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. Esteemed guest artists—such as Yo-Yo Ma, Kevin Olusola ’06 and Pentatonix, Wynton Marsalis, and Denyse Graves—entertain the campus community often and also engage in master classes with students and instructors. Many student and guest performances take place in Cochran Chapel. Through various programs, Andover’s most dedicated student musicians have the opportunity to perform in venues around the world.
“ANDOVER’S MUSIC PROGRAM IS EXTENSIVE AND DYNAMIC. I HAVE IMMERSED MYSELF IN CHAMBER MUSIC AND ORCHESTRA, PERFORMED AT CARNEGIE HALL, PLAYED IN THE PIT ORCHESTRA OF A SCHOOL MUSICAL, PERFORMED FOR ALUMNI FROM AROUND THE WORLD, AND TAUGHT VIOLIN TO LOCAL SCHOOLCHILDREN. MUSIC HAS CREATED RELATIONSHIPS FOR ME.” Luke ’21
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. At the Elson Art Center and Benner House, students create everything from charcoal drawings to ceramics to digital art. They also enjoy time at the campus’s Addison Gallery of American Art, which showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world. Guest artists hosted by the Addison complement many art courses and have included Frank Stella ’54, Lorna Simpson, Chris “Daze” Ellis, James Prosek, Sheila Hicks, Elaine Reichek and Jeanne Silverthorne, and Triple Candie’s Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett ’84.
“WHEN I FIRST STARTED HERE AS A 9TH-GRADER, I TOOK AN INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN VISUAL MEDIA STUDIES AND FELL IN LOVE WITH FILMMAKING. NOW I’M WORKING ON A SELF-DIRECTED FILM PROJECT. THERE ARE ALL LEVELS OF CLASSES FOR ALL KINDS OF INTERESTS, SO IT’S EASY AND FUN TO TRY SOMETHING NEW.” Isaiah ’19
THEATRE Along with excellent costume, paint, and scene shops, Andover’s Tang Theatre and Steinbach Theatre boast the latest technology. Performance opportunities abound, including several facultydirected plays and 30 student-directed 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 guest artists ranging from local specialists to the likes of theatre director Peter Sellars ’75, actor and producer Dana Delany ’74, documentary filmmaker Maro Chermayeff ’80, playwright and producer Craig Lucas, and David Fincher, director of The Social Network. In alternate years, auditions are held for an international touring experience to such well-known venues as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa. Andover’s theatre program has twice won the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Memorial Award.
“I CAME HERE INTERESTED SOLELY IN ACTING. THEN I WAS ENCOURAGED TO DIRECT A SHORT PLAY—AND DIRECTING BECAME MY PASSION. NOW I’M DOING BOTH! I’VE BEEN IN FULL-SCALE THEATRE PRODUCTIONS HERE AT ANDOVER, AND I ALSO LEARNED WHAT’S INVOLVED IN TAKING A MAJOR STAGE PRODUCTION ON TOUR TO SOUTH AFRICA.” Ria ’19
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, tap, and Afro-Caribbean dance. Each year, guest artists such as Sayer Mansfield ’10, former Pilobolus company member, broaden students’ exposure to the world of dance. Other recent visitors: Mark Morris, Donlin Foreman, and Rennie Harris.
“I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO PURSUE A CAREER IN BALLET. WITH ALL THAT ANDOVER OFFERS, I MIGHT HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED. BUT MY DANCE INSTRUCTORS NOT ONLY INTENSIFIED MY LOVE FOR BALLET—THEY ALSO PUSHED ME TO EXPLORE OTHER AVENUES OF DANCE I MIGHT NEVER HAVE EXPERIENCED.” Sabrina ’17 (Orlando Ballet trainee)
BY THE NUMBERS 14 visual arts media offered in art elective curriculum
10 large performance ensembles, including 2 concert bands, 1 jazz band, 3 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
4 student-run dance groups: Blue Strut (jazz), Hypnotiq (hip-hop), Footnotes (tap), and Fusion (Afro-Caribbean)
8,500+ recordings in the Clift Music Library
180 Main St. Andover, Mass. 01810-4161 www.andover.edu/arts
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Read all about music, theatre, dance and visual arts at Andover.