Fine Arts

Music Department Course Descriptions:

Band Classes (Kent Stine, Instructor)

Beginning Band - This course offers instrumental music instruction on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.  No prior experience is necessary.  Open to grades 7-12. The Beginning Band usually performs at the Winter and Spring Band Concerts.

Intermediate Band - This ensemble offers instrumental music instruction on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.  Students must satisfactorily complete Beginning Band and/or have director approval to sign up for Intermediate Band.  Open to grades 7-12.  The Intermediate Band performs on the Winter and Spring Concerts as well as the Western Hills and Dater High School graduation ceremonies.

Senior Band - Senior Band is our most advanced ensemble, offering higher-level instruction on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.  Students must satisfactorily complete Intermediate Band or have director approval.  Open to grades 9-12.  Senior Band encompasses Marching Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and other opportunities.  There are many performances during the school year as well as band camp activities in the summer.

General Music Classes:

Music History/Music Appreciation/General Music - A comprehensive overview of the history and development of Western music starting in the Middle Ages and moving through the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.  The course ends with an examination of modern popular music - jazz, rock, country, and hip-hop.  There is also particular emphasis placed on the relationship of music and composition with the people and practices in society during each historical period.

Choral Classes (Chris Zerges, Instructor)

Junior Choir - This course offers vocal music instruction to students in grades 7 and 8.  No prior experience is necessary.  The Junior Choir performs once per quarter with periodic additional performances depending on opportunity.

Senior Choir - Senior Choir is our more advanced ensemble, offering higher-level instruction in music theory and vocal technique. Students must satisfactorily complete Junior Choir or have director approval.  Open to grades 9-12.  Senior Choir also performs once per quarter with periodic additional opportunities.

General Music Classes:

Drum Set Class - This class is designed for students to explore the music and arts of a variety of cultures while experiencing “hands on” opportunities to create music and interact with their peers in a musically productive environment.

Classes will focus on the drumming traditions of Africa, South America and Asia as well as other cultures and contemporary drumming innovations such as are used by Stomp and are performed across the globe. This exposure will increase the students ability to listen to music critically and make analytical observations regarding the material.

The experiential objectives will have the students developing an understanding of each culture’s place for their music as well as the techniques necessary to play the instruments.

Students will also learn to read and notate music through their studies of the differing drumbeats in each culture. Finally, the students will have the opportunity to learn about and work with “improvisation” through their drumming as we interact in the drum-circle as a group.

Drama and Dance (Lezlie Christian - Instructor)

Drama Tech 1 & 2 - These courses offer tiered instruction in acting and develop skills for public presentation. Students will learn the language of drama/theatre as it relates to stage, television and script writing. Drama Tech 1 is open to grades 7-12; no prior experience is necessary. Drama Tech 2 is open to grades 9-12 or have director approval.

Performing Arts (Advanced Acting) - This course offers instruction in stage performance and productions. Students will learn to manage three 1 hour productions. They will perform in pep rallies, The Holiday Program, Black History, and the Fine Arts program. Students must satisfactorily complete Drama Tech 2 and/or have director approval to take this course  

General Dance - This course offers basic instruction in dance.  Students will explore dance as entertainment and physical fitness. There is a focus dance history and dance companies. General Dancer is open to all students

Dance Ensemble - This class offers instruction in dance technique and dance performance. The emphasis is on developing students in ballet, drill, jazz, liturgical, modern and musical theater. Dance Ensemble performs several times throughout the school year. Performances are in-house and public. Students must satisfactorily complete General Dance and/or have director approval to take this course.

Art (Cheri Hutchison and Cheryl Strunk - Instructors)

CERAMICS -  Students taking Ceramics  engage in sequential learning experiences that encompass art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art production leading to the creation of portfolio quality works.  Students will create works of art in clay utilizing the process of hand building, molds, slip, glaze techniques, firing processes, exploration of the elements and principles of art; art history; art vocabulary; and development of the student’s creative problem-solving skills.  

PAINTING - Western Hills High School painting is designed for beginners and those who have minimal painting experience.  Students will learn the basics of handling tempera paint, acrylic paint and brushes. Students will explore a variety of techniques (glazing, layering, as well as other techniques) Projects to be completed include but not limited to a self-portrait, beginner painting projects covering the fundamentals of composition, tone, and blending colors. One on one and group discussions will also touch upon concepts crucial to the creative process, including critical thinking, discipline, spontaneity, metaphor, and others. Technical demonstrations and short writing projects will complement our studio work. The goal of this course is to give students the basic tools and ideas necessary to begin their own personal painting practice.


Western Hills University High School students create bathroom art!