The Fine Arts Program at St. Andrew’s Upper School is unrivaled.
Supported by a state-of-the-art, 64,000 square foot fine arts complex – the Dell Fine Arts Center – St. Andrew’s offers 21 different fine arts courses taught by faculty with decades of experience combined. Our theatre sets have won statewide awards, our Select Choir is regularly invited to sing at the National Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and our studio artists have been featured in galleries around the nation.
Students may choose from a variety of acting classes, advanced and AP art, applied filmmaking, choir, concert band, dance, jazz band, musical theatre, rock band, strings, technical theatre, theatre production, and yearbook, with multi-year course offerings available. Productions are known city-wide and many of our students graduate and go on to professional careers in the arts.
Our Upper School Choir students all received the highest possible rating for their vocal performances at the TPSMEA State Solo & Ensemble Contest in Houston this month! Students performing solos sang by memory, with piano by Ms. Lori Hahn. Ensembles sang a capella (without piano):
Upper School artists visited Los Angeles this month for the annual Art & Architecture trip, which included visits to the UCLA art department, Hammer Museum, Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, Broad Museum, Gamble House, Norton Simon Museum, and Getty Center. A special appearance was made by alumna McKenna Rishel ‘18, who gave students a tour of the ArtCenter College of Design where she is currently studying. Also this month, our Upper School fine and performing artists participated in the 52nd annual Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival, hosted this year on St. Stephen’s campus. Pictured are some fall musical cast members for “Jesus Christ Superstar” performing.
Come see our 36 Middle Schoolers, 10 Upper Schoolers, and 8 faculty take-on the hit Disney musical "Newsies" this spring at the Upper School's Dell Fine Arts Center. Performances appropriate for all ages, so bring the family! Click here to purchase tickets online or call the Long Center box office at 512-474-5664.
Middle School Musical: "Newsies" Friday, May 10 at 7:00 pm Saturday, May 11 at 2:00, 7:00 pm Dell Fine Arts Center (5901 Southwest Parkway) Tickets: Click here or call 512-474-5664
Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys' expense, Kelly and his fellow Newsies take action.
In honor of National Women’s History Month, Laney Goodrum ‘22 welcomed Mrs. Sruthi Mohan to the Upper School to co-host a Women in Dance workshop for students on March 12. Read Sruthi’s description of her visit to St. Andrew’s, “Of Dancers and Acceptance,” on her website here. Reflecting on Laney’s leadership role in her visit, Sruthi writes, “I had read through Laney's discussion points earlier and was quite thrilled to see how much thought she had put into the issues that she wanted to shine a light on. From gender disparity to the prejudice that dancers of color have to face, the topics were thought-provoking and essential.” Sruthi adds, “Our group consisted of 4 students who were dancers and 8 who weren't. I was also pleased to see that two young men had joined the group.”
Our student vocalists had a rare opportunity to join with three other choirs from across the country on the infamous Carnegie Hall stage as part of their trip to New York City. Piano instructor Lori Hahn said, “The trip was fabulous. We had daily rehearsals with clinician Dr. David Thye, followed by the premiere performance of ‘Lux’ by Dan Forrest, which is a five-movement piece for choir and orchestra. The choir was accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble. It was beautiful.” Listen to a clip of the choirs rehearsing here.
It's time to start thinking about your summer plans - that means summer camp at St. Andrew's! Our summer camp is open to everyone, so feel free to invite a friend or family member who doesn't attend our school.
What: Summer at St. Andrew's camp
When: June 3-July 19, 2019. *Camp will be closed July 1-5.
Who: Open to all Austin youth ages 4-18 - invite friends to join you!
How to register: 1) Download the camp catalog to read camp details and make your selections before registering 2) Visit www.sasaustin.org/summer.Click on the yellow "Register" button to begin the process. (You can also download the camp catalog on this page.)
Our mid-year, digital magazine The Highlander is here. (Download a PDF version here).Our students have been growing every day in their classrooms, on courts, fields, and stages, and in the greater Austin community. Be sure you click on our hyperlinked content to find extra info and photos. Our magazines are always available to view (including archived issues) on our Publications page.
Making the All-State Choir is an accomplishment unto itself, but St. Andrew’s vocalists had some particularly noteworthy achievements this year. Not only was student Maria Tobias ‘21 a featured soloist in the All-State Choir concert in January, but “St. Andrew’s had the most All-Staters from a single private school or organization in the entire state, which is a huge deal,” remarked Cate Gasco, St. Andrew’s Upper School Choir Director.
Nazro Lab Theater (inside the Dell Fine Arts Center)
Thursday, January 31, 7:00-8:15 pm
Saturday, February 2, 2:00-3:15 pm and 7:00-8:15 pm
It’s your last chance to see our senior drama students take their turn in the director’s chair, with this week’s final play “Eurydice.” They’ve already tackled "No Exit" with Hannah Bray '19, “The Heidi Chronicles” with Adrian Almy ‘19, and “A Small Fire” with Sophie Crawford ‘19. Thanks to parent Peggy Keelan for capturing our talented actors on stage!
