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
Join us for an evening of comedy!
Mark your calendar for three evenings of laughter as the Upper School drama students present the Neil Simon play, Rumors. This comedic murder mystery is sure to delight!
Thursday- Saturday, April 24-26
7 p.m. 
Jelks Auditorium

Savannah Youth Sings!
For several years, Savannah Country Day School has reached out to Savannah youth by providing an opportunity to perform in a community concert at the Lucas Theater. This year's annual youth choir festival took place on the evening of Monday, April 14. Featured choirs included Garrison Arts, Savannah Arts Academy, Windsor Forest High School, Johnson High School, Islands High School, Savannah Country Day School, The Savannah Children’s Choir, The Statesboro Children’s Chorale and The Georgia Southern University Choral.  An exciting addition this year was the Festival Mens Chorus, drawing from both Middle and Upper School students in the community.  Proceeds benefitted talented young people through SONATA, a group that seeks to foster Savannah children by providing lessons and musical support. A special Thanks for Maaja Roos for her ongoing direction with this event.

James and the Giant Peach
The country day community gave rave reviews to the latest theatre production.... the Middle School's adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. For three shows the stage of Jelks Auditorium was transformed into the zany and unexpected world of author Roald Dahl. With 34 students participating, it was a record number for the spring production! Congratulations to these talented students for bringing this childhood classic to life.

Joseph Conyers '99 Surprises Students
The fourth grade bassists were thrilled with Friday's surprise visit by SCDS alumnus Joseph Conyers '99. Mr. Conyers, who was in town for the Savannah Music Festival, is the assistant principal bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. His visit was especially nostalgic as he was able to play for the students using the same instrument he used during this time at Country Day. One student was overheard saying, "He is super famous!"A big thank you to Mr. Conyers for sharing his time, talents and words of encouragement with these budding musicians.

Upper School Strings Serenade Second Graders
Second graders were all ears and in awe as upper school orchestra students played a concert in the foyer of lower school last week. Ms. Swart enthusiastically introduced her students, their accomplishments and the activities they have been involved in during their time at SCDS. As students prepare for third grade they have a choice between strings or general music. The violin, viola, or cello are instruments offered in the strings program. Students enjoyed a chance to hear and learn more about more about these instruments and the upper school students who have been playing them throughout their SCDS careers.
Visit the links below to hear a few sound bites from the concert.
Strings Clip One
Strings Clip Two

Putting the Final Touches on Duck Renderings
Wildlife and the environment are important to our students, so it is only natural that our students enjoy taking part in the annual Federal Duck Stamp Competition. After researching the species and their habitats, students work from still life and photographs using ink, pastel, crayon and/or pencil to create their renderings. In addition to submitting the artwork, students are also encouraged to include a conservation message expressing what they learned from their research and class discussions while preparing for the competition. Good luck to all of our SCDS Duck Stamp participants, as the competition deadline approaches!

Visiting Artist in Honors Art
Before spring break, visiting artist Melinda Borysevicz spent time working with Honors Art students on portraiture techniques. Originally from New York, Borysevicz holds a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She received a Certificate of Excellence in the International Portrait Competition from the Portrait Society of America in 2013 and has been selected for multiple solo and group art exhibitions. To learn more about Melinda Borysevicz's work please visit her website here. Thank you to the Arts Alliance for funding this wonderful opportunity for our students.

All State Orchestra
Country Day is proud of the six students who participated in the All State Orchestra Event on Saturday, March 1--more than any other local school. The event, which was held at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, included students Joyce Cho, Stephen Crouch, Michelle Liang, Danny Park, Rachael Tao and Patti Tao. These students were selected for the larger orchestra from rigerous competitions earlier in the year. Congratulations to these students and their teachers. 

Choral Students Perform at the Telfair Ball
On the evening of Saturday, February 22, members of the SCDS chorus were honored to join in the festivities of the 34th Annual Telfair Ball, benefitting the Telfair Museums.  Inspired by the exhibition Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain, the Telfair Ball included a Spanish theme, complete with vibrant color and costume. Choral students performed for guests, including the Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Ramon Gil-Cesares.  Bravo to the following students: Becky Buelvas, Hannah Buchman, Alexander Fleming, Brentton Ford, Ryan Khan, Gabby Lauretti and Emily Roher.

