In our schools we are not to consider Drawing as an extra or superlative Art…but…one of the most important branches of education, second only to the art of speaking or writing, and in some respects even beyond the languages, as it is in itself a universal language…Cornelia Connelly, Book of the Order of Studies 1863
The arts have always been an integral and valued part of a Holy Child education. Cornelia Connelly, foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, was an artist and believed in the power of creative expression to encourage intellectual and spiritual development. Cornelia understood that learning and growth come from experience, thoughtful contemplation, and the nurturing of individual gifts. In Mayfield’s arts program students experience collaboration and performance, consider style, theme and tone in the study of art and explore and discover their unique potential through creativity and possibility. The scope of the program really shines in the month of May, which has been named Arts Month at MJS.
This year the first grade kicked off Arts Month with a brand new spring musical, “Friendly Neighborhood Helpers.” Lively and engaging, the play featured special recognition for those whose work helps build and support community in our neighborhoods including firefighters, grocers and garbage collectors. The first grade participation was especially meaningful, as the class had been focused on understanding what makes a community for their service-learning project all year.
The following week the annual Student Art Show opened featuring student art from every grade level. From the Kindergarten Tile project that repurposes used roof tiles as a painting surface to the highly individual eighth grade masks; every piece on display showcased the depth of the arts curriculum and the unique creative expression of every student. Lessons from the masters of art history were visible in the second graders' understanding of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" through swirls, dashes, and dots of pastels and paint and the third grade Artist Stamps project. An interpretation of art within everyday objects came alive in the fifth grade food sculptures and sixth grade ceramics, and seventh grade landscapes explored perspective and emotion.
Music became the focus for the annual Middle School Spring Concert. The concert, “Music of the Masters” was presented in a festival format with vocal performances on the West Pavilion outdoor stage, and orchestra and band inside the Hayden Performing Arts Center. The long tradition of vocal music at Mayfield continues especially in the middle school, as students are confident veteran performers by the time they reach fifth grade. On the outdoor stage the concert paid tribute to several iconic songwriters such as Johnny Cash, the Beatles and David Bowie. Several soloists and the entire ensemble including our Concert Choir did an amazing job.
Inside the growth of the instrumental program instruction and performance was highlighted in two selections from the sixth grade string orchestra and special guest student musicians from other grades. A dramatic light show helped spotlight the somewhat galactic music selection, Holst’s Theme from the Planets
and The Rings of Saturn
by Michael Story. The entire concert was anchored with humor and flare by our seventh grade hosts. Celebrate the Arts!