Every two to three years, since 2004, the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Choir has answered the call to shine its musical light on the stage of New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall. Their 2019 visit, on Saturday, March 23 at 7 pm, will be their eighth appearance under the auspices of MidAmerica Productions.
On Halloween our Upper Schoolers opened their fall musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and it’s safe to say it was a production unlike any seen before at Dell Fine Arts Center. Director Rick Garcia’s interpretation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera had 54 performers and 25 technicians executing incredibly creative and complicated feats of aerial dancing, flying, and body percussion. The lead roles of Jesus (Ethan Hanna ‘20, Will Snider ‘20) and Judas (Eugenia De La Garza Montfort ‘21, Emma Williams ‘19) were double cast, providing our many talented performers an opportunity to shine while easing the demands of a six-show schedule - not including the two preview performances for our alumni and Middle School.
“This year we had a record 29 students make the [TPSMEA] Region Choir and 16 students make All-State, which is amazing,” said Cate Gasco, St. Andrew’s Upper School Choir Director. Sending 29 students to Region Choir means over 60 percent of St. Andrew’s Upper School vocalists received this honor. (Scroll down to see the complete list of St. Andrew’s selectees.)
Get inspired by our Select Choir, performing on and off campus this holiday season. Did you know that you can hire Select Choir to perform for a corporate or private party? Contact Cate Gasco for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Andrew’s Upper School Fine Arts Department Chair, Dr. David Guidi, was recently asked to serve as the director for the TMEA Region 8 Honors Jazz Band. The concert features talented public school students that were selected through an intensive audition process, and will be held at Temple College in Temple Texas at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 10, at 7:00 pm. The concert is free and open to the public. Program to be selected from:
Join us for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar"! Our Upper School cast of 54 performers and 25 technicians are bringing a new interpretation of this classic to life with aerial dancing, body percussion, and flying. Suggested ages: Middle School ages and up (simulated gun violence and whipping).
Eighteen St. Andrew’s film students travelled to Aspen, Colorado together to attend the 27th Aspen Shortsfest film festival in April. The festival featured accomplished and aspiring directors' films that were up to 25 minutes long. The students watched close to 30 short films that varied in topic and genre such as documentaries, dramas, and even some innovative animations. In addition to the films, the students attended the up-and-coming film director Reinaldo Marcus Greene's film talk where they learned how the filmmaker got started in his career. Additionally, St. Andrew’s film students had an exclusive opportunity to attend a workshop led by film director Miguel Alvarez as he discussed the script to screen process of his film "Atlantic City." It was a creative and explorative learning experience for both the students and teachers who accompanied them.
Congrats to our Upper School students whose fall musical “Catch Me If You Can” won them three categories at the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards on April 18! Senior Stone Mountain won Best Actor for his portrayal of Frank Abagnale, Jr., and our theatre program won Best Musical Direction and Best Costume Design. Read the full story on the Statesman’s blog here
Stone Mountain ‘18 is the youngest of eight soloists selected to perform in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” on June 29-30, 2018, in honor of the renowned composer’s centennial birthday. According to the event website, Mass will feature over 250 adult and youth singers, dancers, and instrumentalists. Stone says, “It is such an amazing opportunity to get to work with all of these incredible professional performers, and I think all of us hope this concert works as an opportunity to reintroduce younger generations to classical and musical theatre music.”
Austin Actors Studio, a professional theatre company dedicated to creating opportunities for young actors to work with professionals, will debut its first production, “The Diviners,” by Jim Leonard, Jr., on Friday, February 16, at 8:00 pm. The performance will be held at the Nazro Theatre on St. Andrew’s Upper School campus located at 5901 Southwest Parkway.
For the first time in school history, our band programs at the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools are joining forces for a special night of music this Sunday, February 11, at 3:00 pm in the Upper School's Dell Fine Arts Center.
Our Upper School jazz and music teacher, Dr. Dave Guidi, recently presented at the Jazz Educator's Network (JEN) national conference held in Dallas. Each year, JEN hosts a four-day conference for high school and college music educators and industry professionals that features student and professional concerts and a variety of presenters.
Our Upper Schoolers welcomed two guest artists to Studio Art this month. Nico Schnitzer gave instruction using power tools to build tables for the art studios, repurposing our old chemistry tabletops. Sharon Rico Young demonstrated hot glass techniques with some AP Studio Art girls on the newly built tables!
Three St. Andrew’s Middle Schoolers—Laney Goodrum '22, Cecile McWilliams '22, and Luke Weaver '22—and two Upper Schoolers—Georgia Orchid '21 and Charlie Welland '21—are showing serious stamina, performing in seven shows a week for ZACH Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol” now through December 31. The dual demands of school and an acting company have not deterred our students from this opportunity. Luke Weaver '22 says, "A Christmas Carol has been such an exciting experience and I have learned how to manage my time, and what it is like to be a professional actor. My teachers have been very supportive by working with me on my deadlines and helping me manage my school work. I am so excited to have them come to the show and see this great production!”
