Click on the headings below to read an overview of each Fine Arts course offered at Holy Cross.
The Fine Arts survey class encompasses music from the Baroque period to 20th century music. Students are taught basic music theory and the history of the composers in this period. They are taught the art of listening to music and how to define the periods of music that they hear. They become familiar with the instruments of the orchestra and they learn to define the basic orchestra groups such as strings, brass, woodwind and percussion and the instruments within these sections. The Arts portion of the class begins with cave painting and continues through the ancient Egyptians, Romans, early Christian art, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, Romanticism, Impressionism through 20th century art. Students study various aspects of art history and how the art world influences, and was influenced by, history through architecture, sculpture and painting.
Students will be exposed to a variety of media throughout the course. Students learn the basics of traditional media such as clay and plaster as well as non-traditional media such as the assemblage of found objects. With all projects students will be shown the work of artists working in the same or similar styles or genres. All projects are hands on and while each project has its own set of parameters and requirements, students are encouraged to push the limits of the assignment and let their creativity flourish.
There is also a significant written component. Students learn to make written observations about artwork and in so doing are made to realize elements of the work that are not immediately visible, but are nonetheless vital parts of the work’s composition.
In the 2-Dimensional Segment of Art 7, students learn about basic visual elements that are essential to understanding how a work of art achieves its visual effects. Line, shape, color, texture, and form are the pivotal concepts around which all of the projects revolve. Students work with computer programs as well as traditional media in order to understand the significance of these five basic elements.
Students will be exposed to a variety of media throughout the course. Many projects begin with design work in a 2D format so that students can begin to see the connections between different formats. With all projects students will be shown the work of artists working in the same or similar styles or genres. All projects are hands on and while each project has its own set of parameters and requirements, students are encouraged to push the limits of the assignment and let their creativity flourish.
There is also a significant written component. Students learn to make solid and well organized statements about various works of art.
In the 2-Dimensional Segment of Art I, students learn basic 2-Dimensional Design, which is the arrangement of visual elements in a flat space. Students work in a wide variety of media, including paint, collage, oil pastels, and computer generated art. Each project requires a written reflection, and there is a great emphasis placed on time management and completing tasks thoroughly.
Students will begin to develop the knowledge and skills to design 3 dimensional works of art that express their understanding of 3D design and the elements and principles of art using a wide variety of media. Many projects begin with design work in a 2D format so that students can begin to see the connections between 2D and 3D and how an artist goes through the process of translating 2 dimensional designs into 3 dimensional works of art. With all projects students will be shown the work of artists working in the same or similar style or genre. All projects are hands on and while each project has its own set of parameters and requirements, students are encouraged to push the limits of the assignment and let their creativity flourish.
The 2-Dimensional Segment of Art II will focus on drawing and painting. Students will explore the creation of space through drawing technique and learn to create similar effects with the use of paint.
In Art II students will expand their knowledge of the elements and principles of art introduced in Art I. The projects will be geared towards further developing their knowledge of various materials as well as their critical vision of 3D design. All projects are hands on and while each project has its own set of parameters and requirements, students are encouraged to push the limits of the assignment and let their creativity flourish.
Students at the level of Art III will be asked to perform more complex tasks and simultaneously achieve greater quality than they did in previous levels of art. Members of the class will be admitted at the discretion of the department faculty based on their past performances.
Much of the media from previous levels will be revisited in an attempt to have the students achieve a higher level of competency. Assignments will be more conceptual in nature and have fewer specific guidelines. At this time, students will be more responsible for managing their time and progress.
In Art III students will use their acquired knowledge of the elements and principles of art introduced in Art I and II. The projects will continue to develop their knowledge of various materials by adding more complex requirements to each project’s guidelines. The projects in Art III will focus heavily on both abstract and figurative design. Students will be expected to incorporate various themes and concepts into the art that they produce.
As seniors in their fourth year of studio art, these students will enter the school year having decided what they wish to accomplish and will be graded based on the accumulated work at semester’s end as well as in a mid-semester review. The year will culminate in a group exhibition of their artwork.
Additional Visual Art Programs on Campus:
AP STUDIO ART
The AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. The AP Studio Art program consists of three portfolios – 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Drawing – corresponding to the most common college foundation courses. AP Studio Art sets a national standard for performance in the visual arts that contributes to the significant role the arts play in academic environments. Each year the thousands of portfolios that are submitted in AP Studio Art are reviewed by college, university, and secondary school art instructors using rigorous standards. This College Board program provides the only national standard for performance in the visual arts that allows students to earn college credit and/or advanced placement while still in high school. The AP program is based on the premise that college-level material can be taught successfully to secondary school students. It also offers teachers a professional development opportunity by inviting them to develop a course that will motivate students to perform at the college level. In essence, the AP program is a cooperative endeavor that helps high school students complete college-level courses and permits colleges to evaluate, acknowledge, and encourage that accomplishment through the granting of appropriate credit and placement.
BEGINNING BAND: 5TH – 7TH GRADE
This course is designed for those students who have never played a musical instrument or those students with little experience. Basic fundamentals are emphasized such as embouchure development and tone production. Students begin learning a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument in grade five. No prior music experience is necessary, and anyone is capable of learning an instrument! Instruments are selected before school starts, at a special instrument selection day held at Holy Cross. The band directors work one on one with each student for successful instrument selection.
Separate band classes are held during the school day for each grade level as part of the regular schedule. Little, if any, after school rehearsals are necessary in beginning band.
