The Lower School Arts Assembly is a quintessential Country School event, a kind of creative rite of passage for students. In this annual tradition, first and second grade students create the set and choreograph all of the dances themselves for a one-hour performance they perform first for peers and younger students during a dress rehearsal and then for parents during the school's annual Parent Visiting Day. Art teachers Liz Ferran and Performing Arts teacher Jake Alrich guide the students, but the work is very much an expression of the students' collective creativity. View photos & video >>
"Though the final product is a truly beautiful and impressive performance, the process that leads up to the performance is actually the most essential part," said Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin, in her introduction. "The children do not simply memorize choreography to perform onstage - instead they create it with the thoughtful guidance and facilitation of their teacher. They have a deep and immersive learning experience where they hone skills of collaboration, creativity, problem solving, improvisation, and compromise. This emphasis on meaningful process is part of what sets Country School apart. We are not interested in having our students simply take home a polished and glossy final product – instead we focus on creating deep and meaningful opportunities for learning, for growth, for stretching oneself, for unlocking possibility."
The music of this year's Arts Assembly is comprised of works by renowned American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein in recognition of the centennial of his birth.