St. Andrew’s hosted the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir this month at the Upper School’s Dell Fine Arts Center. One of our own Upper School vocalists in Select Choir, Lana Soileau ‘18, attended the performance on November 2. She said, “I heard from multiple people that seeing this choir was on their bucket list, and it's so amazing that we were able to hear them right in our backyard.” One of her favorite songs they sang was “Inneggiamo, il Signor Non e Morto” because “It's a song I've sung before and they did it so beautifully.”
Congratulations to our Upper School students who dazzled audiences last weekend with their musical production Catch Me If You Can! Both the performers and the technicians had challenges to face, as Director Rick Garcia explains, “I am proud of all our work, but Catch Me If You Can was more challenging because the dancing was more complex and I also added a live television feed to the design. But, as always, the entire company of actors and technicians accepted the challenge and created an unbelievable work of art. I never tire of hearing audience members question in disbelief, ‘Is this a high school production?’”
The art studio has been humming with creative activity these past six weeks. The AP Studio Art students have been asked to create the background images for the Peter and the Wolf performance at the upcoming Austin Symphony Orchestra performance on Oct. 29. Ten artists have stepped up to the challenge of creating atmospheric images that relate to the story without telling the story. The imagery is stunning and the young artists will be given tickets to the performance and honored on stage for their efforts. The symphony is thrilled with the artwork and has asked that it be exhibited in the lobby of the performance.
“We hope our mural is a splash of color and excitement...and that people find the cafeteria more welcoming. We hope to open the door for more art projects like this on campus,” says Allisonand Samantha Rauch ‘20, who collaborated on a large mural project this year that is currently installed in the Upper School’s cafeteria. “We think it is very important that students have opportunities to work on projects [like this] that interest them and play to their unique strengths. It gives them the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.”
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is pleased to welcome the Vienna Boys Choir to its Dell Fine Arts Center for a special vocal performance on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday, July 17, 2017 and will be available for purchase via the Long Center website or by calling the Long Center box office (512-474-5664). An early bird discounted rate of 10 percent off Orchestra seats will run through September 1, 2017.
Art and music students enjoyed a beautiful session inside Upper School’s chapel on April 5, when noted Austin harpist and UT teacher Delaine Leonard performed for St. Andrew’s classes. Art students tested their skills in drawing, painting and photography while Ms. Leonard performed and answered questions; music students also had the chance to interview her. Included here is a harp drawing inspired by Ms. Leonard’s visit by AP Studio Art student Erin Rusek ‘18.
Sophomore harpist Anna Booth auditioned and was selected by a panel of judges for the Texas Music Educators Association All-Region Honor Orchestra. In November, students from numerous Austin area high schools participated in two days of rehearsals led by guest conductor, Stephen Heyde, Professor of Orchestral Studies and Conductor-in-Residence at Baylor University.
On November 29, the St. Andrew’s Jazz Band performed at Southwestern University, opening a concert for the university’s jazz band. Their program included “Hoe Down” by Oliver Nelson, “Speak No Evil” by Wayne Shorter, and “Upside Downside” by Mike Stern.
This year the Upper School fall musical “Legally Blonde” gave student performers a chance to show off their comedic timing and singing and dancing skills through a light-hearted story based on the popular Reese Witherspoon movie. Three seniors, Ellie Rudy, Christian Erben, and Ethan Rogers, reflected on the lessons they learned from this year’s project, and what it feels like to reach the culmination of their musical experience at St. Andrew’s. Click here to view the photo gallery.
Director of the St. Andrew’s Upper School Jazz and Concert Bands, Dr. David Guidi, was recently invited to serve as the conductor of the Texas Music Educator’s AssociationRegion 32 Jazz Band. This ensemble is comprised of high school students that went through a competitive selection process. The concert will be at Glenn High School in Leander, Texas, on Saturday, December 10 at 3:00 pm. The program includes:
Eighth grade students got a glimpse at life at the Upper School during their “step up” day on Oct. 26, when they visited a few classes, explored the mLab, and attended a special performance of the Upper School musical “Legally Blonde.” Cast members spent a few minutes before the show sharing their experiences as performing artists at the Upper School.
Over the October 14 weekend, the Upper School screenwriting and filmmaking class had the opportunity to go to the Austin Film Festival with all-access passes from the Young Filmmakers Scholarship program. The seven of us were able to see any panel, film, roundtable discussion, or conference - which we took advantage of.
Congratulations to Rachel Nezzer ‘17, Ford Chupik ‘18, Lucas Glass ‘18 and Theo Rankin ’18, our Applied Filmmaking students who won 1st place in the Travis County “Get the Vote” high school video competition. Click here to view their winning video, "Moving Forward": https://vimeo.com/183725850
When Upper School Theater Director Rick Garcia received an invitation to speak with the U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., he was flattered and intrigued. He says, “The invitation said I had been recommended by my peers, but I didn’t know who to thank.” It wasn’t until he arrived in Washington, D.C. that he began putting the pieces together.
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.