Arts at Ursuline Academy
Ursuline Academy’s Music Program provides our students with an outstanding education in vocal and instrumental instruction and performance through various unique and enriching opportunities starting at age 2.5. Our music program exposes our learners to the world of music and sound in a way that fosters a deep love of the arts and reveals its sacred ability to heal and unite people worldwide.
Ursuline Academy’s Lower School Band program begins in the 4th grade. Students are introduced to wind and percussion instruments during an engaging “petting zoo” format. Each child is given the opportunity to try out different instruments with guidance from Mrs. Walton to help determine the best fit. During the summer, a beginner band camp is offered to establish a strong foundation. Throughout the school year, the students will meet twice a week with Mrs. Walton during the school day—once for a private/group lesson and another for full band rehearsal. The ensemble will participate in up to four performances yearly.
Early Childhood through 5th grade students participate in heart-warming productions, including the Christmas Concert and Pageant, Grandparents Day, and many other enchanting events.
Ursuline Academy’s Middle School Band program is open to all 6th - 8th grade students with or without instrumental music background. Students at this level are building off their foundation. They are challenged to expand their knowledge of music fundamentals, as well as to grow in the areas of sight-reading, rhythm, abstract musical concepts, and performance.Students meet with Mrs. Walton twice a week throughout the year – once for a private/group lesson and another for a full band rehearsal. The Middle School Band will participate in up to four performances yearly.
Choir is mandatory for all Middle School students. By encouraging full participation in the middle school choral program, students can step out of their comfort zones and explore music in a creative, informal setting. Through singing, students strengthen many communication skills, including public speaking and confidence in front of an audience. Students build upon their choral experiences from 6th through 8th grade and complete their journey with a capstone project called the 8th Grade Musical. In one week, students experience every component of producing a musical and participate in every aspect of the production, including set design, make-up, lighting, costume, acting, and dancing. The 8th grade musical has become one of the greatest traditions for the Middle School community.
The Upper School Band program offers two outstanding ensembles for students to explore.
725 Chamber Group
This morning class before the first period provides a time for our students, the instrumentalists, to work on skills while having fun performing at school prayer services and masses. This class also satisfies the instrumental requirement needed to be part of the Delaware All-State band auditions. If a student is looking for a larger wind or symphonic band experience, they can enroll in our partnership with Salesianum. Salesianum offers various instrumental possibilities from Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Pit Orchestra.
In partnership with Salesianum School, all Upper School students have the opportunity to participate. This band is for select musicians at Salesianum, Padua, and Ursuline. The three schools provide a performance group with many concert opportunities. Involvement with the Marching Band is suggested because of the intense socio-musical experience, but not demanded except for freshmen. The Wind Ensemble performs at concerts, assemblies, dinners, and the graduation at Salesianum. Members of the Wind Ensemble are invited to travel on the spring band trip to various locations and to participate in four parades. This course may be taken more than once.
The Upper School Choir performs for school and community performances, including local concerts. Performances are often accompanied by professional orchestras and have included performances of large choral works, including cantatas and masses. Their “brother school” choristers join students on Tuesday evenings for a more traditional SATB repertoire. Each year, the choir takes a trip to New York City for a performance in a local church, followed by a Broadway show.
In partnership with Salesianum School, all Upper School students have the opportunity to participate. This course is a vocal performance class devoted to singing traditional women’s (SSA) and occasional mixed (SATB) choral literature with students from Salesianum. Elements of “contemporary” singing are explored in smaller groups. Prior knowledge of note reading is helpful but not mandatory. Many opportunities to perform are offered during the year. This course may be taken more than once.