and women are encouraged to join.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Audition required

Jazz Choir - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

This course is a performance-based, advanced vocal class focusing on jazz. Students will learn techniques such as performing in an ensemble, solo, and jazz fundamentals. A study of jazz theory will be included. The class will meet and rehearse outside of the regular class schedule four days a week (M-Th). The class will travel to several festivals. Jazz Choir does not satisfy the 6 class per semester requirement.
UC/CSU approved course

To qualify: Audition required (Fall)

Exodus - Grades 9-12 - Yearlong course

This music performance class features Exodus, the school rock band comprised of some of the school's finest musicians and singers.  The main focus of the band is to provide engaging and inspiring music at school and community-wide liturgies.  In addition, over the past several years, the group has expanded its musical repertoire and performed at a variety of other venues, including the school's annual Black and Gold Gala held at the Fairmont Hotel.  Exodus is a unique group of professional quality musicians that is rarely found in a high school setting. Exodus does not satisfy the 6 class per semester requirement.

Prerequisite: Audition required

Drama Performance 1 - Grades 9-12 - Semester course

This course is designed to introduce the student to the world of drama and the techniques of performance. Through careful study and creative exercises, each student will increase dramatic skills while gaining an appreciation of the theatre.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: none

Drama Performance 2/Acting - Grades 10-12 - Semester course

This course is a continuation of Drama Performance 1 and will focus on developing the student into a more complete actor. Students will be exposed to several different acting styles including Stanislavski, Meisner, Spolin, Strasberg, and Adler; and exercises emphasizing character development. Students will put these skills to use in contemporary scenes and monologues during this college-level style-acting course. 
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Drama Performance 1

Drama Performance 2/Film - Grades 10-12 - Semester course

This course is a continuation of Drama Performance 1, with an emphasis on film. Students will be exposed to different types of film, including gangster, Western, science fiction, horror, classic and contemporary comedy, and Academy Award winning drama. Students will learn about story and character structure, cinematography, art direction, symbolism, and film genre analysis in this overview of the history of American cinema. 
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Drama Performance 1

Advanced Acting - Grade 12 - Yearlong course

This year long course is a continuation of DP 2 Acting and will cover script analysis, actor preparation, and expansion of vocal, physical, and emotional acting techniques. Advanced scene study, monologues, and classical acting styles, including Shakespeare, will be covered. There will be a strong emphasis on preparing the student for auditions and entering the collegiate acting world.

UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Drama Performance 2 - Recommended and DC approval

Sketch Comedy - Grades 10-12 -Yearlong course

Sketch comedy is for the advanced actor and writer who specializes in improvisation and is ready to explore the world of sketch comedy writing, playwriting, production, and performance. Students in this course will study different formats of improvisation and sketch comedy from some of the most respected comedy theatres in the United States. Sketch Comedy does not satisfy the AMHS 6 class per semester course load requirement and does not satisfy the UC/CSU art entrance requirement.

Prerequisite: Audition required

Dance Performance 1 - Grades 9-12 - Semester course

This class is designed to introduce students to jazz, lyrical, theatre, and hip hop dance styles. Dance technique and combinations will be taught. Basic dance history, choreography, and audition technique are covered along with performance skills.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: None

Dance Performance 2 - Grades 10-12 - Semester course

This course is a continuation of Dance Performance 1 and will cover jazz, lyrical, ballet, and theatre dance styles. Dance technique and combinations will be taught, as will be theater and ballet dance history, choreography, and audition technique.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Dance Performance 1. Instructor assigns students to particular sections according to ability and experience.

Dance Performance 3 - Grades 11-12 - Semester course

This course is a continuation of Dance Performance 2 and will cover jazz, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, hip hop and theatre dance styles. Advanced dance technique and combinations will be taught. There will be a strong emphasis on choreography and audition technique.

Prerequisite: Dance Performance 2 or audtion required

Advanced Dance - Grades 9-12 Yearlong Course

Advanced Dance is for the advanced dancer who is ready to be challenged both mentally and physically through dance. Students will study dance performance, choreography, and dance history. As a performance dance group, the class will perform at various school events and competitions.
UC/CSU approved course

Prerequisite: Audition required. Freshmen enrolled in this yearlong class receive a waiver for Physical Development 1. Seniors enrolled in this yearlong class receive a waiver for Physical Development 2.

AP Music Theory – Grades 11-12 – Yearlong Course

AP Music Theory is a one-year class. This class is designed for upperclassmen who are considering pursuing music in college. The class is designed to teach music theory that would be covered in a freshman-level college course. One goal of this class is to prepare students to pass the AP Music Theory exam in May.
UC/CSU approved course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May.

Prerequisite: One year in an AMHS ensemble or instructor approval.

DEPARTMENT CONTACT

Department Chair
Doug Santana