Students sing during choir practice.

Performing Arts

Our Middle and High School Girls Shine on Stage

At Oak Knoll, we embrace the five essential principles of fine and performing arts: creative passion, belief in self, a strong work ethic, a cooperative spirit, and a giving nature. In our dynamic arts program, students delve into the diverse realms of dance, photography, music, theatre, and art. With a strong focus on honing their skills and unleashing their creative potential, our students find their voices and talents amplified as they embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery.

Join us on this remarkable path of artistic exploration, where passion meets purpose and the arts inspire us to shine. Discover the artistry within you and thrive in an environment that celebrates the power of imagination and expression. Together, let’s paint the canvas of a truly extraordinary future!

Embark on Your Artistic Journey

The arts program at our middle and high school is designed to ignite passion, inspire creativity, and provide a supportive environment for students to explore and excel in various artistic disciplines. With a wide array of enriching courses, our students embrace their artistic potential, fostering personal growth and cultivating a lifelong love for the arts.

Middle and High School Performance Groups

Bel Canto is a select liturgical choir that leads the community in song at Masses and prayer services.

This emerging program provides a forum for instrumentalists of varying abilities to play together weekly and to collaborate on performance pieces. The chamber orchestra accompanies the choir during the Christmas and Spring concerts. All students with experience playing an orchestral instrument are encouraged to join this group. Private lessons are available.

Chimes is a select seventh- and eighth-grade vocal group comprised of talented members from Concert Choir II. Auditions are held in September and January. Regularly scheduled morning rehearsals occur in preparation for the Fall Choral Consortium, an annual event founded and hosted by Oak Knoll. This event features vocal performances from neighboring middle schools. The Chimes also perform in the Spring Concert. Members of this group master the art of three-part harmony, learn and perform songs in a variety of styles, and incorporate show-choir techniques.

The concert choir is an in-school chorus that meets two times per cycle from September to June. The choir performs two concerts each year, in December and in May. This group has the opportunity to perform various styles of women’s choral literature while learning fundamentals of vocal technique and sight reading. Styles of choral literature include: classics, madrigals, art songs, spirituals and contemporary works.

Junior Dancers is a select dance group comprised of students from grades 7 through 9. Senior Dancers belong to grades 10 through 12. Students audition for membership which requires participation in numerous after-school and occasional weekend rehearsals. The groups perform classical ballet (including pointe), jazz, modern, lyrical, theatrical and Broadway show pieces at school productions and Dance Concerts. A group called Apprentices is open to any interested student. These developing dancers should attend group rehearsals as frequently as possible.

Dramatica is an exciting after-school drama offering that explores stagecraft in its various forms: acting techniques, improvisation, lighting, and stage presence. Students in this process-oriented activity rehearse and perform a scripted play to which the Oak Knoll community is invited. Auditions are held in September and February followed by two performances scheduled in the Fall and Spring trimesters.

Ensemble is our select women’s choir representing grades 9-12. Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year. The group provides an opportunity for students to achieve extraordinary levels of performance and excellence in a diverse repertoire ranging from Renaissance to Contemporary. The Ensemble performs in two major concerts and tours the local area, supporting foundations and charities. Rehearsals take place twice per week from September to June.

Our Ensemble has been honored to work with the Continuo Arts Foundation and Music Contact International, enjoying a number of notable performances, including:

  • Prague’s Young Bohemia International Festival of Choirs and Orchestras, 2019
  • Melk Abbey, Vienna, Austria, 2017
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland, 2015
  • The Vatican, Rome, Italy, March 2011
  • Carnegie Hall, December 2009

Every spring, Oak Knoll supports a full-scale musical production. Some of the recent performances in our repertoire include, “A Little Princess,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Anything Goes,” “Once on This Island,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “The Wiz.” Participation in the school musical provides theatrical opportunities for students talented in music, drama, and dance, but also gives experience and training to students interested in staging, directing, lighting, set design and construction, costuming and make-up, publicity and ticket sales. Auditions for the musical usually occur in early fall.

The Stage Crew is a group of technicians responsible for planning and executing all tasks related to backstage work—sound, curtain, props, and set coordination. The Lighting Tech Crew is responsible for designing, programming, and executing the lighting for all school performances and assemblies. Members of the teams must attend periodic training sessions, learn how to operate the computerized light board, and dedicate the hours required for rehearsals and performances. Both crews are responsible for the annual calendar of events and collaborate closely with the directors for each production.

Our Performing Arts Team

  • Carlee Bennett Upper School Dance and Physical Education Teacher
  • Lillie Ricciardi
    Lillie Ricciardi Upper School Theater Director and Creative Arts Dept. Chair
  • Sascha Sternecker
    Sascha Sternecker Upper School Music Teacher
Are You Ready to Make a Difference?
The Big Give Is May 21-22, 2024

Oak Knoll’s Big Give days of giving have begun! The Big Give is special because it’s not just a fundraising initiative; it’s an opportunity for our entire community to come together, celebrate each other, and make a meaningful impact that strengthens Oak Knoll. Whether you have been a member of the Oak Knoll community for one year or generations, you know that Oak Knoll is a special place. Let’s come together to celebrate the Spirit of Oak Knoll! Donate now to make an immediate impact.