Performing Arts

The performing arts department offers educational and performance opportunities in music, theatre, and dance to all students regardless of prior experience. Students are encouraged to explore the performing arts in an effort to understand how they reflect multiple cultures and trends, both past and current, as well as how they can affect and enhance their own life experiences.
Performing Arts Department Chair Jodie Ricci expresses the department’s values as follows: “Joy, integrity and equity are essential to the arts. Art is both a celebration and an expression of truth. We believe that the skills relevant to being an artist are also skills relevant to being a good citizen and human being.” Moreover, she explains, Hawken art teachers are guided by three foundational pillars to ensure that these values are embraced and understood by their students: “Art students are expected to take risks, find their expressive voice and participate joyfully in their creative endeavors; they are committed to developing the necessary tools to communicate effectively and artistically; and they demonstrate interest, initiative and investment in the creative work of others.”
The Early Childhood music program at Hawken School is based on the belief that every child has the innate potential to learn music. Children begin their musical journey at Hawken School by absorbing, responding, babbling, experimenting and imitating the musical sounds in their environment. Early childhood students attend a special music session once every 5-day cycle with an early childhood music educator. Classroom activities are designed to build or reinforce a love towards music and to provide a basis for the development of musical concepts and skills.

In the Lower School, our music program helps to develop a positive attitude toward and understanding of music concepts and skills. In third grade music, students are introduced to the soprano recorder. In fourth and fifth grade, students select a string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument for musical study; each student participates in at least two public performances each year. Students in third, fourth and fifth grade can choose to participate in Lower School Choir, which presents an annual musical production. A designated performing arts wing features four classrooms designed for exploration, creation and performance.

In the Middle School, Chorus, Strings and Band are offered as part of the curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to be part of the Jr. Hawken Players’ Society through participation in the Middle School musical, either on stage, behind-the-scenes, or in the pit orchestra.
Upper School students enjoy a variety of music, dance and theater courses including Acting Fundamentals, Advanced Acting, Chorale, Concert Band, Creative Movement, Jazz Band, Global Rhythms, Stage Craft and String Ensemble. Rockapella and Mariachi Band provide additional opportunities in musical performance. The Hawken Players’ Society is open to all students and produces at least one play and one musical each year. Independent study opportunities for students to write, direct, and perform their own compositions in any of the disciplines are strongly encouraged.

Hawken Players' Society

Hawken Players' Society is Hawken's theater program. Students from the Upper School participate in all aspects of the productions. To learn more about the Hawken Players' Society, click here.
Congratulations to the Hawken Players Society for earning Best Technical Execution for their February production of “Into the Woods.” The 2016 Dazzle Awards were presented to outstanding high school musical theater productions and students in 13 categories during an awards ceremony in May at Cleveland’s Connor Palace.

Upper School Jazz Band concert

Lower School choral concerts

An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, preschool through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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