St. John’s Announces Development Of A New Performing Arts School by Andrew L. Baughman

St. John’s Episcopal School in Olney, MD, announces the development of a new Performing Arts “School-Within-A-School” program for students in grades 5 through 8. A pilot program for the Performing Arts School could be in place as early as Fall, 2012.

“Our talent pool and level of student interest in the performing arts has grown in recent years,” said Headmaster Tom Stevens. “We want to investigate the possibility of expanding our arts program to accommodate the rising demand.”

Andrew L. Baughman

In Spring 2011, St. John’s initiated a popular extra-curricular drama activity, utilizing Olney Theatre’s Historic Stage facility for a production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. Enrollment has doubled this year for a March production of Alice In Wonderland. The after school program is open to all Olney area students in grades 3-8.

Admission to the performing arts program will be by audition and application, but all students must first be accepted to St. John’s Episcopal School. Performing arts program students will be required to maintain St. John’s rigorous core academic curriculum.

“The performing arts can be a powerful motivator for academic success,” said Arts Department Chair Andrew Baughman. “I see so many gifted students getting fine training at Act Two, Musical Theater Center, Strathmore and other regional programs. We want to provide an opportunity for ambitious arts students to channel that energy into their academic school day.”

The St. John’s Performing Arts “School-Within-A-School” pilot will include initial tracks in Musical Theatre and Instrumental Music, highlighting daily studio sessions and master classes by local professional artists. The arts students will be integrated into school performing ensembles and after-school drama productions.

“The local public school performing arts magnet is located in Silver Spring,” added Baughman. “Parents are very interested in an up-county alternative.”

Interested families should contact mark.woodson@stjes.org to request admission information, and contact andrew.baughman@stjes.org to request information about the Performing Arts “School-Within-A-School” as it becomes available.

St. John’s Episcopal School is distinguished as a successful and challenging school because of our quality academic program and the sense of welcome and warmth throughout our campus environment. We are recognized for our gregarious and experienced teachers who stimulate young minds in an intimate and interactive class setting. With faith, honesty and hard work we have seen our students soar in high school, college and beyond. St. John’s does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of sex, religion, national or ethnic origin.

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