Overview

Drama, dance, music, and art are taught across various parts of the curriculum in all three school sections. Our students have the opportunity to perform in productions in our state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center (PAC), Godbout Hall, and mini-theaters in MS and HS. There are also many chances to perform in other locales on campus during special events, such as the International Food Fair and the Spanish Festival. Students can choose to join vocal and/or instrumental ensembles—such as the Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, as well as participate in the major theatrical and musical productions that RIS puts on each year. Students are also exposed to and get to experiment with all facets of visual arts, from PreK all the way through to IB Art for Juniors and Seniors in high school.

A fun fact: each of our Performing Arts faculty members were professionals in their particular fields of expertise before choosing to become teachers. While all surprisingly shy to admit it, these teachers made their livings by playing in bands that cut albums and toured, singing professional opera or as a principle soloist, playing instruments in jazz ensembles and in pit orchestras, and acting in off-Broadway shows. While none of them were superstars, they have all experienced lives as professional actors or musicians and know, first-hand, what it takes to reach that level of expertise and bring what they learned from their collective experiences with them to our students.

Performing Arts

The goal of the Performing Arts at RIS is to provide our students with a variety of opportunities to explore and develop their creativity, imagination, and self-expression. Students at every section of our school have opportunities to perform on stage. Whether in drama, choir, band, or dance, our students are encouraged to experiment in a variety of instruction and performance experiences.

RIS promotes the development and refinement of practical skills, techniques, and knowledge. We are committed to maintaining a balance between the process of creating, rehearsing, performing, and responding to a wide range of themes, context, and styles. These metacognitive activities nurture the effective work habits and RIS ideals of curiosity, risk-taking, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration.

Our students present their skills and knowledge not only in class but at many different events outside of the classroom. From concerts, charity events, drama and band days, and camps. To have a firsthand experience in the Performing Arts means students have an opportunity to learn not just theoretical aspects, but also to experience the joy of performance and appreciation of the Art.

Music

At RIS we have a vibrant and dynamic music department. Our students can perform with several vocal and/or instrumental ensembles.

Vocal Ensembles

We offer opportunities to participate in a variety of vocal ensembles both in school and after school in all three sections. Regardless of which vocal ensemble students choose, they will learn a variety of musical styles and have fun while doing so. The music faculty at RIS recognize the human voice as the musical instrument it is and students are taught correct vocal production techniques.

Instrumental Ensembles

Curricular instrumental music begins in middle school. Grade 6 Beginning Band assumes no prior musical knowledge. These students get to choose which standard band instrument they wish to specialize in: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, or percussion. In grades 7 and 8, students get to further their musical expression and technique by performing more challenging music in Advanced Band. Our high school students are encouraged to take their musical development even further with Concert Band, which is offered during the school day. After school, the Symphonic Ensemble is open to any student who plays an instrument that’s typically found in a symphonic band or orchestra. Finally, Jazz Band allows students to improvise and perform a variety of jazz styles including swing, Latin, rock, and funk. This ensemble is open to students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, or drum set. All of these music ensembles may be taken multiple times for credit.     

Visual Arts

Learning about visual arts increases students’ knowledge, creativity, aesthetic awareness, collaboration, and critical-thinking skills. The art program at RIS strives to inspire within each learner craftsmanship, understanding, and an appreciation of art that will prepare them to be highly successful learners, leaders, and contributors to society. We do this by implementing a coherent, well-balanced art program throughout every grade, starting in PreK. Our curriculum provides opportunities for students to express themselves through art production, creative problem-solving, recognizing the role and importance of art and artists in society, and building skills across a variety of mediums. All students are given opportunities to express themselves creatively and to take part in many other collaborative efforts that contribute to their artistic and personal development.