Performing and Visual Arts
Performing and Visual Arts at St. Mary’s Academy provide a vibrant and creative environment for our students to thrive. At SMA, we believe that art is more than a subject - it is a way of thinking and expression that enriches every aspect of education. Our commitment to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is reflected in our integration of arts into the core curriculum, fostering innovation and critical thinking. In all schools, SMA provides students with curricular and extracurricular opportunities to explore every avenue of art, from painting and sculpture to choir and band to theater and music production. Through captivating performances, imaginative visual displays, and hands-on artistic exploration, our students embark on a journey that empowers them to embrace their uniqueness and confidently contribute to an ever-changing world.
Arts in the Lower School
Lower School students take an art class every day. Both visual art and music are part of their specials classes. Students perform for their peers starting in Early Learning.
Arts in the Middle School
All Middle School students take a music elective, and have multiple visual arts electives to choose from. Options range from orchestra and drumming to photography and painting.
Arts in the High School
High School students complete two credit-hours of art classes to graduate, which equates to four classes over four years, which allows for a wide range of exploration in the arts.
Lower School students engage in music regularly during their school day. They also have the option to participate in band, choir, orchestra, drama club, and private music lessons. These opportunities begin as early as first grade and continue through fifth grade. Dance is incorporated into P.E., and students perform throughout the year. Students may participate in our biennial All-Academy Musical beginning in third grade.
Middle School students have several performance and non-performance arts class selections, including drama, band, choir, orchestra, handbells, guitar, recorders, and music appreciation. Students are encouraged to participate in our biennial All-Academy Musical onstage or behind the scenes.
High School students continue exploring the arts in introductory-level classes to focus their interests and talents in advanced courses of study. Opportunities include Academy Singers, Acting, AP Music Theory, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and SAIMARAC (SMA's honor choir). There are two after-school theatre performances each year, and the All-Academy Musical performance every other year.
Private lessons in most instruments, including voice, are offered on campus in all three schools.
Early Learning and Lower School
Lower School students engage in the visual arts regularly during their school day. Students from Preschool through Grade 5 participate in self-discovery and creative problem-solving as they develop persistence and skill-building with various mediums. Our curriculum allows ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, filmmaking, and architecture exploration. Our goal is to inspire students to discover their voice and mode of expression.
Middle School students have several arts class selections, including Foundations in Art, an immersion course to develop the compositional techniques needed to communicate through art while pursuing the fundamental applications within drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. In the Explorations in Art class, students develop their skills through drawing, sculpting, printmaking, and photography.
High School students continue exploring the arts in introductory level classes to focus their interests and talents in advanced courses of study—from two- and three-dimensional art to photography. Many of our students have been Regional and National Medalists in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and have been recruited by art institutions.