Dance

The Westminster Dance Ensemble performs each trimester in a fully produced concert in the beautiful Werner Centennial Theater. The Dance Ensemble rehearses during the class schedule. Members may fulfill the required arts credit by participation of two years. Many Dance Ensemble members enjoy the opportunity of choreographing their own dances and are given the encouragement to choreograph, produce, and perform these dances with the guidance of the Director of Dance.
 
Many Dance Ensemble members also participate in the Afternoon Dance Program which fulfills the sports/afternoon requirement. Although the afternoon program provides primarily technique and conditioning classes, these students may also perform, sometimes in an informal showing. A genuine desire to learn a variety of dance styles, conditioning, form, and technique is necessary to participate.

Music

Music at Westminster means having the opportunity to perform in concert on the beautiful Werner Centennial Theater stage or in the reverberant Andrews Memorial Chapel acoustics as a member of the school performing ensembles (bands & choirs) or as a soloist. It means the chance to have weekly private lessons on an instrument or voice with accomplished instructors in order to improve technique and proficiency. Students can study music theory and history in a classroom setting. There are at least 10 pianos on campus accessible to students for practice and recreation.
 
Several acoustically enhanced practice studios are available in the Werner Centennial Center. During the winter term, the music and theater programs collaborate to produce a fully staged musical, complete with a pit orchestra of students and professionals.
 
All major concerts are professionally recorded, with CDs being available for purchase. Accomplished and eager student musicians are frequently tapped to perform during our weekly chapel services and are encouraged to audition for and participate in Regional and All State Music Festivals. Student organized rock bands and acappella vocal groups are also apart of the Westminster music scene.
 
The choirs are directed by David Chrzanowski, who is also the school’s chapel organist. The band and jazz ensemble are directed by Dan Aber, a veteran mathematics teacher, writer, jazz performer and coach.

List of 4 items.

  • Concert Band

    The band’s schedule of three to four rehearsals per week during the class day is structured to allow as many students as possible the chance to participate in an instrumental ensemble. Song lists range from jazz and pop arrangements to traditional concert band repertoire.

    The band performs at the Parents’ Weekend Concert, the Candlelight Lessons and Carols Chapel Service, the Winter Fine Arts Festival and the Spring Concert. The band is directed by Dan Aber, a veteran mathematics teacher, writer, jazz performer and coach.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    The Jazz Ensemble rehearses once a week and is comprised of the elite members of the Concert Band who share an interest in further exploring the jazz repertoire. Emphasis is placed on the two essential elements of jazz: improvisation and swing. In addition to performing at the three major concerts during the fall, winter and spring terms, the group also plays at other school functions throughout the year.
  • Chorale

    This is the largest vocal ensemble, which performs in various school concerts and at the annual Candlelight Lessons and Carols Chapel Service. The Chorale explores a variety of musical styles ranging from the 16th century to the present. The group is open to all interested students, including those with no prior musical experience. The Chorale rehearses two to three times a week during the class day. The highlight of the year for many students is the Spring “pops” concert programming which features accompaniment by drums, piano, bass and guitars, as well as new and published a cappella arrangements. Involvement in Chorale for two years fulfills a student’s arts requirement.
  • Chamber Choir

    This group is limited to a maximum of 24 singers who must audition with the director, David Chrzanowski, who is also the school’s chapel organist. Membership in the Chorale is a requirement for participation in this ensemble. The group focuses on the performance of challenging repertoire both accompanied and a cappella, ranging from madrigals to a cappella pop charts. In addition to the major school concerts, performances include trustee and alumni functions, chapel services, and occasional off-campus musical events. Rehearsals are twice per week during the class day plus required sectional rehearsals after school. Involvement in Chamber Choir for one year fulfills a student’s arts requirement.

Theater

Theater has always been an integral part of the Westminster experience dating back to when the founding Headmaster's son wrote and directed productions each winter before he launched a very successful career as a Broadway producer.
 
The theater program at Westminster offers students the opportunity to experience all aspects of theatrical performance and production in the theoretical setting of the classroom and the practical arena of our department productions.
 
Classroom offerings consist of three levels of theatre classes.  All classes in the theatre program are focused on the making of Art.  They are intentionally designed to get students up and on their feet and have them experience the art form.  To learn theatre by doing Theatre. Introduction to Theater is the gateway class to all other courses in the theatre program.  It exposes students to a verity of ideas and disciplines within the art form.  It is open to all students in all forms. Independent Study in Theater is an intensive elective that prepares advanced students to dive deep into a specific area of interest. The topics are many and varied offering students the opportunity to gain depth as well as breadth. 
 
Each year the Theater program produces two productions in the state of the art Werner Centennial Theater: one dramatic piece spanning the varied genres of Western theater, and a musical production.  During the spring term, student directed one act plays offer students the opportunity to direct a one act play as part of an evening of short plays. Each of these productions offers many opportunities for student involvement and leadership both on stage and backstage.

Click here to visit the Dramat Production Archive

Westminster School

995 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 408-3000
Westminster School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and Postgraduate, located in Simsbury, Connecticut. The suburban New England campus is midway between New York City and Boston. In keeping with our support for a diverse community, Westminster abides by all applicable federal and state laws and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, color, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry and/or disability.

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