Your Information


Student Information

​​​

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts department believes in the value of the arts as the physical manifestation of the human spirit. Our goal is to develop the creative capacity within students to think, invent, and express themselves. We strive to cultivate an enduring appreciation for and understanding of music, visual art, dance, and drama. By participating in the creative process, students discover and develop their individual and collective talents.

Course Descriptions

Choral Music

Concert Choir

Open to grades 9–12.
The Concert Choir is the entry choir into the choral program. Students learn a variety of vocal performance skills while being introduced to basic music terminology. The class aims to develop individual potential within students while teaching them how to be a part of a group ensemble. Students enrolled in the class perform in at least one major concert per semester. Students may reenroll in Concert Choir multiple semesters and multiple years.

Chamber Choir

Prerequisites: By audition. Open to grades 10–12.
This select choral ensemble performs a variety of challenging music for concerts and functions throughout the school, the community, and the southeast. Students accepted into this choir must demonstrate an above average interest and ability in singing. Building upon the principles taught in Concert Choir, students continue their study of musical terminology, music theory, and sight-singing while in the Chamber Choir. Students may reenroll in Chamber Choir multiple years.

Honors Chamber Choir

Prerequisites: By audition. Open to grades 11–12.
Honors Chamber Choir is offered to juniors and senior members of the Chamber Choir who, in addition to fulfilling the requirements of regular level Chamber Choir, must meet higher performance goals and broader, more rigorous expectations including fundamentals of music theory, music history, and research into current musical events. Students are also required to participate in extra performances beyond the regular level requirement throughout the year and are expected to take on leadership roles within the group. Students may reenroll in Honors Chamber Choir multiple years.

A Cappella Ensemble

Prerequisites: By audition. Open to grades 10–12.
This select vocal ensemble is offered to students of all voice parts. Modeled after collegiate a cappella ensembles, this class allows students to take ownership of their learning by selecting, preparing, and potentially arranging their own music. Students examine a wide variety of a cappella choral literature from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Students accepted into this choir must demonstrate an above average interest and ability in singing. Students may reenroll in A Cappella Ensemble multiple semesters. 

Instrumental Music

Concert Band

Prerequisite: Participation in the Country Day Middle School band program OR audition and permission of the instructor
This performing ensemble comprised of brass, winds, and percussion instruments is designed to develop the potential of the instrumental musician and to foster an appreciation of music. Students gain insight into how to play in an ensemble and develop their musicianship through the preparation of concert band literature for performance in concerts twice during the school year. Students may reenroll in Concert Band multiple years.

Honors Concert Band

Prerequisite: Current enrollment in Concert Band and audition. Open to grades 11–12.
The honors option for band is offered to the junior or senior band student who demonstrates exceptional ability in their knowledge of music and in performance both in daily classroom work and in public performance. In addition to the requirements of Concert Band, students choosing the honors option must meet higher performance goals and broader, more rigorous expectations including fundamentals of music theory and music history. Honors students must apply and successfully complete an audition in order to be accepted into this program. Students may reenroll in Honors Concert Band multiple years.

String Orchestra

Prerequisite: Participation in the Country Day Middle School band program OR audition and permission of the instructor
This performing ensemble includes violin, viola, cello, bass, and keyboard. Students work to develop their potential as string players by preparing orchestral and chamber music literature for performance in concert twice during the school year. Playing as an ensemble is emphasized, as well as an appreciation of music. Students may reenroll in String Orchestra multiple years. Students wishing to play keyboard must successfully complete an audition with the instructor.

Honors String Orchestra

Prerequisite: Current enrollment in Honors Orchestra and audition. Open to grades 11–12.
This course is offered to junior or senior orchestra students who demonstrate exceptional ability in their knowledge of music and in performance both in daily classroom work and in public performance. In addition to the requirements of String Orchestra, students choosing the honors option must meet higher performance goals and broader, more rigorous expectations including fundamentals of music theory and music history. Honors students must apply and successfully complete an audition in order to be accepted into this program. Students wishing to play keyboard must successfully complete an audition with the instructor. 

