Art education is offered as an elective from 6th through 12th grade. At the middle school level, students learn to create, respond, present, and form connections with art. Each course includes an introduction to artists, art techniques, and a variety of media involving various art forms.
At the high school level, art is sequential from I-IV. Emphasis is placed on understanding the elements of arts and principles of design. In a studio setting, students explore a variety of artists, processes and materials such as drawing in pen, pencil, oil and chalk pastels, acrylic and watercolor painting, printmaking, ceramics, and other two and three-dimensional media. Content is partially choice-based, which gives students more opportunity to take ownership of their artist experiences from conception to completion.
With all classes, the willingness to get involved in the creative process is a more important requirement than the student’s talent or previous experience.
Our band program starts in 5th grade, an exciting time for any student in our district! They start by choosing an instrument, then learning the basics of playing and care, performing their first two concerts along the way.
From there they move on to middle school, where they become more advanced in their playing and perform more often. They also get the opportunity to play in a large group setting by attending an area band festival, which consists of 4 area schools. After learning the same music and rehearsing together, they perform a combined concert - this gives our students the chance to learn from a guest conductor and improve their skills with students from other programs.
In high school, our band students work hard to advance their musicianship and perform at several venues throughout the year. In June of 2018, they traveled to Walt Disney World to march a parade down Main Street USA for thousands of park guests, as well as attend a clinic with a professional Disney musician. In the fall, their marching show “Joseph” won them 1st place at the Newton HS competition as well as entertaining our home football crowds. They perform 3 regular concerts including the Prism concert which is entitled “A Night at the Movies.” Members of the band also get extra opportunities to work with some of the best musicians in the state at the EIU and Macon County honor bands. If you attend a Sangamon Valley band concert, you’ll always see their commitment to excellence and pride in their music!
In SVMS Choir we strive for excellence and cherish the opportunity to spread joy through music. Throughout the year we sing a wide variety of musical styles and are currently working on tackling a foreign language piece! We perform in 3 concerts throughout the year, and also get to travel to Springfield around Christmas time for a small tour. Singing isn’t our only priority in choir - we strive every day to expand our knowledge of music theory and proper vocal technique, as well as make real world connections to the pieces we are working on! We love getting to share our hard work and are grateful for our Sangamon Valley Fine Arts community!
In high school, the members of our two ensembles sing in 4 concerts each year. While Concert Choir is an academic class, students can also audition for the extracurricular Valley Voices for the extra performance opportunities. Students in both groups learn a variety of classical and popular music to perform at our concerts, as well as working on music literacy and performance practice. In addition to singing for various area festivals, choir students also travel around Macon and Sangamon counties each winter to sing at our elementary schools, area nursing homes, and the White Oaks Mall. Wherever you happen catch them singing, our choirs will put a smile on your face!
Each spring, our middle school students (grades 5-8) have a unique opportunity to participate in Speech Team, in which they prepare, perform, and compete as actors in various solos, duets, or small groups of students. Without the ability to use props or costumes, speech team students grow as readers while having a lot of fun telling their stories with their bodies, voices, and faces. After awesome classroom performances, the kids perform at the IESA speech competition. These young actors and actresses make Sangamon Valley proud each year, earning many excellent ratings and several Judges’ Choice awards.
In high school, the Fall Play and Spring Musical are both offered. The fall 2018 play was Peter/Wendy and featured an excellent cast of twelve students, along with our foreign language teacher, Mr. Scanavino, as Capitan Hook. Peter/Wendy was a great re-telling and re-imagining of the original Peter Pan story. Our spring musical this year will be Guys and Dolls, and last year our cast performed Footloose, a dance spectacular of a show! In addition to our cast, students who work backstage, also known as our Tech Crew, learn about lighting and set design/construction, and our pit provides musical accompaniment. Each of our shows features our talented students acting, singing and dancing in the Kitchen Performing Arts Center (KPAC) at our middle school building.
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