Arts

Performing Arts Programs

Martha Graham

No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction at any time. There is only a divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

At Hampton Roads Academy, we understand that the student who chooses to participate in performing arts, either through the curriculum  or production schedule, challenges themselves to learn about the craft of being a performing or technical artist. We engage them truthfully, in both process and evaluation, understanding that learning how to apply technique, be it through discovering a character or designing a look, establishes both a foundation and confidence that the student can apply far beyond the limits of the stage. HRA takes great pride in our production elements, so when the performance takes place, both the students involved and the audience can celebrate an effort and journey that celebrates and enriches the soul.

Theatre

The HRA Theatre Department features innovative curriculum  choices and a progressive production schedule all designed to make the student experience enriching, expanding and fun. From classes like Performance Improvisation which synthesizes critical-thinking, cultural awareness and creative application to an annual performance schedule which includes a One-Act Play Festival, Upper School Fall and Spring productions and a Middle School Winter musical, productions are designed to immerse the students in the professional expectations of the discipline while reinforcing responsibility, time-management and risk- adversity. Shows are selected to showcase the talents of our students while enriching the social and emotional awareness of our audience.

Technical Theatre

In Technical Theatre, students acquire experience with and gain exposure to the three main components of the technical side of the theatre world – Scenic Design/Set Construction, Lighting Design/Implementation, and Sound Design/Live Sound Operation. There is also work done in Props and Costuming, a focus on general theatrical design theory, as well as general stage maintenance and school event setups. All stage productions at HRA are built and run by students, giving each student who takes Technical Theatre the chance to witness the fruits of their labors on full display.

Band

The HRA Band Program affords students the opportunity to channel their personality, emotion, and talent with opportunities to perform instrumental music artistically both as individuals and within ensembles. The program is designed to help students connect with themselves and their audience on an artistic level, going beyond playing notes and rhythms. Students have the opportunity to participate in numerous extra-curricular activities, such as lock-ins and band trips, that encourage cohesion and enrich the entire educational experience. With a scope that typically spans their entire Middle and Upper school tenure, the goal is to develop the whole student encouraging them to become complete well-rounded contributors to their community and society. Students leave the program performing at a high artistic level and with memories of exciting experiences that remain with them the rest of their lives.

Chorus

HRA offers an Upper School and Middle School  chorus program.

The HRA Upper School Chorus is a mixed chorus of 23 students. There is no audition requirement to be a member of the ensemble. In the fall, the chorus usually performs for the Port Warwick Art Festival, Grandparents Day Celebration, Busch Gardens Christmas Town and the Winter Concert. Spring semester performances include participation in District VIII Chorus, Kings Dominion Choral Festival, the 8th grade Bridge Ceremony, the Spring Concert and Graduation. Over the 4th of July holiday, volunteer members gave a recital of Patriotic Songs to residents in local community centers.

The HRA Middle School Chorus is comprised of the Chorus 6 and Chorus 7 classes. Students perform at the Winter Concert each year. These two classes use Smartmusic – a program that allows students to practice their music at home to continue to sharpen their music skills.

Lower School Music

In music in HRA’s Lower School, Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade, students begin to foster a lifelong appreciation of music through active music making. The students develop musical skills such as note reading, rhythms, identifying musical styles, moving to the steady beat, and playing on rhythm instruments as well as the recorder. They explore music from all around the world. Lower School students also participate in mini-musicals throughout the year developing both their musical and stage skills. Beginning in first grade, students may participate in an after-school chorus as well. As a continuation of the Lower School curriculum, the fifth grade year in music is a transition of very similar activities with a greater focus on the recorder. This transition helps prepare the students for other Middle School opportunities in upcoming years such as chorus, strings, and band.

Strings

Per aspera ad astra is a Latin phrase which literally means, "through hardships to the stars.” That feeling can fully be ascertained in the HRA strings program where students transform the difficult task of learning to play string instruments into an enjoyable responsibility and experience. Playing string instruments and being a part of an ensemble requires mental and physical disciplines just as strenuous as those exhibited by an athlete. Students learn to understand this and develop a deep commitment not only to the study of music, but also to the importance of an instilled work ethic and practice schedule.

Hampton Roads Academy

HRA is accredited through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is a National Blue Ribbon School.