Music Theory & Production

AP Music Theory

Prerequisite: At least one year of Country Day music instruction, entrance evaluation
The goal of AP Music Theory is to develop the students’ ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. This is achieved by integrating aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, and to some extent, history, and style, while using both listening and written exercises. The student's ability to read and write musical notation is fundamental to such a course, and a student must possess basic performance skills in voice or on a musical instrument in order to be considered for the course. Students must also score well on an entrance exam, which includes a general knowledge of musical terminology, basic music theory, and sight-singing.

Digital Music Studio

Digital Music Studio teaches students to produce and arrange music. Students create original melodies, learn to notate the melodies by hand, and through the use of music notation software. Simple and traditional harmonies are added to the melodies. After editing the compositions into a final draft, students record their work into multi-tracks and augment it into a finished product through the use of MIDI, multi-track recorders, and effects processors. As students acquire the necessary skills, they have the option to develop their melodies into musical arrangements suited for specific types of performing groups. Some knowledge of piano and/or reading music is helpful but not required for this course.

Film & Music Production

Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Science, Web Page Design, Digital Music Studio, OR Design I
Film and Music Production is designed for a new generation of filmmakers and music producers who want to learn by making their own projects in a hands-on, collaborative environment. Students write, shoot, direct, and edit their own short films. In addition, students record, edit, and produce a soundtrack for their film. Students learn about and explore the numerous visual, dramatic, musical, and technical challenges that directors face. In order to provide each student with extensive production experience, students work in teams and assist other class members in the roles of director of photography, cameraperson, cinematographer, music editor, and producer. Ultimately, through intensive hands-on instruction, students appreciate the combined artistic effects of film and music.

Film & Music Production II

Prerequisite: Film & Music Production I
Film II is designed for students who wish to continue studying filmmaking and music production. Students study the four cornerstones of filmmaking: writing, shooting, directing, and editing films. This course includes a hands-on, collaborative lab environment taught in a workshop format. Students work in a group, yet select one of the four areas to concentrate study. Short, teacher-led projects offer hands-on experiences as students work toward presenting portfolio work at the annual film festival.

Performing Arts: Dance

Dance I

Dance allows students to move and groove during the school day. It exposes them to a variety of dance styles including lyrical, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary forms. Students also develop choreography skills by creating and teaching routines from each style explored. Due to the highly physical nature of this course, dance students are expected to dress appropriately for class each day. This course may also fulfill a physical education requirement and is open to all grade levels.

Dance II

Prerequisite: Dance I
Dance II builds on the student’s prior study of modern jazz, hip hop, and contemporary dance techniques. Additionally, students study music interpretation, expression, style, audience, purpose, and choreography. This course is open to all grade levels. Students may reenroll in Dance II multiple years. 

Performing Arts: Theatre

Intro to Theatre Arts

This introductory course explores all facets of drama/ theatre arts, culminating in the creation of a production booklet for a one-act play. The course introduces the student to the process of theater in both onstage and backstage components. The curriculum includes theatre terminology, organizational structure of professional theaters, and the production process. Artistic components covered include directing, acting, and stage management, with an emphasis on development of artistic vision through composition, blocking, and actor placement. Technical aspects are included as conceptual visions and their impact on the production, and include scenic design, lighting design, props, costuming, and sound.

Acting Concepts

Prerequisite: Intro to Theatre Arts
Students focus on building essential acting skills through monologue and scene work with a focus on building characters with physical and vocal qualities differing from the actor.

Musical Theatre

Prerequisite: Intro to Theatre Arts or previous acting class. Open to grades 10–12.
This semester-long course combines a historical study with practical applications of the skills required for the musical theatre genre. Areas of study include composers, early development of the art form, the business of musical theatre, lyricists, playwrights, and the influence of musical styles and tastes. The development of a musical theatre piece is also analyzed from concepts to the final staging. During the study of the artistic process, students write their own lyrics, work on vocal technique, interpretation of text, and acting within a song. This course may be repeated with instructor permission.

Theatre Workshop

Prerequisite: Acting Skills or Acting Concepts or other previous acting class. Open to grades 11–12.
Theatre Workshop utilizes skills and knowledge in the areas of direction and acting, with a focus on performance and rehearsal processes. Students can opt to direct a one-act or full-length play, selected under the guidance of the instructor or act in one of the works. All students keep a journal detailing their approach and an analysis of the selected script. The plays are rehearsed, culminating in a performance at the end of the semester. In addition to their own projects, students analyze challenging scripts from a directing, acting, and technical perspective.

