Fine Arts & Performing Arts

Truth. Goodness. Beauty.  These are the touchstones of a classical education.  That is why the arts are central in our curriculum – not optional.  Every student, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through the high school, is involved in the performing arts.  We employ six professional artists and musicians in a range of program offerings in art media, music and theater.

Art – Once a week grammar and middle school students spend time in the art room where they are systematically instructed in color charts, history, and a variety of artistic mediums.  In the high school years there are several art courses available for credit and many students pursue independent studies. The art suite provides the facility for work in drawing, painting and three-dimensional art. 

Music – All students are required to study music through the tenth grade.  The School of Dialectic and the School of Rhetoric maintain choirs and band, and orchestras, all of which are performative.  They give a major concert each spring.  One of the finest and unique traditions at New Covenant is the Annual Service of Lessons & Carols, given during Advent. Joining with their middle school counterparts, this service includes readings of the story of redemption, highlighted by music, band and orchestral works from the student musical groups.

Theater – Drama instruction begins in the middle school and continues through the School of Rhetoric.  Each year three dramatic productions are staged by Panache, New Covenant Schools drama troupe. 

Read more>>>  Why Beauty Matters.


Art instruction begins in the earliest grades, once each week.  The curriculum begins with basic color wheel, drawing, and copying, but continues through painting and three dimensional art. Students in high school take art media and art appreciation courses for credit, and many take independent studies.

left:  Cassia Brenning (class of 18) works on a self portrait

From grades K-3 students attend general music classes two to three times per week.  Beginning grade 4, students may join the beginning band.  We help young children choose an appropriate instrument, which they will study throughout their middle school years. New Covenant maintains four sections of band:  Beginning Band in grade 4; Intermediate Band in grades 5/6; a Middle School band for grades 7/8; and a jazz band in the School of Rhetoric for grades 9-12.  Students are expected to rent their own instruments from a local vendor.  New Covenant offers rental for selected larger instruments. 

left:  the School of Rhetoric brass section from 2017 rehearses for its spring concert

Choral instruction is offered for middle and high school students.  There are three choirs in the school comprised of students in grades 5/6, 7/8 and 9-12.  Children in grammar school begin learning basic music theory and much of their class time is spent singing and appreciation various periods of music.

left:  Walker Pennock directs the choir in the 2009 Annual Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols at St. John’s Episcopal Church

New Covenant offers an exceptional orchestra program with violin, viola and cello instruction are offered as early as grade 4.  New Covenant maintains four sections of strings:  Beginning strings in grade 4; Intermediate strings in grades 5/6; a Middle School orchestra for grades 7/8; and a full in the School of Rhetoric for grades 9-12.  Students are expected to rent their own instruments from a local vendor. New Covenant offers rental for cello. 

left: Joe Nigro directs the combined orchestras in the 2017 Annual Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols at Heritage Baptist Church

Since 1998 the theater program at New Covenant is one of the oldest programs in the curriculum.  From the beginning it has featured the drama troupe, Panache, and is open to students beginning in middle school. There is one middle school production each year, and the directors often choose plays with large casts to provide broad opportunity for participation.  In addition Panache stages two productions each fall and spring.  The former is an effort of our drama class, which is offered to students for class credit.  The play is their “final exam.”  The latter is an extra curricular production with auditions.

From Henry V to Jookalorum to South Pacific and Annie Get Your GunPanache has produced more than fifty plays with hundreds of cast members and a variety of comedies, musicals, and works of more serious nature.   

left:  Hattie Eshleman (class of 2013) stars in the musical, Annie Get Your Gun