Chorus Students Perform at All State in Athens, Georgia
SCDS Chorus students proudly performed at the All-State Chorus Event on February 22 at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. Chorus students included, Regan Bowers, Bayne Brannen, Grace Eckmann, Parker Grove, Marcus Hardrick, Maya Hardrick, Andy Paul, Finn Repella, Anna Stone, Tristan Tait, and Kate Templeton. Bayne Brannen received recognition by the Georgia Music Educators Association for six years of participation. In addition, he has been accepted regionally and nationally into the American Choral Directors Association.
All-State Chorus is comprised of individual chorus students from around the state who have passed two extremely competitive auditions. Students who pass their auditions travel to Athens, for one weekend in February, to learn several pieces of music under the direction of very distinguished choral directors. On the final day of this weekend, all of the All State Chorus choirs give a concert. This is a widely recognized, highly esteemed singing event that is held throughout the United States in every state.

Chorus Students Perform with The Savannah Philharmonic
SCDS Chorus students Martha Ann Dodd and Jordan Sturgess joined The Savannah Philharmonic's performance of Handel's Messiah on Friday night to a sold-out crowd at Savannah's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Martha Ann has performed with the Philharmonic for four years, and this final concert proved to be an extraordinary experience, as she and Jordan met some of opera's greats. Pictured with Martha Ann and Jordan are Romelia Lichtenstein, Hagen Matzeit and Robert Sellier from Halle, Germany.

Upper & Middle School Celebrates Scholastic Art Achievement Winners
Congratulations to the following Upper & Middle School Art students--Scholastic Art Achievement winners!
Gold: Harrison West and Will Sampey
Silver: Landry Rushing, Nina Luskey, Amanda Edwards and Olivia Allen
Honorable Mention: Chase Waller, Joelle Strickland, Will Sampey, Vu-Anh Nguyen, Peyton Lowenthal, Michael Landa, Alex King and Dorothy Green.

Eleven Students Selected for ACDA Choir!
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is the most prestigious choral organization in America. Country Day was honored to have eleven students selected for this year's choir. Auditions are held annually and alternate between regional and national auditions. Country Day has had accepted students for the last thirteen years, and this year the Honor Choir rehearsals and concerts will be held for four days in Jacksonville. Among the many stipulated categories, the High School Division required singing repertoire from Beethoven and the Middle School from Handel. Each year the auditions have become increasingly difficult and require an all-year commitment of preparation. 
Congratulations to the following students:Bayne Brannen, Hannah Buchman, Martha Ann Dodd, Jorgepablo Fernandez, Alexander Fleming, Parker Grove, Isabelle Ham, Lindsay Pindar, Finn Repella, Kate Templeton and Connor Wilkes.

All-State Honors Chorus
Congratulations to the following students for having passed two highly competitive auditions. The second very difficult audition often results in singers being eliminated from the process. For the first time in many years, a record number of Country Day students have succeeded at both levels and will go on to sing in the Honor Choirs in Athens, Ga.
Regan Bowers, Bayne Brannen, Grace Eckmann, Parker Grove, Marcus Hardrick, Maya Hardrick, Andy Paul, Finn Repella, Anna Stone, Tristan Tait and Kate Templeton.

Ten All-State Orchestra Winners!
A BIG congratulations to our TEN All-State Orchestra winners who performed superbly at the final auditions in Atlanta.
GMEA Statewide Honor Orchestra: Sydney Moore '20 (viola), Christian Jones '17 (bass), Michael Keene,'15 (bass) and Matthew Cheng '16 (violin). GMEA All-State Orchestra: Stephen Crouch '14 (bass), Joyce Cho '16 (violin), Michelle Liang '16 (violin), Danny Park '15 (violin), Rachael Tao '15 (violin) and Patti Tao '18 (violin).

Jazz Band Performs at a Centennial Celebration
On the evening of Tuesday, January 14, the SCDS Jazz Band was honored to perform at the Rotary Club of Savannah's Centennial Celebration. The students received rave reviews from attendees, including several professional musicians that have performed with our band at the Savannah Jazz Festival and elsewhere, including Jody Espina (sax) and Howard Paul (guitar). Many thanks to Mike Nestor, professional musician and husband of Lower School music teacher Leah Nestor, who was able to play with the students and fill in for saxophonist Julian Gladney ('15), who had a basketball game that same night!

A Christmas Cantata
On the evening of December 8, the Upper School Chorus presented a special holiday concert at Christ Church. While the concert included traditional favorites such as "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "O Come, All Ye Faithful," the chorus performed an especially meaningful piece, "Joulu-Kantaat," by Helen Tobias-Duesberg, an Estonian-American composer and the mother of SCDS Choral Director Maaja Roos. Congratulations to the following students on their breathtaking performance: Regan Bowers, Bayne Brannen, Hannah Buchman, Becky Buelvas, Martha Ann Dodd, Grace Eckmann, Alexander Fleming, Brentton Ford, Sam Glenn, William Gompels, Marcus Hardrick, Maya Hardrick, Ryan Khan, Asher Kolman, Gabby Lauretti, Lucy Ma, Andy Paul, Lindsay Pindar, Emily Roher, Brookey Sligh, Tristan Tait, and Kate Templeton.

