Students at St. Margaret’s have the opportunity to participate in music and performing arts in many different ways. Our classroom music program develops your child’s ability to sing, play and perform.
Choral and solo singing opportunities abound. In the younger grades, matching pitch is emphasized, and classes progress from unison singing, to echo, to round and to part songs. Students sing solos in the classroom, at weekly liturgies, and at various performances throughout the year.
Students also learn to play a variety of instruments, including percussion, bells, recorders, and keyboard. The goal is that students learn to play simple melodies on keyboards and recorders by the time they graduate. For the last several years, 4th, 5th and 6th graders have had the privilege of performing on their recorders at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony, thanks to a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. Many of our students also take private instrumental lessons and/or are involved in our band program.
Children exposed to performing experiences develop a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. St. Margaret of Scotland students participate in the Archdiocesan Music Festival yearly, and classrooms have a variety of opportunities to perform throughout the area. We stage a wonderful Christmas musical each December that includes in entire student body. The Junior High students perform a Spring Musical every other year.
St. Margaret of Scotland School receives praise for its fine music program, and has held the honor of having students perform in the Muny Opera each summer. Many of our graduates have gone on to become excellent performers at their high schools and colleges, with quite a few going into the Arts as their careers. Parents and faculty alike fully support our performance arts program, creating an atmosphere that encourages our children to try something new. Our ultimate goal for all students is that they graduate from St. Margaret’s musically “literate”, with a love and appreciation for many styles of music, and the confidence and desire to express themselves in song, dance, and theater.
Youth chorus is an excellent means of expanding upon the choral singing experience begun in the classroom. Open to children in 3rd through 8th grade, the youth chorus meets after school and is directed by our music teacher, Ms. Boczek and our parish pianist, Mr. Hesed. There are three basic goals for each child: vocal excellence, musical proficiency, and choral opportunities.
Children learn to sing correctly, using the body as an instrument, and learn proper projection and solo techniques. Time is spent at the beginning of rehearsals on sight-reading skills, and students expand on those skills as they read through performance music together.
Children are exposed to sacred and secular music in youth chorus. There are many opportunities throughout the year for the youth chorus to perform both on site and away from school and parish. The yearly performance at the Missouri Botanical Gardens is always much enjoyed by all singers and audience. Left Bank Books, Our Lady of the Snows, and various nursing homes are just some of the off-site venues. The youth chorus has traditionally led the music at the Christmas Eve 4:00 p.m. service at St. Margaret of Scotland church.
St. Margaret’s does not offer theatre as a separate class, but students have many opportunities to perform during the year. Often these performances are outgrowths of curriculum. Students are also have the opportunity to perform at the Christmas musical and the Jr. High Musical. Frequently, St. Margaret’s students have the opportunity to enjoy participating in theatrical experiences through on-site programs provided by such groups at STAGES and Springboard. Students learn a sense of confidence and poise as they experience being on stage.
We are pleased to offer basic tap and ballet classes after school again this year. The after school dance lessons are very popular especially among the younger students. The children learn a sense of rhythm and graceful movement while learning the traditional art of tap and ballet. The dance classes are taught by one of our school parents, who is much loved by the children. A nominal fee supports the after school dance classes. The final class of each semester ends with a public performance for school families.
An after school art program is offered to 1st through 8th grade students. The program combines Art and Art History into a fun and creative experience. The students are introduced to works of art from different cultures, eras, and artists. They learn about an artist, his/her life, medium, method, and impact in our world. The students then create art using like medium or method as the featured artist. At the end of each session our own gallery display shows off the works of our young artists.
Besides the after school art classes taught by a trained artist, during the school day students work with a variety of art mediums offered through the art curriculum at each grade level. Their art is on display throughout the school, at the annual Shaw Art Fair, and at the annual Archdiocesan Art display during Catholic Schools Week. The taste of art that students experience in their elementary classrooms often leads them to choosing high schools with strong art program to continue what they have begun at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School.