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Expressive Arts

The Expressive Arts Department works to develop the students' ability to think critically and to develop those skills that would allow one to express one's thoughts and feelings through a variety of spoken, musical and artistic expressions. The Expressive Arts Department works to empower our students' ability to motivate, to move and to touch others as we share our human experience and work toward a better understanding of ourselves, our society and our world.

Curriculum

Fine Arts

This one semester required course introduces students to the elements, principles and basic fundamentals of art and music, while exposing them to major works of art and musical innovations within a historical context from prehistory to modern eras. The course includes a chronological and contextual study of the development of art and music in which students will create, analyze and explore the styles and concerns of established artists, musicians and genres of the fine arts. The Fine Arts class fulfills the graduation requirement for Fine Arts.

Speech

This required course develops fundamental speech skills and the related theory. Among the topic areas are: delivery techniques, content analysis, research skills, speech organization, visual aids, audience analysis, nonverbal communication and listening skills. The students will have ample opportunity to develop and to improve these speech-related skills through a variety of public speaking situations. Students will select their topics, research the necessary materials, evaluate information in relation to the listeners’ needs and synthesize the message. By developing such skills, the students will be better able to take their places as responsible citizens and Christians in our society.

Band

The Fenwick Band classes are open to students with an interest in playing the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinets, saxophones, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium/baritone, tuba or percussion. Performance, music history, music theory and musical techniques are learned through large ensemble standard and contemporary band music. All band classes focus on performance and theory skills such as note reading, rhythm, key signatures, musical vocabulary, fingerings and sticking on specific instruments, expression, tone quality, intonation, scales, intervals, chord structures, transposition and composition techniques. All band classes are year-long and meet five days a week unless otherwise noted. All band classes, with the exception of Beginning Band and Jazz Band, fulfill the fine arts graduation requirement.

Beginning Band

The beginning band class is for students who wish to participate in the Fenwick High School Band Program but who do not have any prior experience reading music or playing a band instrument. At the conclusion of the beginning band class, students will be able to play their instruments at a level equivalent to those who have been playing their instruments for four years. Students will be auditioned to gain admittance to the concert band class the following year. Beginning Band students perform with the Concert Band at the Instrumental Music Department Spring Concert. Beginning Band does not fulfill the fine arts graduation requirement.

Concert Band

No audition is necessary to participate in Concert Band; however, students must have prior experience playing a band instrument. 

Wind Ensemble

An audition is required to be considered for the Wind Ensemble. This course may be taken for honors credit. Students who take the class for honors credit must fulfill the following activities: a successful audition, ILMEA auditions (October), Solo and Ensemble (March) and private lessons.

Percussion Ensemble 1

This course is designed for percussionists with experience playing in a band setting. No audition is necessary to participate in Percussion Ensemble 1, but students should have experience playing a variety of percussion instruments and be able to read music. This course gives the percussion section a chance to expand their playing opportunities outside the normal concert band setting. Percussion Ensemble 1 members perform with both Concert Band and Wind Ensemble for concerts and contests.

Percussion Ensemble 2

This course is designed for advanced percussionists with experience playing in a band setting. An audition is required to be considered for membership in Percussion Ensemble 2. This course gives the percussion section a chance to expand their playing opportunities outside the normal concert band setting. Percussion Ensemble 2 members perform with both Concert Band and Wind Ensemble for concerts and contests. This course may be taken for honors credit. Students who take the class for honors credit must fulfill the following activities: a successful audition, ILMEA auditions (October), Solo and Ensemble (March) and private lessons.

Jazz Band

Jazz Band is a performance based class designed for students with previous band performance experience to develop their knowledge of jazz music. Students develop the musicianship through large ensemble rehearsals and performances of exercises, etudes, jazz literature and other types of music. Additionally, students will study music through listening, music theory and improvisation. Jazz Band meets during Zero Period from 7:05–7:50 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the full year and receives 0.5 credits. Students are responsible for their own transportation to Jazz Band.

Pep Band

All students enrolled in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensembles 1 & 2 make up the Fenwick Pep Band. The Pep Band performs at all home varsity football games, a select number of home varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball games and school pep assemblies.

Performances

Christmas Concert (December)
Winter Concert (February)
Spring Concert (May)
State of the Art Band Contest (February)
Naperville Jazz Festival (April)

Individual Student Events

ILMEA District Festival (by audition)
ILMEA All-State (by audition)
Vandercook All-Catholic Honor Band (selected by instructors)
IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)
Northwestern Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)

Trips

Every three years, members of Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensembles 1 & 2 and String Orchestra, are invited to travel to Disney World in Florida. The students perform a concert at Disney World and also take part in a studio workshop.