Link to "Laudamus Te" by Vivaldi:

Fine Arts Nights
For two evenings last week the Upper School Fine and Performing Arts Department hosted performances for family and friends. The opening night began with an art exhibit filled with ceramics, perspective drawings and more. Afterwards, attendees filled Jelks Auditorium for performances from both our choral students and drama classes. Later that week, the orchestra and jazz bands hosted a memorial concert honoring two members of the Class of 1975, Ruskin Cooper and Lynn Hepinstall. Audience members included several members from the class of 1975. Thank you to the talented students and teachers for two amazing nights!

One selection from the event:

Advanced Acting Class Takes Second Place at the State Competition
The success continued for the Upper School's Advanced Acting Class. The talented group of students, under the direction of DJ Queenan, took second place at the GHSA One Act Play Competition. Bailey Keith & Davis Tate were awarded All Star cast!

The Phantom Tollbooth, Jr.
The Middle School drama students delighted audiences with three shows of The Phantom Tollbooth, Jr.. Based on the children's novel by Norton Juster, the students transported the audience into the world of young Milo and his adventures in the time-traveling tollbooth. Congratulations to the cast and crew!

Trumpeter Vincent DiMartino Performs with Jazz Band
On Sunday, November 10, the Varsity Jazz Band participated in a community concert to raise funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank.  The concert, which raised $1,600, was hosted by First Presbyterian Church and featured renowned trumpeter Vincent DiMartino, who has performed with the likes of Doc Severinson, Henry Mancini, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and many others. As an added bonus, Mr. DiMartino traveled to campus and met with the students this morning for an open workshop in Jelks Auditorium.

"Mandalfombra" Public Art Piece
Students, faculty and parents gathered on the morning of November 1 for the closing ceremony of the Advanced Art Class' public art piece, "Mandalfombra." Gaining inspiration from the Mandalas of Tibet and the Alfombras of Guatemala, the ten students spent the week creating an intricate artwork made of sand and rice. The destruction ceremony symbolized the notion of anti-materialism. See a video HERE

Opera Stars Spend Time with SCDS Students
In celebration of National Opera Week, renowned Opera star Sherrill Milnes' VOICExperience group visited Country Day's Chorus students on Wednesday, October 30.  Maaja Roos' 5th grade, Middle & Upper School students participated in a lesson and showed their amazing talent to the guests, who are all said to be future opera stars.  Upper School students joined the opera entourage in a flash mob in the cafeteria, singing from La Traviata. 
WTOC was there to capture some of this fabulous experience.  Thank you, Ms. Roos and Chorus students, for making us proud--and on the news, no less!  Enjoy the link:

Advanced Acting Class Wins GHSA One Act Play Competition
DJ Queenan's Advanced Acting Class (the same group who won 1st place in Kingsland 2 weeks ago) took top honors at the GHSA One Act Play Competition in Macon on Saturday, October 26.  Their breath-taking performance of "Elephant's Graveyard" showed the passion, dedication, and incredible skill of these young actors and their director, DJ Queenan.  Abbie Black walked out with a BEST ACTRESS award for her portrayal of Ballet Girl, & Bailey Keith was awarded ALL-STAR CAST for her role as Trainer. The students will compete again next Saturday, November 2, in Warner Robins for the State Title.  GO HORNETS!

Advanced Drama Class Wins First Place at the Georgia Theatre Conference
Congratulations to DJ Queenan's Advanced Drama Class. Their intense performance of "Elephant's Graveyard" last Friday at the Georgia Theatre Conference in Kingsland, Georgia, won them a FIRST PLACE trophy and the opportunity to compete in Mobile, Alabama, at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March. SCDS also won Best Costumes for costumer Chann Givens, and students Abbie Black, Maya Patterson and Bailey Keith were awarded All-Star Cast! This is their second consecutive win at this prestigious competition!

