Although we are not a conservatory, Community High’s courses in the arts are considered “core” classes, and are required and weighted in the same way as those in other disciplines. We consider the arts to be vital to an engaged citizenry, and essential to the development of full mastery of other subjects, to self-exposition and critical thinking.
Animation Animation is encountered by most in the western hemisphere from an early age and many never grow to understand the inherent challenges within. This course will help students explore animation in various forms and stages. Students will learn about these forms in concept and practice, beginning with archaic variations, such as phenakistoscopes and zoetropes, moving through a cut-out, cell, and computer animation.
Creative Writing We will explore storytelling and language in its many narrative, formal, and psychological aspects while developing the craft of writing literature, with an emphasis on short fiction. Students will write three or four major short stories per semester and explore the fundamental principles of poetry, in addition to weekly writing games, exercises, theoretical discussions, and collaborative projects; they will work together to edit and publish their work in chapbook zines for distribution to the broader student community.
Performance Band Students will study ensemble performance by choosing material, charting material, rehearsing and performing in a musical ensemble, using core rock/jazz instrumentation: drums, electric bass, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard and vocals. We will also encounter popular music history organically, and benefit from periodic master classes by musicians touring the area. The year culminates with a professional recording session.
Poetry We will discover what happens when language ceases to be a thing we use, and becomes a thing we play with, explore, and live within. Students will become sensitive to the rhythmic, conceptual, aural, expressive, and psychological dimensions of language and learn to craft them into verse and, when appropriate, perform them. While developing a body of work according to their own poetic sensibilities, students will engage with a wide variety of poetic forms and approaches, from rhymed and scanned sonnets and villanelles to visual and sound poetry.
Studio Assistance For Solo Exhibition Students will work on a variety of projects under the direction of the teacher preparing for a gallery exhibition. Projects will include large woodblock printing, sculpting large figures and smaller objects in paper mache, scripting and cutting for shadow puppets for performances. Some sessions will take place off-campus, and a Studio “Lock-in” weekend is anticipated.
Theater Production Theater Production is a year-long course, tackling production activities in the manner of a professional theater company. As we will be mounting two productions, students will be expected to tackle assigned roles, learn lines in a timely manner, work as a member of the artistic ensemble and assist with production values when needed.
Film History: The American Studio System Part II This semester in Film History, we will be focusing on how the U.S. film industry seemingly started to crumble and then rebuild and the mythology of it as well. Using Sklar’s Movie Made America and Bisken’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls the students will examine how youth culture and the first generation of film school graduates change the landscape and repurpose some old techniques as well. The student will also see the influence of foreign film, as well as a change in criticism while getting to watch several important films of the time.
Music Theory This course provides an overview of Western music theory. Through close tutorial, students will master the basics of harmony and composition. The majority of students will be musicians, but musicianship is not required; this class is meant to augment performative instruction.
Physical Education This course is designed for: students to become more fit and well as we define a “smart goal” for the semester, personal vices, various group and one-on-one exercises and physical activities that can count as “exercise” to aid in lowering your “resting heart rate” as you identify and engage healthier life choices.