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Arts for All Ages

Fine and performing arts instruction at Pinewood takes place in a student-centered environment. Students explore the arts in small class settings that offer individualized attention. Pinewood’s arts faculty members, who graduated from leading university arts programs, have years of experience in their fields as artists and as instructors. 

Curriculum, in addition to class size and faculty, sets apart the Pinewood arts experience. Students will develop into artists using the top curriculum in the field, for example, Game Plan (Lower School Music), the Austin Classical Guitar Society model, and Teaching for Artistic Behaviors (High School Visual Art).

Faculty members go beyond teaching facts - instead, they teach processes and ways of thinking to create autonomous artists. Music Technology students write and record their own songs on campus. Students in choirs and instrumental ensembles learn how to read music independently. Beginning in Lower School, theatre students are taught skills that are then put into practice in production. Student artists of all levels display their work at art shows throughout the school year.

Arts Highlights

  • Average class size: 12 students, with class sizes ranging between three and 20 students
  • Pinewood arts graduates have been accepted at some of the nation’s top collegiate arts programs, including NYU Tisch (Musical Theatre), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Opera), and SCAD (Fashion Design)
  • Many students who opt to major in other fields continue their art studies in college, where they place in the top ensembles

What's New in Fine & Performing Arts


Quarter 1: 2020-2021

December 07, 2020
By Pinewood Arts
Lower School Music: Virginia Cunningham
  • The 2020 school year is off to a great start for Lower School Music! Mrs. Cunningham is traveling to all homeroom classes with her little red wagon and sharing the joy of music instruction with the students.
Upper School Music: Jonah Klixbull
  • Guitar students are working on music for an end of semester performance. Songs include "Hush You Bye," "Saltarello," "Tango," "Minor Waltz," "Neptune Run" and "Koi Under Moon Bridge."
  • Choir students are focusing on vocal jazz pieces. Songs include "When I Fall in Love," "Lucky," "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and "But Not for Me."
  • One student is rehearsing for his All-State Choir audition. Mr. Klixbull is working with a High School senior, a student director, on an arrangement of "Skyfall."
Music Technology: Herve Moreau
  • It is brainstorming time in the Music Technology class! The Music Technology students are currently composing music, debating chord progressions and song structure, and writing lyrics to compose the original songs that they will start recording next quarter. Stay tuned!
Lower School Drama: Stephanie Klixbull
  • Mrs. Klixbull is thrilled to be teaching Lower School Drama again! Drama Club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school to rehearse for a spectacular show that we will perform this Spring 2021.
Middle School Theatre: Amanda Ehrlich
  • The Middle School Theatre Tech and Design classes recently studied the different types of stages and then created proscenium stages. 
High School Theatre: Amanda Ehrlich
  • Our High School Theatre Tech and Design class has been learning about different lighting concepts. Students have begun working with the equipment in the booth. They will move on to designing for the one-act performance later this year.
  • We have a Musical Theatre and Film Study class here at Pinewood! Kristin Lowery, who began a film company with some friends several years ago, is working on learning more through an independent study. We are excited to share some of her work with you today! Check out Kristin's short film here!
  • Our High School Actor’s Workshop Class recently turned songs into monologues, and knocked it out of the park! We have moved on to a storytelling workshop, while also building our ensemble through team building activities. These stories will be shared soon so, stay tuned!
Panther Paws (Lower School) Dance Team: Amanda Ehrlich
  • The Panther Paws dance team kicked off the school year by working on guidelines, so we can safely begin meeting later in the year. We have plans underway to offer a Lower School group as well as an Upper School group this year!
Lower School Visual Art: Amber Reed
We are starting the year off with some creative ideas and colorful art!
  • PK3- Do-A-Dot Shape Book, Leak Man, Shape Robots
  • PK4- Shape Name Letters, Line Sculptures
  • K5- “The Dot,” Line Kites
  • 1- Keith Haring Figures, Cezanne Still Lifes
  • 2- Kandinsky Circles, Greek Vases
  • 3- Jonathan Green Portraits, Realistic Robots
  • 4- Day of the Dead Skulls, Metal Masks
  • 5- Graffiti Name, Rainforest Pastel Animal
  • 6- Figure Drawings, Clay Tiles, Insect Prints
Upper School Visual Art: Victoria Strang
  • Upper School semester artwork is underway!

Arts Alumni Testimonials

"Going into college as a STEM major, I wasn’t sure how much time I would be able to dedicate to extracurricular activities. I knew I wanted to do well in my classes and I just thought my time would be spent in the library or with study groups. It wasn’t very long until I realized that I was going to need an escape from my studies every so often. I decided to audition for CU Singers, our mixed-voice choral group, just a few days before my first day of class. On the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought a group of college choir kids would all be performing arts majors and so much more experienced than me. I found that I was very wrong on the first day of class. Close to 80% of the CU Singers are not in a fine arts-related field of study and about 50% are all in a STEM-related major. Something I’ve learned over the past year is this: Engineering fields are difficult, you will put in long hours in the library, in tutoring, and in the classroom. But nothing compares to that 3-4 hours a week that you’re able to dedicate yourself to something that you loved in your youth, and still love today. I truly believe I have met some of my lifelong friends by participating in the arts. We all share a common love for the arts and have grown a very strong bond from this. You don’t have to decide how you’re planning on spending your whole college career from the first day of your freshman year. But one thing is for sure; you should always continue to participate in activities that you love because when you look back on your time at college, those will be the good times you remember."
- Anna Rook '18, alumna of the Pinewood arts program; current student at Clemson University

Jonah Klixbull
Head of Fine & Performing Arts