Randolph’s visual and performing arts program is designed to offer students a variety of aesthetic experiences. The emphasis is on participation, process, and expression, not on product or performance. Yet something magical occurs as students discover their own creative spirits and voices. Thespians win top honors in Trumbauer competitions, artists find their creations selected for prestigious exhibitions, and sweet melodies from choirs and hand chimes delight and entertain audiences throughout the state.
Arts courses are woven into each grade at Randolph. Kindergarten students begin by exploring line, shape, color, and texture, the tools through which the language of art develops. Later, students may create hand puppets of Peter and the Wolf while listening to Prokofiev’s orchestral version of the fable with instruments playing dramatic roles. They study the lives and techniques of O’Keefe and Cézanne, Chopin and Mozart. Through voices and instruments, students learn to read, perform, and appreciate music.
Once students master the fundamentals, they move toward more personal expression. They may join the band or choir, or they may take courses in art history, painting, drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, ceramics, photography, and theater. Randolph offers a sophisticated AP program for juniors and seniors where they may produce their own design portfolio. Whatever the artistic journey, students emerge with greater insights into themselves and see a new consciousness of the creative forces that shape our world and its cultures.
In 2013-14, 93% of all Upper School students are choosing to participate in arts classes beyond the required courses.