INTERMEDIATE BAND I: 6TH GRADE
This course is designed for those students who have completed the Beginning Band course or its equivalent. Emphasis is placed on rhythmic accuracy and technical development. Students are subjected to more advanced music that includes different key and time signatures. Fundamentals of music theory are stressed.
INTERMEDIATE BAND II: 7TH GRADE
This course is designed for those students who have completed Intermediate Band I or its equivalent. The study of scales and time signatures is expanded. Musical expression and music theory are stressed. Students prepare for the transition into the Holy Cross Tiger Band.
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APPLIED MUSIC I
This course is designed for the 8th and 9th grade percussion student. In this class students receive a curriculum that begins with standard percussion techniques. Students learn how to use the mallet instruments, tympani, various auxiliary percussion and for some students that show a preference for small combo work or jazz band, the drum set. The percussion students are taught rhythmic dictation and elementary music theory.
APPLIED MUSIC II
This course is designed for the advanced high school percussion student. Included are the curriculum objectives from Applied Music I on to a more advanced level. The more advanced percussion students are expected to perform in all the performing groups where percussion is involved. This includes the marching band in the fall and the symphonic band in the winter/spring semester. The advanced percussion student is involved in jazz band and percussion ensemble. There are limited positions in jazz band.
ADVANCED BAND I
Advanced Band I is a music course for the intermediate to advanced brass and woodwind students. Curriculum includes more advanced studies and music theory. Students are taught proper tone production, learning how to balance in an ensemble, posture, articulation and all the tenets of the music student. They learn to become advanced in the finer skills involved with musicianship.
ADVANCED BAND II
Advanced Band II is designed for the advanced band student. Students learn conducting techniques and are subjected to more advanced band literature as well as advanced music theory. The basic skills that they learn in Advanced Band I are continued to stress the basic fundamentals of music performance. We prepare students for performance on a more advanced level.
ADVANCED BAND III & IV HONORS
This course would be for the more advanced music student. The curriculum would deal with advanced music theory that would include sight singing, conducting, music history, form and analysis and keyboard harmony. There will also be an emphasis on performance including the analysis of performance pieces by the student and other students in the class. This will give the student the opportunity to perform with other musicians in small group situations and performing solo works with a piano accompanist. The student must take private lessons with a reputable instructor and must have at least a 3.0 average in all classes. Students will be required to audition for state and district honor band.
MIDDLE SCHOOL EXPLORATORY PROGRAM
Chorus is one of the many samplings available to Holy Cross middle school students through their Exploratory Courses. Students perform in two major concerts per year. Repertoire is challenging, but fun. It includes songs in different languages, canons, simple harmonies in variety of styles. In addition, students learn basic music reading skills and rehearsal techniques for use in a choral setting.
MEN’S CHORUS: 8TH – 12TH GRADE
The Holy Cross Men’s Chorus is an advanced vocal ensemble. Students in this ensemble sing a wide variety of challenging repertoire, ranging from sacred Latin pieces to pop arrangements in the style of Glee. The Father Moreau Chorale produces a minimum of two major concerts per year, participates in the Louisiana Music Educators’ Large Ensemble Festival, and represents Holy Cross at a number of community events.
Schedule permitting, students may sing with the Holy Cross Men’s Chorus for grades 8th through 12th. Repertoire for high school chorus ensembles is planned in a five-year cycle, therefore, when a student re-takes Chorus it means that the student will continually be exposed to new styles of music. For example, one year the class may focus on a major work from the Renaissance era, while the following year they may focus on the music of several living composers. Singing with this vocal ensemble throughout high school will result in a well-rounded choral music experience.
In addition to performance skills, time is taken to develop each student’s knowledge of music theory and history in all classes. Instruction in these topics is differentiated, meeting each student at his current level of musical knowledge.
CHORUS III & IV HONORS
This course is for advanced vocalists. An audition is required to enroll in the class. The curriculum focuses on advanced vocal production in solo and ensemble performance, conducting, and music analysis based on theory concepts and historical/cultural context. In addition to coursework and performances throughout the school year, students are required to participate in state/district level honor choir auditions and district solo and ensemble festival.
In 6th Drama, students will begin to develop their abilities to creatively express themselves through the application of knowledge, ideas, communication skills, organizational abilities, and imagination. Students also explore the deep history of theatre and relate it to world and American history. Students begin to learn to make informed verbal and written observations about the arts by developing the skills for critical analysis through study of and exposure to the arts. An emphasis is placed on the development of basic performing and public speaking skills through the study of monologues and scenes. In addition, students begin to learn about the technical aspects of theatre through the various elements that contribute to a production, many of which go unnoticed by the audience.
This course includes the history of theatre, puppetry, pantomime, improvisation, script analysis, oral interpretation, and characterization. Aspects of comedy and tragedy are also studied along with scene work. The great dramatists’ plays are explored.
This course continues from Drama I. Creativity is expanded with several types of activities such as monologues, movement, and music. This course includes critiquing certain acting sequences in movies. Scene work is done in class, and a one-act play is performed. Stagecraft is also taught, and members of the class crew the stage productions during the year and learn all aspects of play production including box office and advertising.
DRAMA III & IV
These courses offer advanced acting training and participation in literary rally. The work is challenging and designed to prepare the actor for competition and college auditions. Members of this class make up the core casts of the major productions that are staged annually.