Fine Arts

Welcome to the Fine Arts department at Savannah Country Day.
The center for creative, expressive, and meaningful learning.

At Savannah Country Day, the Fine Arts program exposes students to visual art, general music, choral music, dance, jazz band, theater, drama, photography, orchestra, and technology-based visual arts. Much of the program is performance and studio–based, culminating in exhibits and performances by individual groups as well as performances and exhibits collaboratively produced by the whole department. Class instruction focuses on process, the enhancement of technical skills, communication, performance skills, art criticism, and aesthetic awareness with reference to historical and cultural perspectives. Instruction is augmented by supplementary reading, research, discussion, technology, and exposure to professional artists and performing groups.

Our talented Fine Arts instructors work to develop the student’s ability to access, interpret, and evaluate imagery ,movement, and sound; develop visual/spatial/hearing intelligence; and to build a life-long appreciation and understanding of the arts. Both independent and ensemble work is encouraged to develop self-reliance and confidence and to offer opportunities for social interaction and ethical development. Opportunities exist for student growth through local, state, and national festivals; conferences; and competitions. Students are offered a variety of formal, expressive, and technical experiences with the arts in grades kindergarten through twelve, with traditional Fine Arts Nights serving as cumulative performance assessments.

The arts curriculum reaches students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade in obligatory classes. Middle School students are required to take a full year of a fine arts discipline each year. Upper School students are required to have two semesters of fine arts for graduation. Opportunities exist all four years for both exploration and in-depth study in art and music through a variety of electives including advanced placement courses. The ensemble performs each semester and is often involved with school musical productions as choreographers and dancers.

Fine Arts students and faculty receive additional support from the Arts Alliance, a parent-formed and run organization that celebrates the arts at Savannah Country Day.

Fine Arts News
Upper School Fine Arts Night
Upper School hosted their final Fine Arts Night in extraordinary fashion--after an opening reception that showcased a breadth of talent and creativity, guests moved into Jelks Auditorium to enjoy an evening of music and drama. The night concluded with a joint performance and Upper School Fine and Performing Art Awards. Overall, 150 students participated in the arts showcase. Congrats to all of our talented Hornets!

The Sound Of Music Under the Stars
The Quad was alive with the Sound of Music!  For two nights, the SCDS Drama Department captivated audiences with a musical production of The Sound of Music... In the Quad!  Audience members gathered under the stars on blankets and chairs and enjoyed the talents of Hornet’s young and old. Congratulations to the talented and hardworking cast and crew on a FANTASTIC performance!

New York Diary: Travel Through The Big Apple With Senior Savannah Draud
Upper School art students recently went on an arts tour of New York City and Senior Savannah Draud ('15) was eager to share her first-hand experience of what this opportunity provided. Click here to read Savannah’s New York Journal and get a peek of the Big Apple through the eyes of one of our Hornets!

Sweeney Todd Wows Audiences
For three nights, the Upper School production of Sweeney Todd captivated audiences with the dark musical tale of a demon barber. Congratulations to the talented and hardworking cast and crew on a FANTASTIC performance!

Jazz Band Performs in Orlando
The Varsity Jazz Band traveled to Orlando, Florida on February 13-15, to perform at Universal Studios and attend a jazz clinic at Rollins College.  The band performed in City Walk on Saturday morning as thousands of people poured into the park.  They received many compliments from the audience, who enjoyed Sweet Georgia Brown and Nothing From Nothing (Billy Preston) the most. On Sunday, the band traveled to Rollins College for a 2-hour session with Chuck Archard, Director of Jazz Studies at Rollins, and some local professional musicians.  They worked with the SCDS band on tunes they will be performing at their next concert--March 12 at 7pm in Jelks).  The students greatly enjoyed the discussion about the different ways to approach improvisation.

