Porter-Gaud believes in the power of the Performing Arts so much our students begin performing in first semester of first grade. Our youngest students tell the story of the Thanksgiving of 1621 through music, the spoken work, and choreography, creating a lasting memory that stays with them through graduation. This emphasis continues throughout their academic careers. General music is taught in grades 1-8. Choral music and musical theatre begin in 4th grade.
Choral music has been a part of every civilization on earth, and Porter-Gaud values the choral music tradition. It is arguably the purest form of music, using our human voices as the instrument. Our students are encouraged from a young age to join together in singing, whether in chapel or in music classes. Porter-Gaud begins teaching choral music very early in the academic careers of our students. Students begin singing in first grade and begin organized choral singing in 4th grade. All students in the Lower School will participate in choir.
In the Middle School, choir becomes an elective. Our Middle School Choir is comprised of 60+ unauditioned singers in grades 5-8. The Leading Tones is an auditioned girls ensemble in the Middle School, comprised of 12 girls singing advanced SSA literature.
The Upper School has three vocal ensembles. The Upper School Choir is a group of 40+ unauditioned singers from grades 9-12. The Chamber Singers is in auditioned choir made up of singers from the Upper School Choir. The PorterBellas is an a cappella group comprised of a select group from Chamber Singers.
Porter-Gaud begins teaching instrumental music in the Lower School. Students learn to play various percussion instruments, Irish whistle, ukulele, and hand chimes. Middle and Upper School students who are able to play an instrument can participate in the Jazz Ensemble. We also have a handbell choir and a string ensemble.
With the recent opening of the blackbox theater/dance classroom, Porter-Gaud is able to offer a more complete dance curriculum. For several years, we offered an Intro to Dance class, but now can offer multiple levels of dance for those who are interested. Our dance curriculum focuses on the techniques of jazz and hip hop dance, but also teaches classical dance as well. The Intro class is open to any student in the Upper School who is interested.
Students at Porter-Gaud begin performing on stage in first grade with the Thanksgiving Play and continue to develop that craft throughout their years at PG. Over the course of a year, we put on seven fully-staged productions. In the Middle School, students begin to perform junior versions of well-known musicals. In the Upper School, students can take Introduction to Theatre as a class. We perform a play in the fall and a musical in the spring.