Orchestra is a year-long course for students with experience playing string instruments. Auditions are required to participate. Seventh and eighth graders study under a classically trained program director who performs as a professional musician and previously played for symphonies and opera companies around the United States. Beginning instrumentalists may be accommodated through private lessons available at an additional cost and given during the school day by professional musicians from the Atlanta area.
Our band program is one of the largest and broadest of any independent school in the nation with more than 350 students in grades five through 12 and offerings including symphonic bands, marching band, jazz bands, small ensembles, and private instruction. Middle School students are grouped by ability level. Our band program strives to maintain exemplary performance while also being inclusive of any student with the desire to study instrumental music.
Director of Middle School Band
Performing Arts, Faculty/Teacher
Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. While there he studied bass trombone from Dr. Joshua Bynum and conducting with Dr. John Lynch. Mr. Miller is an active performer and clinician in the Metro Atlanta Area, and has presented at the GMEA In-Service Conference. His professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education, the Georgia Music Educators Association, and the International Trombone Association.
Students in our Middle School take choir as an elective throughout the year, meeting in daily rehearsals for musicianship training. Seventh and eighth graders in choral music develop skills in sight-reading, learn about music from around the world, and gain practice in the discipline of teamwork.
Chorus & Music Theory Instructor, Director of Festival Singers, Camerata, and MS Men's Choir - Upper and Middle Schools
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Class of 1977
Director of Choral Music - Upper and Middle Schools, Performing Arts Department Chair
Before arriving on Main Campus, Mrs. Woodruff taught general music and chorus at the Busey Campus of Woodward Academy (1994-2005). Previously, she taught choral music in Clayton County at Riverdale Junior High School. Her choirs have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Convention, and in January 2015, her Middle School Treble Choir was selected to perform at the GMEA Convention in Savannah. Mrs. Woodruff is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and serves as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Middle School Choirs. She has served as a guest conductor for the Georgia 6th District Honor Chorus and the Fayette County Elementary Honor Chorus. Mrs. Woodruff also is a certified music educator in Orff and Kodaly methods.
Our Middle School dance program trains young dancers in the beginner and intermediate levels of ballet, modern, and jazz techniques. The program is designed to build strong dance bodies, develop discipline, enhance confidence, and inspire creativity. Students learn dance vocabulary and history and participate in choreographic exercises, creating dance pieces and a final dance concert performance.
Director of Dance
Bachelors of Dance, New World School of the Arts
Performing Arts, Faculty/Teacher
Ms. Cato is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from New World School of the Arts where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude from University of Florida in April of 2012. After graduating Ms. Cato had the honor of working three full-time seasons with Augusto Soledade Brazzdance, a Contemporary/Afro-Brazilian company based in Miami, FL. During her years in Miami she is proud to have performed multiple times in the world renowned art festival, Art Basel, hosted in Miami each year. Since moving to Atlanta in 2015, Ms. Cato has become a freelance artist working with companies such as; The Atlanta Dance Collective, Dawn Axam Dance Theater Experience, Dance Canvas, and Black Nativity. Her passion for dance has allowed her to travel, perform, and teach in such places as Prague, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Los Angeles and New York. Ms. Cato has been able to channel all of her incredible dance experiences into her teaching_imparting the wisdom she has learned onto her students.
Our Middle School drama program introduces students to national standards for drama education with an emphasis on acting, directing, and dramatic literature. We offer a nine-week course in which students explore creative games, dramatic readings, and vocal skill exercises while developing a deeper understanding of character. In our year-long course, students have the opportunity to develop advanced skills and receive the training and experience necessary for live theatrical performance. All students are encouraged to audition for the Middle School spring production.
Associate Director of Theatre
A Suzi Bass award-winning actor, Ms. McManus has been active in Atlanta's theater community as a performer, director, and teaching artist since 1979. She was Education Director of Georgia Shakespeare in its prime from 1996 to 2004 and received an Abby award for her excellence in arts programming from Atlanta's Chamber of Commerce. She is an associate artist at Theatrical Outfit, one of the oldest theater companies in the city and vice chair of the board of directors at Aris Theatre, Atlanta's stage for Celtic culture presenting the plays, poetry, and music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.
In the Middle School, General Music class is offered as part of a nine-week short course rotation. Short courses meet daily during the nine-week period. The class is designed for students to learn more about music in a classroom setting.