Creativity, imagination, and excellence are at the heart of education at St. Mary’s Academy. Students engage in fine arts – including music, theater, and visual arts every day. Our goal is to help your child build technique and aesthetic awareness as well as grow his or her critical thinking and problem-solving skills in ways that extend beyond the classroom. Performance opportunities—including events for peers, parents, and guests at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, build students’ confidence in their skills, and pride in their hard work.
Lower School students engage in music as a regular part of 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 production 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 all-academy musical either 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. Students can participate in SAIMARAC, St. Mary's Academy's Honor Choir, orchestra, or the fall play.
The Performing Arts faculty is exceptional for their instructional expertise, as well as for their accomplishments outside the classroom.
Roberta Hamilton-Griggs teaches music, drama, and religion at St. Mary’s Academy. During her time at St. Mary’s Academy, Roberta has produced or directed over 40 shows. She has been performed roles as diverse as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Viola in David Amram’s opera Twelfth Night, and Mother in ‘Night Mother. Over her career, Roberta has performed in or directed over one hundred plays, musicals, operas, radio and tv spots.
Cherie Swisher teaches cross-divisional music and orchestra. Cherie loves kids and music, and that combination brings her back to teaching again and again. She has played cello for over 50 years and has taught string instruments to both adults and children, some as young as five years old. Cherie has also performed with the Oklahoma Symphony and most recently the Arapahoe Philharmonic for over 25 years.
Sharon Gayley teaches music in both the Lower School and Middle School. Throughout her teaching career, she has witnessed how the power of music can transform a student with physical, academic, or social challenges. By developing their creative side, Sharon has watched students find their sense of identity and purpose by being a part of a music group.
Geoff McVie is a Media Instructional Technologist in the Middle School, where he also teaches robotics and band. Geoff also teaches Jazz Band in the High School.