Acting Skills

Prerequisite: Intro to Theatre Arts OR Acting Concepts
This class emphasizes the process of acting. Actors are introduced to a wide array of acting schools and approaches to a role and techniques, including Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Adler, Meisner, and the New School. The class, however, activates the processes so students discover his or her personal voice in the craft. Additionally, students explore scripts from all genres and look at the connection between written word, interpretation, and presentation. The class is run in workshop format where the concepts are put into practice.

Movement for Actors

Body language is everything. Students in this class gain a deeper understanding of the body as the acting instrument. Pantomime, typical dances found in musical theatre, and basic hand-to-hand stage combat are explored. Be prepared to move and have fun. For safety and comfort, students are expected to dress appropriately for class each day. This course may also fulfill a physical education requirement.

Production Concepts

Students in this class benefit from experiential learning by solving actual problems associated with Country Day theatrical productions and fictional productions. Specifically, the class gains skills in set design, directing concepts, stage make up, costuming, stage management, and prop building. This course emphasizes the “backstage” side of theatre as opposed to performance.

IB Theatre Arts

 

The Visual Arts

The Visual Arts curriculum offers students an in-depth study of art principles and processes in several media. Students enter in Level I for any of the three areas (2D Art, Sculpture, or Design). Students may explore a variety of Level I courses to fulfill their three-semester graduation requirement. Many students, however, progress through all three levels of a particular strand in preparation for an AP or IB Studio Art experience. Completion of Level II in any area is required for entrance into IB Art. Completion of Level III in any area and a portfolio evaluation are required for AP Studio Art. 

AP Art History

Prerequisite: qualification based on current history class grade. Open to grades 11–12.
This course is designed to introduce students to significant works of art and architecture in both the European and Non-European tradition. The goal is to promote the understanding and enjoyment of art. It develops students’ abilities to examine works of art intelligently while acquainting them with the major forms of artistic expression both historically and in their own time. Students examine and develop an appreciation of art from cave paintings to the twenty-first century in addition to the art of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

2D Art I

2D Art I introduces students to the basics of two-dimensional art production, artistic investigation, art criticism, and art history. Students explore printmaking, painting, drawing, and mixed media in an effort to learn how to creatively solve artistic problems around teacher-directed themes. Individual reflection and experimentation are encouraged as students build a base knowledge of the elements and principles of design.

2D Art II

Prerequisite: 2D Art I
2D Art II builds upon techniques and concepts introduced in 2D Art I. Students continue their investigation of drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media in an effort to express personal ideas. Art criticism and art history are integral components to the course in order to help students evaluate and articulate their views on art. Students are encouraged to set individual goals and work with teachers to attain them. Creative problem solving and individual experimentation are encouraged.

2D Art III

Prerequisite: 2D Art II
2D Art III builds upon the techniques and concepts of 2D Art II as students work toward building a portfolio of artwork. Advanced techniques in drawing, painting, and printmaking are introduced as students are encouraged to develop a personal voice through their art. Students learn about contemporary artists through gallery visits, research, reading, and reflection. Greater student independence is fostered as students select the subject matter, materials, and methods to develop their images. At this level, the students continue to build skills, work on compositional problems, and experiment with multiple media.

2D Art IV

Prerequisite: 2D Art III
2D Art IV is intended for advanced students who wish to continue building technical skill and develop their own portfolio. Independent exploration of subject and media is critical to student success.

AP Studio: 2D Art

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level III or IV 2D Art courses, and portfolio evaluation
AP Studio is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. Students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year, which are composed of breadth and concentration sections. This course emphasizes making art as an ongoing process of informed and critical decision-making. AP students must be self-directed with the ability to produce works of art at an accelerated pace and with exceptional technical skill. Concentrations within the class may be on drawing or two-dimensional design.

Design I

Design I is the foundation level for photographic and digital media study in the Upper School. The course introduces digital photography and two-dimensional image manipulation on the computer. Students develop a working knowledge of computer-based design and aesthetic theories. This course emphasizes the study of the elements of art and principles of design, composition, color theory, art criticism, and art history. Individual problem solving and decision-making are emphasized throughout.

