The insiderâ€™s guide to big blue arts
MUSIC Some students arrive at Andover with significant playing and performance experience; others are just beginning their musical journey. With its diverse course offerings, private lessons, and performance opportunities—including concert and jazz bands, symphony and chamber orchestras, a large chorus, a cappella groups, and gospel and handbell choirs—Andover helps students hone their talents and broaden their musical interests. Graves Hall, home of the music department, has three classrooms, a music library, an electronic music studio, 19 practice rooms, two rehearsal spaces, and an intimate recital hall. Most major performances by students and guest artists—such as Yo-Yo Ma, Kevin Olusola ’06 and Pentatonix, Wynton Marsalis, and Denyse Graves—take place in the majestic Cochran Chapel. Visiting musicians also engage in master classes with students and instructors.
“MUSIC AT ANDOVER IS A CANDY STORE WITH SEEMINGLY ENDLESS ENTICING OPPORTUNITIES. I HAVE WRITTEN COMPOSITIONS, GIVEN VIOLIN LESSONS TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS, JAMMED IN AN ALTERNATIVE BAND, PERFORMED A SOLO VIOLIN CONCERTO WITH THE ORCHESTRA, AND PLAYED IN CONCERT HALLS AROUND THE WORLD.” William ’17
VISUAL ARTS Students in Andover’s visual arts program find inspiration in infinite and often unlikely places. Courses include art history, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, weaving, architecture, film photography, digital photography, ceramics, and video. The department also offers a yearlong advanced studio course for uppers and seniors, which includes visits to museums and a student-designed capstone project and exhibition. In addition to the Elson Art Center and Benner House, where students create everything from charcoal drawings to ceramics to digital art and more, students also enjoy time at the Addison Gallery of American Art. The museum showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world. Guest artists hosted by the Addison are a compelling part of many art courses and have included Frank Stella ’54, Lorna Simpson, Chris “Daze” Ellis, and James Prosek.
“I TOOK A YEARLONG STUDIO ART COURSE MY UPPER YEAR, AND THAT CLASS BECAME A FAMILY OF EIGHT. WE TOOK MINI ROAD TRIPS TO ART MUSEUMS ON WEEKENDS, AND I RECEIVED CONSTANT FEEDBACK ON THE EVOLUTION OF MY STYLE AND EXPRESSION. IT IS INVIGORATING TO SHARE AND COLLABORATE ON ART WITHIN AN INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY.” Camilla ’17
THEATRE Along with excellent costume, paint, and scene shops, Andover’s Tang Theatre and Steinbach Theatre boast the latest in technological support systems. Performance opportunities abound, including three faculty-directed plays and 30 studentdirected one-act plays produced by Drama Labs, a vibrant cocurricular program. Elective courses include acting, directing, set and light design, public speaking, Shakespeare, playwriting, and play production. Students also engage with a variety of guest artists ranging from local specialists to the likes of Peter Sellars ’75, Dana Delany ’74, and Craig Lucas. In alternate years, auditions are held for an international touring experience to such well-known venues as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Among other awards, Andover’s theatre program has twice won the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Memorial Award.
“THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PART OF MY ANDOVER EXPERIENCE SO FAR HAS BEEN MY INVOLVEMENT WITH THEATRE. MY SELF-CONFIDENCE HAS SKYROCKETED! I NOTICED THIS LAST SUMMER WHEN PERFORMING FOR COMPLETE STRANGERS AT THE HUGE THEATRE FESTIVAL IN GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.” Justice ’18
DANCE The dance department’s dual goal is to offer preprofessional training that prepares students to enter college dance programs or conservatories and to engage students who see dance as a form of recreational and lifelong fitness. Ballet and modern dance, the core of Andover’s program, are the foundations of dance technique. Instructors purposefully expose students to diverse dance forms as well as choreography and composition as they explore dance as a language. Dance technique is offered through the athletic program, while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and cocurricular. The Academy’s primary performance ensemble, the Andover Dance Group, comprises the most dedicated and experienced dancers, while student-run groups focus on jazz, hip-hop, and tap. Each year, guest artists broaden students’ exposure to the world of dance. Recent visitors include Mark Morris, Donlin Foreman, and Rennie Harris.
“ANDOVER’S DANCE PROGRAM DOESN’T CATER TO ONE DISCIPLINE—THERE ARE NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES. MS. WOMBWELL, MY BALLET TEACHER, WAS VERY GOOD AT FINDING DIFFERENT WAYS TO EXPLAIN MOVEMENTS AND TAKING A CONCEPT IN BALLET AND MAKING IT APPLICABLE TO ALL OTHER TYPES OF DANCE.” Graham ’14 (member Boston Ballet II)
BY THE NUMBERS 14 visual arts media offered in art elective curriculum
10 large performance ensembles, including 2 concert bands, 1 jazz band, 4 orchestras, and 2 choruses, plus 15â€“20 small ensembles that rotate each term
3 student-run a cappella groups 6 main-stage performances a year, ranging from large-scale musicals and classical ballets to contemporary pieces in theatre and dance
30 one-act student-directed Drama Lab productions each year
1 Rock Room 3 student art exhibitions each year 49 private music lesson instructors teaching 350 students just about any instrument
16 grand pianos, and several uprights; a piano in almost every dorm
2 workshop spaces for dance and theatre
70 student, faculty, and guest artist concerts on campus each year, plus dozens of impromptu and informal performance opportunities
1 electronic music studio 120 digital and video cameras dedicated to the arts program
4 types of percussion instruments in our student-led Drumline
2 organs, 2 harpsichords, 1 celesta 17,000 objects in the Addison Gallery of American Art, including major works by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler
400 videos produced and edited by students each year
10+ Dance Labs per year 1 music tour each spring and 1 theatre/dance tour each summer
3 student-run dance groups: Blue Strut (jazz), Hypnotiq (hip-hop), and Footnotes (tap)
8,500+ recordings in the Clift Music Library
180 Main St. Andover, Mass. 01810-4161 www.andover.edu/arts
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