Performing Arts instruction is a strong component of the ISM curriculum. Ninety percent of the student body is involved in choir, band, orchestra, or drama. Beginning in Early Childhood through the Upper School, students receive instruction and performance experience, under the guidance of an exceptional faculty.
The department's goal is to develop students' creativity and self-expression, to equip them with the skills and knowledge to be performers or patrons of the arts, and to provide numerous opportunities to experience the joy of performing.
There are instrumental, choral, and drama opportunities in both the Lower and Upper School. Our High School Concert Choir and Show Choir participate in many competitions and performances throughout the year and tour in the spring. Instrumental students perform in community and school concerts. Drama students study acting and perform in the fall musical, the one-act play, P.A.C. Rats, and Jr. P.A.C. Rats Theater Workshops.
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High School Band
The band consists of all woodwind, brass and percussion students. In addition to their band music, the ensemble also rehearses full orchestra music and combines with the string players to perform this music in concert. They also continue to develop proficiency on their individual instruments. Dynamics, articulation, phrasing, tone quality, and interpretation are some of the concepts stressed in these rehearsals.
Show Choir Band
The band consists of piano, synthesizers, drums, guitar, bass, and horn section. They play for all show choir performances and contests. Students must be enrolled in Upper School band in order to be eligible for this performing group.
Middle School Band
This ensemble is available to ISM students in grades 6-8 who have experience playing piano, drums, guitar, bass, or a woodwind or brass instrument. In this group, students will continue to develop proficiency on their instrument, learn jazz styles and explore improvisation. Students perform in winter and spring concerts.
Upper School Orchestra
Students from the Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12) string ensembles and the Middle School and High School band ensembles join together to play symphonic orchestra repertoire. They play at two concerts during the school year.
Middle and High School Strings
Students in this ensemble continue to work toward proficiency on their instrument. They study proper string technique, note reading skills and interpretation. Students perform in several concerts throughout the year at ISM and in the community.
Jazz Ensemble (grades 9-12)
High School Concert Choir students may audition for this ensemble. During the year these students learn two distinctive styles of music: 16th century madrigal style and contemporary vocal jazz. They participate in school concerts, contests, and community performances.
Middle and High School Concert Choir
This choir is open to students. Concert/festival repertoire is studied. Students become proficient in applying music theory skill, sight ready, knowing musical styles, history of compositions and their composers and demonstrating vocal production techniques learned in this class. Choir members participate in the Minnesota State High School League Contest, tours and many other concerts throughout the school year.
Middle and High School Show Choir
Students must be enrolled in Concert Choir in order to be eligible for this performing group. This choir performs popular music, all of which is choreographed. Students must commit to a rehearsal session once a week after school. Students learn dance as well as vocal skills, how to communicate with an audience, show production and in the process, increase their self-confidence. Students participate in contests, tours and numerous concerts throughout the year. The Show Choir Band accompanies the vocalists.
The P.A.C. Mice and Rats Theater Workshop
This workshop gives ISM students the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the theatrical experience. Together with their directors, they create and perform a show at the end of the workshop. They are involved in the visual look of the show by making props and painting backdrops/sets. Through the use of dramatic exercises, games, storytelling, improvisation, scenes and music, the students experience the joy of performing.
Upper School Play
This class is for Upper School students who want to further their acting skills. Through the use of acting exercises they work on technique, characterization, script analysis, vocal production, auditioning, and improvisation. The class culminates in the One Act Play. The plays are primarily ensemble shows giving students a good amount of stage time and experience. New works as well as standards are produced. Shows have included Juvie, Acting Up, and The Outfit.
All Middle and High School students have the opportunity to audition for the All School Musical. Musicals have included Oklahoma!, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown; Our Miss Brooks; Bye, Bye, Birdie; The Sound of Music; Honk; The Music Man; The Wizard of Oz; and Seussical. During the rehearsal process, students are involved in a fully choreographed, professionally designed show. Many students also enjoy working on the production elements of the musical as the stage manager, backstage crew, light and sound technicians, hair and makeup, set building and painting, assisting with concessions, taking tickets, and ushering.
ISM coordinates private, after school music lessons in our International Music Conservatory for students who would like to take convenient lessons with music professionals. Lessons begin in September through the school year and we offer a variety of instruments and voice lessons. See below for the registration form.
Music Conservatory Brochure