Design II

Prerequisite: Design I
Design II continues the study of digital media begun in Design I by building upon the student’s technical skill and foundation of knowledge. Traditional black and white photographic processes are introduced. Art criticism and art history are integral components to the course in order to help students evaluate and articulate their views on art. Students are encouraged to set individual goals and work with the teacher to attain those goals. Creative problem solving and individual experimentation are encouraged.

Design III

Prerequisites: Design II
Design III is intended for the serious design student who may wish to pursue AP Art in the junior or senior year. Students strengthen their computer and photographic image making skills learned in Design II, and continue to pursue issues in art criticism and art history. Students learn to work individually and in groups to solve realistic design problems such as the creation of logos, signs and symbols, products, and videos. Students build a portfolio of artwork that shows experience with different media and techniques. Knowledge of design in relation to culture, history, other disciplines, and careers are encouraged through gallery visits, research, reading, and reflection. Students have the option to concentrate on computer generated work, camera/darkroom based expression, or a combination of the two.

Design IV

Prerequisites: Design III
Design IV is intended for advanced students who wish to continue building technical skill and develop their own portfolio. Independent exploration of subject and media is critical to student success. Students enrolling in level IV will be scheduled with another Design class.

AP Studio: Design

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level III or IV Design courses, and portfolio evaluation
AP Design is intended for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of digital and photographic arts. Students develop portfolios for evaluation that are composed of breadth and concentration sections. This course emphasizes informed and critical decision-making. AP students must be self-directed with the ability to produce works of art at an accelerated pace and with exceptional technical skill.

Sculpture I

This course is designed to reinforce and build on knowledge and skills developed at the elementary and middle school levels. It is the foundation level for three-dimensional art throughout the Upper School. This course emphasizes the study of the elements of art and principles of design, color theory, vocabulary, art criticism, art history, machinery knowledge, and safety in the art room. The course is devoted to investigating various sculpture processes, procedures, theories, and historical developments. Students explore a variety of three-dimensional media including glass, wire, plaster, wood, and clay. Students are provided a strong foundation in design, sculpture, and vocabulary in a teacher-structured environment. Problem-solving and decision-making are emphasized throughout Sculpture I.

Sculpture II

Prerequisite: Sculpture I
Sculpture II builds upon the student’s technical skill and foundation of knowledge developed in Sculpture I. Various fine crafts processes, procedures, and theories are presented in a problem-solving manner, which allows for independent choices and personal solutions to problems. Students research three-dimensional art to gain an appreciation for art of the past and present. Students continue their study of the elements of art and principles of design, color theory, vocabulary, and art history while producing a variety of sculptural works.

Sculpture III

Prerequisite: Sculpture II
Sculpture III presents students with an in-depth approach to the study of three-dimensional processes and techniques, aesthetic issues, art criticism, and art history. It is designed for the serious sculpture student who may wish to pursue AP Sculpture in their junior or senior year. The teacher helps students set goals and develop work habits similar to that of professionals. Knowledge of sculpture in relation to culture, history, other disciplines, and careers are promoted through visual, verbal, and written means. Students are encouraged to develop a personal style and philosophy of three-dimensional art. In Sculpture III, students begin to build a portfolio that focuses on technical quality, personal style, growth, and function.

Sculpture IV

Prerequisite: Sculpture III
This class advances students who wish to continue building technical skill and develop their own portfolio. Independent exploration of subject and media is critical to student success. The teacher helps students set goals and develop work habits similar to that of professionals. Knowledge of sculpture in relation to culture, history, other disciplines, and careers are promoted through visual, verbal, and written means. Students are encouraged to develop a personal style and philosophy of three-dimensional art. In Sculpture III, students begin to build a portfolio that focuses on technical quality, personal style, growth, and function.

AP Studio: Sculpture (full year)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of level III or IV Sculpture course, and portfolio evaluation
AP Sculpture is designed for students who are interested in the practical experience of art. Students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year that include breadth and concentration sections. The AP portfolio is intended to address sculptural issues and purposeful decision-making utilizing the elements and principles of art in an integrative way. AP students must be self-directed with the ability to produce works of art at an accelerated pace and with exceptional technical skill.

International Baccalaureate

IB ART I (full year)
IB ART II (full year)

Charlotte Country Day School
1440 Carmel Rd Road, Charlotte,
NC North Carolina 28226
704.943.4500
powered by finalsite