Sophmore Hannah Buchman Wins Shakespeare Competition
All the world’s a stage and our Upper School Hornets couldn’t agree more, as they took to Jelks to present their monologues for ESU National Shakespeare Competition. Each student selected a choice monologue from his or her favorite play, memorizing and performing to an audience of judges and their peers. The competition is presented by The English-Speaking Union and provides teachers across the country with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. Not only does the completion help students develop appreciation of the power of language in literature, but also it lets their talents shine in a multitude of ways and allows them to engage in the broader literary community. This year, we are proud to announce winner, Hannah Buchman! Hannah will compete at New Hamstead High School on March 3rd against other students from Chatham County. Congratulations to Hannah and to all who competed! 

Hornets Win Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
We are thrilled to announce that the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards were recently announced. SCDS racked up TWENTY ONE awards! The gold and silver winners will be featured in an exhibition at SCAD Atlanta from Feb 27- Mar 20. 

Jordan Henry (jpgs of winning work attached, photo credit to Sarah Horan)
Caroline Durham (Allison and Courtnay - Sarah will send a jpg of winning photograph)
Laura Critz (writing)
Caroline Durham (photo)
Dorothy Green (jewelry)
Brittany Hodges (architecture)
Merida Ma (architecture)
Will Sampey (architecture)
Melissa Villarreal (jewelry)
Kirby Wheat (jewelry)

Congratulations to these talented student artists. 

All-State Orchestra
A BIG congratulations to the following students on their inclusion into the GMEA All-State Orchestra:
Sydney Moore '20, viola
Ben Stone '20, bass
Nina Kolman '19, viola
Patti Tao '18, violin
Christian Jones '17, bass
Rachael Tao '15, violin

Upper School Chorus Featured At Savannah Youth Sings!
Our Upper School Chorus was one of the few schools featured at Savannah Youth Sings, Savannah’s Invitational Choir Festival. These hornets shined and wowed the crowd at The Lucas Theatre and performed among Artist-in-Residence, Craig Denison, as well as Savannah Children’s Choir, the Georgia Southern University Chorale, Garrison Arts, Savannah Arts Academy Skylarks, Windsor Forest High School Troubadours, Islands High School, Oglethorpe Charter School, Sol C. Johnson High School, and Southeast Bulloch High School Advanced Chorus. Each year, a new organization is selected to benefit from all donations from the night-of  the concert, and this year's beneficiary is Savannah Friends of Music. Country Day is proud to have participated in Savannah Youth Sings for the past few years and equally excited to continue to take part in the years to come!

Nathaniel Hawthorne Gets a Modern Twist
Spongebob Squarepants, Dr. Seuss, selfies, and Nathaniel Hawthorne? There couldn't be a better way to interpret that old classic, The Scarlet Letter. Students in Rena Patton's American Literature class performed their interpretation of one of the three scaffold scenes, giving us Hester Prynne in a whole new light. This is only the Second Annual performance of The Scarlet Letter on the Quad, but given the enthusiasm from the audience, we can't wait for the next one.

Two Students Selected for National ACDA Honors Choir
Congratulations to sophomore Kate Templeton and eighth grader Blake Thacher. These two talented students were selected for the National ACDA Honors Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah in February 25-28, 2015.

Upper School Production of Enchanted April Delights Audiences
For three nights in November, the cast of Enchanted April transported audience members to a secluded seaside castle in Italy. The Upper School production was based on Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel that tells the story of four dissimilar English women who leave their damp and rainy environments to go on holiday. Congratulations to the entire cast for a “marvelous” show! 

Statewide Elementary Honors Chorus
Congratulations to Ansley Keaton, Catherine Goodman, Sarah Coyle, Karlo Jukic and Reid Keller. These five students represented Country Day at the Statewide Elementary Honors Chorus in Tifton, Ga., on Saturday, November 15!

"Giving Bach"
Orchestra teacher Paula Swart recently unveiled a new program at SCDS that provides opportunities for older student musicians to perform for their peers in concerts that are both educational and interactive. On the morning of Thursday, October 23, Upper School students performed for Mrs. Morgan’s second grade class. Rather than a typical performance, the younger students were encouraged to walk through the orchestra as they performed a piece by Tchaikovsky, and were instructed by orchestra members how to hold, pizzicato, and bow their instruments. Mrs. Swart hopes the “Giving Bach” program--originally started in California by orchestra teacher Richard Meyer—will flourish at Country Day.

