O’Neal is continuously finding new opportunities to introduce and develop students in the area of the Arts. Beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing through twelfth grade, students are encouraged to express themselves creatively through the fine and performing arts. As students progress through the arts program, they are challenged and encouraged to develop an individual point of view while at the same time learning about the masters in the field.
Musicians in grades 5-8 approach music from many different angles. They are singers exploring harmony and various genres of musical song. At times they are guitar players creating and playing songs using their chord library and TAB notation. You will also see them composing using professional online composing programs. Our creative times together also feature all genres of music listening from the serious to the fun.
Musicians in grade 9-12 are the consummate choral performers. Your singer will be challenged with different genres of song as well as foreign language pieces. They will move through a
4-year program of music theory as well to deepen their understanding. The Upper School Choir represents our O’Neal community at school events, public performances, community service shows, and choral competition.
O’Neal’s visual arts program strives to develop each student’s abilities and talents at every level. O’Neal’s youngest students are introduced to the fundamentals of art and the principals of design. These core curricular ideas are strengthened and reinforced each year. Our program creates strong relationships based on art history and cultural diversity that build a student's imagination. Visual arts students cultivate their creative skills using a variety of media such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media, as well as the exploration of sculpture through the mediums of clay.
Whether it be simple classroom plays in the early grades or structured theater classes beginning in grade 5, O’Neal actors/designers are supported in their process by artists in their own right. Theater practitioners in grades 6-8 explore beginning, intermediate, and advanced skills in theatrical production, design, and acting. Students examine foundational concepts of theater history, staging, and types of stages before learning the various aspects of voice, movement, mime, and improvisation. Finally, students will apply their knowledge through many hands-on projects and exercises that will assess their understanding of the guiding principles that contribute to the making of effective theater. Middle School students will have an opportunity to participate as an actor, designer, or run crew for the Middle School One-Act play, as well as the cross-divisional musical.
Specifically, in the Upper School, actors/designers are challenged to continually think outside the box by undertaking and refining the fundamental works of theater study with key elements covering such items as improvisational theater as well as overviews of both classic and contemporary monologues and scene work. Students will also undertake creative projects on both the elements of technical theater including lighting, sound, and set design, as well as theatrical production.
Auditions are generally held three times during the year for the One Act competition piece, the musical and the mainstage spring production. Students enrolled in each class are challenged to step beyond their comfort level and engage on a more meaningful level through their work with these productions whether backstage or in a variety of areas.