Chase Waller and Bayne Brannen Take 1st and 2nd Place in Savannah Folk Music Youth Songwriting Competition
Congratulations to seniors Chase Waller and Bayne Brannen on their first and second place finishes in the Savannah Folk Music Youth Songwriting Competition! The 24th Annual Savannah Folk Music Festival, presented by the Savannah Folk Music Society on October 11, 12 and 13, 2013, featured the 2013 Youth Songwriting Competition. The purpose of this competition is to encourage young people from the Greater Savannah Area, Tri-County and Jasper/Beaufort County, SC to develop their skills in musical and lyrical expression, promote the time-honored method of storytelling by song, and recognize outstanding achievement in these efforts. Congratulations, Hornets!

Aluminum Can Cameras!
The students in Mr. George's Photography class have been busy creating pin-hole cameras made out of recycled aluminum cans that they will dispurse throughout campus.  The cameras will be mounted up in trees and will include a sheet of light-sensitive paper that will take a series of unique, interesting images that will be combined at the end of the quarter to create a snapshot of life at Country Day. What a fantastic and unique project for our Photography students!

Chorus Students "Retreat" to Epworth by the Sea
On Friday, September 27, the Upper School choral students traveled to Epworth by the Sea for their annual overnight retreat. The goal of the retreat was not only to learn repertoire for the year, but to work on becoming a unified and supportive ensemble. After many hours of rehearsing, these dedicated and talented students returned Sunday and performed an impressive debut concert in Triol Hall followed by a potluck dinner with family and friends.  Many thanks to the Arts Alliance for helping to fund the retreat.

Future Architects?
To expand on their studies of Linear Perspective, Kristin Mulzer's Art 101 students have been seen all over campus using the buildings to inspire their drawings.  The students have been sketching buildings on campus in 1 and 2-point perspective -- a type of drawing that is often used by Architects, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Industrial Designers, and Engineers.  What a great way to take advantage of our beautiful campus! 

Jazz Band Rocks out at Jazz Festival
On Sunday, September 22, the SCDS Jazz Band kicked off the Savannah Jazz Festival in Habersham Village to a crowd of about 200 slightly damp fans.  Soloists, vocalists and the entire band put on a fantastic show!  Congratulations to Dave Elliott and all of the Country Day Jazz Band students! 

Jazz Ensemble Opening Performance at the Savannah Jazz Festival!
The Savannah Country Day School Jazz Ensemble is honored to be selected as the opening performance at the 32nd Savannah Jazz Festival! Make sure to head out to Habersham Village on Sunday, September 22 at 2pm to support your Hornets!  Click here to see a full schedule of events.

Ceramics Students Help Feed the Hungry
In an effort to give back to the community, students in Kristin Mulzer's Ceramics class have been creating handmade bowls for the Empty Bowl Event at the Emmaus House Soup Kitchen.  The event recognizes the organization's 30 years of service to the homeless and hungry of Savannah. The students hope to contribute 45 bowls to the event, with the proceeds directly assisting the needs of the community. Click here to learn more!

It's Not too Late!
It's not too late to join the Arts Alliance!  The Arts Alliance provides a forum for parental involvement and support of Savannah Country Day School Fine Arts programs, to provide financial support for approved Fine Arts program projects and amenities, and to increase the awareness of the school’s Fine Arts programs both inside and outside the Savannah Country Day School family. Click here to view a video on what the Arts Alliance is all about and click here for the membership form. 

Kindergarten Artwork featured at The Children's Hospital
Ms. Ammerman's kindergarten class recently created creative and colorful self-portraits to fill the hallways of The Children's Hospital at Memorial Health Medical Center. The students were excited to brighten the hallways with their artwork!

Outdoor Inspiration
Kristin Mulzer's Art 101 students set up class near the Shakespeare Garden to practice their basic drawing techniques. The students focused on contour lines and using view finders to isolate compositions. Throughout the day, teachers and students can be found  utilizing the outdoor space available on our 65-acre campus.

Savannah Country Day School Hosts Project 440
On Saturday, September 21 from 9:00am-12:00pm at Savannah Country Day School, artists from Project 440 will lead their "High School Seminar." The Project 440 High School Seminar teaches high school musicians to use their own musical gifts to enhance the lives of others. After receiving training from P440 teaching artists and staff, students are charged with presenting a community engagement performance anywhere in their own community. The goal of the program is to highlight the array of career paths for a young, burgeoning musician and to ignite an early appreciation for community engagement and educational outreach." Participants receive a copy of the "High School Survival Kit", "designed to provide pre-college students with the relevant tools and information necessary for a career in music in the 21st century. The High School Seminar is free and open to any high school musician, but registration is required. Click here for additional information!

Artwork on Display at Children's Hospital
Congratulations to our Middle School art students! Several pieces were selected for display at the Children's Museum at Memorial University Medical Center.
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