String Orchestra

The String Orchestra class is open to all students (freshmen–seniors) with experience on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello and double bass. No audition is necessary to participate. Performance, music history, music theory and musical techniques are learned throughout music of different styles and from different time periods. Basic performance skills included in this course are note recognition, rhythm recognition, key signatures, musical vocabulary and bowing technique. Basic theory skills included in the course are knowledge of the circle of fifths and intervals. A freshman or sophomore may take two consecutive semesters of string orchestra instead of the one semester fine arts course in order to complete the fine arts graduation requirement. This course may be taken for honors credit. Students must complete an audition to be considered for the honor credit. Students who take the class for honors credit must fulfill the following activities: a successful audition, ILMEA auditions (October), Solo and Ensemble (March) and private lessons.

Performances

Christmas Concert (December)
Winter Concert (February)
Spring Concert (May)

Individual Student Events

ILMEA District Festival (by audition)
ILMEA All-State (by audition)
IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)
Northwestern Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)

Trips

Every three years, members of Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensembles 1 & 2 and String Orchestra, are invited to travel to Disney World in Florida. The students perform a concert at Disney World and also take part in a studio workshop.

Chorus

The Fenwick choruses and choirs are full-year courses designed to provide an atmosphere for the enjoyment, appreciation and performance of all types of choral music. The classes focus on the development of vocal skill, music reading, diction, part-singing, sight singing and other fundamentals of music theory. Music is drawn from various choral music periods and styles. All choral classes meet five days per week and two consecutive semesters fulfill the Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

Women’s Chorus

The Women’s Chorus is an introductory level vocal ensemble open to all Fenwick female students. There is no audition required for this ensemble. 

Men’s Chorus

The Men’s Chorus is an introductory level vocal ensemble open to all Fenwick male students. There is no audition required for this ensemble. Emphasis is placed on developing the male changing voice and learning how to sing through the vocal break of the changing voice.

National Anthem Choir

Members of the Women’s Chorus and Men’s Chorus are combined to comprise the National Anthem Choir. The choir performs for home boys’ and girls’ basketball games.

Concert Choir (Honors)

Concert Choir is open to students who have the desire to continue study in choral music. Concert Choir is a mixed ensemble of voices (SATB). An audition is required to be accepted into Concert Choir. Students in Concert Choir receive honor credits. In addition to the choir performances (listed below), students are required to participate in ILMEA District auditions and IHSA Solo and Ensemble contest. Students must also complete a music performance project and take weekly private lessons.

Madrigal Singers (Honors)

Madrigal Singers is an advanced choral ensemble. Madrigal Singers is a mixed ensemble of voices (SATB). A select group of 12–16 singers are chosen by audition. Students in Madrigal Singers receive honors credit. In addition to the choir performances (listed below), students are required to participate in ILMEA District auditions and IHSA Solo and Ensemble contest. Students must also complete a music performance project and take weekly private lessons.

Performances

Christmas Concert (December)
Mother’s Club Events
University Club Chicago Christmas Performance
Spring Concert (May)
Other performances may be scheduled

Individual Student Events

ILMEA District Festival (by audition)
ILMEA All-State (by audition)
IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)
Northwestern Solo & Ensemble Contest (March)

Music History & Analysis

This course is an extension of the fine arts course with a focus on music theory and an advanced level of the fundamentals of music history. Students are made aware of the basic concepts of rhythm, melodic harmony, key signatures, ear training and musical structures. Students will also learn how the concepts are used in musical composition, how music has evolved through history and how history has influenced music. This full-year course, which meets five days a week, has been divided for departmental grading purposes. The class counts as ½ elective Expressive Arts credit and ½ elective History credit.

Theatre & Acting Foundations

This course is designed to introduce students to the various elements of the theatre and to encourage students in further participation and appreciation of theatre and acting. Students will learn the fundamentals of the theatre as a creative art through the study of voice, movement and production design. Students will learn to read scripts for meaning, understanding and evaluation. Additionally, students will learn a basic approach to working comfortably on the stage through warm-ups, improvisation, monologues and scene work. Students will rehearse to create structured theatre events while working in cooperation with other members of the class to create an ensemble effort onstage. Auditioning techniques will be examined as well. This course fulfills the graduation requirement for Fine Arts. This course is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

History & Theory of Film

This course is an introduction to serious consideration of cinema as an art form. The course will introduce the student to the analysis of form in film, genres, narrative structure and the relationship of film to culture. The goal is to develop visual literacy—sharpening powers of observation, developing skills and habits of perceptive watching and discovering complex elements of film art. The theory of film will be taught in context of the history of cinema. Students will be introduced to films from the early silents through contemporary movies. Special attention will be given to the great auteur directors and international cinema. Students will typically view about 15 full-length films during the course. The class is available to students who will be juniors and seniors in the fall. There is no prerequisite. History & Theory of Film does not fulfill the graduation requirement for Fine Arts.

Department Events

Disney World Band trips (every three years)
Speech competitions
Instrumental music concerts
Choir concerts
Art shows

Rizelle Capito

Rizelle Capito

Department Chair

ext. 161

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