Visual & Performing Arts
The visual & performing arts program thrives on the collaborative energy of dance, music, photography, theatre, and visual arts. Each department offers courses designed to support the curious beginner and challenge the experienced artist. Through the arts program, students develop the tools for authentic self-expression, gain confidence in their ability to jump into the unfamiliar, and expand their capacity for self-reflection.
Head, Visual & Performing Arts Department
Director of Music
J. Bradley Faus
Director of Art
Director of Photography and Related Media
Director of Theatre
Visual Art at Hotchkiss offers a place for every student, regardless of experience or talent. You may be curious about your artistic abilities, but hesitate to engage because you have never studied art before. Perhaps you are well-versed in drawing or ceramics, but you are interested in new challenges and new media. Whatever your degree of confidence or experience, our program provides opportunities for success at every level. We are committed to teaching students how to see, how to compose and design, how to work through complex visual problems, and ultimately, how to manipulate various media in a compelling and personally meaningful manner.
Dance at Hotchkiss offers students the opportunity to learn the discipline and craft of ballet and modern dance and to explore the creative challenges of this art form. Placement of students in the various courses will be made at the discretion of the instructor. A mid-term performance examination is given in certain classes during each semester. Upon request, a winter special project in dance can be arranged in place of athletics only after a student has completed one semester of study in either medium.
The music program offers Hotchkiss's active and diverse student body excellent facilities and a range of course selections that accommodates all levels of interest and involvement. Courses in music literature, theory, and performance reflect the department's commitment to serve all students, regardless of knowledge, talent, or music experience. Students taking a performance course have the unique opportunity to work in a private lesson setting with an outstanding faculty of music professionals. Students can also express their musical talents in group settings by joining one of our student ensembles: the Hotchkiss Chorus, the Hotchkiss Orchestra, or the jazz ensemble, Right Brain Logic. Throughout the year, students are encouraged not only to perform, but also to appreciate a wide variety of musical experiences by attending student and faculty recitals, off-campus concerts, and our excellent guest artists concert series.
Private music instruction is offered for academic credit to students at no additional cost. Students may receive non-academic private lessons for a fee. Full academic credit is available to students in vocal or instrumental ensembles such as the Hotchkiss Chorus. A chamber orchestra and other instrumental ensembles are organized when enough students can be found to form a balanced ensemble. The music department offers an active series of student chamber music concerts. Guest artists frequently visit the school, offering workshops, master classes, and concerts.
Music courses fulfill the arts requirement.
The Photography, Film & Related Media program at Hotchkiss has been established for over 40 years and is housed in one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country. Students begin in the traditional darkrooms before moving into the digital domain to explore digital photography and video. Basic, advanced, and independent courses are offered in traditional photography, digital photography, and film. In addition to regular classroom instruction, students take field trips to galleries and museums. Guest artists and photographers exhibit their work in the Tremaine Art Gallery and hold workshops for students. Owning a camera is not required for beginning classes, but members of advanced photography classes should consider having their own DSLR cameras.
- Two digital classrooms and analog darkrooms
- A video editing classroom
- Screening room
- A lighting studio
- Green screen room
- Laser engraver
- Printers: large format, medium format, and b/w digital printer
- Mounting and laminating room
Open to all students, regardless of experience level, the theatre program offers courses in acting, design, directing, musical theatre, public speaking, and theatre technology. All of the courses help students develop creative problem-solving skills through practical, hands-on experience. Qualified students may also be permitted to direct or design productions sponsored by the Hotchkiss Dramatic Association. All courses offered in the theatre curriculum fulfill the arts requirement.
The goal of the theatre program is to enhance students' appreciation of theatre as a literary and performing art, whether they're participating in a stage production or attending one.
- Esther Eastman Music Center and Katherine M. Elfers Hall. Learn more about this state-of-the-art facility and professional performance space.
- Walker Auditorium, a 660-seat theatre for student performances featuring state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, as well as a dressing room and a green room
- The Black Box Theatre, an intimate space for student productions
- The Edgar Cullman Art Studios
- The Tremaine Art Gallery