Art in Squares
Art 101 students recently took on what appeared to be a daunting project—a large-scale celebrity portrait. After an intro into value, contrast and the full range of artist pencils, the students dove head first into the technique of grid enlargement. Each student was assigned one square of the grid to complete. After completing their individual section, the larger grid came together and the celebrity was revealed. An important takeaway for the students is that no drawing is too difficult if you break it down into small bites.

District Honors Choir
Congratulations to the below choral students for representing Country Day at the District Honors Choir performance on Saturday, October 18. The performance at Armstrong State University featured the best high school and middle school singers in the district.
Anna Stone(9), Parker Grove(9), Kate Templeton(10), Becky Buelvas(11), Marcus Hardrick(11), Stephanie Prill(11), Dorothy Collins(12), Lucy Ma(11), Blake Thacher(8), Katherine Lemack(8) and Graham Glass(6).

SCDS Wins Regional One Act Play Competition
On Saturday, October 18, the Upper School Advanced Acting Class traveled to Macon to defend their regional title in the GHSA One Act Play Competition. The group performed The Yellow Boat by David Saar and took home to top prize. Senior Davis Tate was named to the All-Star Cast.
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They will travel to Warner Robins on November 1 to compete for the state title. This is the third year in a row that SCDS has won the regional competition. Congratulations to director DJ Queenan and students Andy Paul, Kianna Maynard, Catherine Atkinson, Maya Hardrick, Davis Tate, Will Dismukes, Rares Cristian, Maya Patterson and Emma Huennekens.

Jazz Bands Kicks Off the 33rd Annual Jazz Festival
For a second year in a row, SCDS was honored to kickoff the annual Savannah Jazz Festival. The Varsity Jazz Band performed on Saturday to a packed tent in Habersham Village. The 33rd Annual Jazz Festival is held by the Coastal Jazz Association and is a week-long celebration of jazz and blues.

Upper School Field Trip
A recent field trip for the ART 400 class was especially meaningful as they took in the work of famed SCDS alumnus Jack Leigh ‘67. The exhibit, “Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs” is the first museum survey of work by the photographer since his passing ten years ago. In addition to the exhibit at the SCAD Museum of Art, students also spent time at the Jepson Center.

Chorus Retreats to Tybee
An annual highlight for the Upper School choir is the Fall Retreat where students mix and mingle, making great memories through music. Apart from the usual singing and fun on the beach, there were moments that demonstrated the character of the group, including when the entire group rallied to encourage and support the students who tried out for solos (almost everyone!) and during Saturday night's talent show where the wide range of instrumental and vocal talents, enthusiasm, and camaraderie were on full display. The weekend also included the election of Choral Council officers: Regan Bowers, president, Gabby Lauretti, vice president, Maya Hardrick, secretary, and Becky Buelvas, publicity.
A huge thank you to Val Bowers for working out all of the logistics, the Templeton family for graciously lending their beach house for the weekend, Deborah Glenn for catching some fantastic moments on film, and to all of the parents that provided meals and snacks for the retreat. Big thanks to Leah Nestor, who came to help work sectionals with the group on Saturday, and to Michael Ray for overseeing the fun and festivities with his new students. 

Arts Alliance Video
Fine Arts Instructors
Ms. Kristin Mulzer
Upper School Art Teacher
Grades 9-12

Mrs. Jadde 'Jadde' Nolty
Lower School Strings Teacher
Grades 4-5

Mrs. Sharon Eswine
Lower School Art Teacher
Grades K-5

Mrs. Ann Jones
Middle School Art Instructor

Mr. Dennis 'DJ' Queenan
Middle & Upper School Theater

Mr. David Elliott
Jazz/Band Instructor

Mrs. Maaja Roos
Upper School Choral Director

Ms. Paula Swart
Strings Teacher

Mrs. Leah 'Leah' Nestor
Lower School Music Instructor