The Arts

The arts department provides strong academic and extracurricular programs in both the performing and visual arts.  Students are introduced to the arts as early as Pre-Kindergarten and an appreciation for creativity and expression is developed through 12th grade.  In visual and performing arts students are given not only instruction, but the freedom to find their voice.

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The performing arts department provides a foundation in music to all students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade through the general music courses and choral and instrumental ensembles in Lower and Middle School.  In Upper School, students are require to fulfill one credit in the arts which may be realized in the performing or visual arts.In the performing arts, students may choose from a variety of music ensembles, music theory, drama electives, courses in film and video and the recording arts.


The performing arts department is also home to The Belfry, the nation’s oldest continuously run high school dramatic club (founded in 1894).  In October 2009, The Belfry was named by

Philadelphia Magazine “Best Theater Program”.  The article stated, “…G.A.’s Belfry Club — the oldest continuously operated high-school drama club in the country — has serious cred. (And not just because at its first time to the Cappies, the high-school version of the Tony Awards, Belfry culled 12 out of a possible 19 nominations and seven awards, including ‘Best Musical’).”

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The visual arts department offers an incredible opportunity to work with many different mediums and creative outlets.  Students express themselves with drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, digital media and more.  Student work (along with Faculty artwork as well, at select times of year) is displayed in the sun drenched gallery of the Arts Center.Visual arts instruction in Upper School becomes more in depth, with all enrolled art students being eligible for honors level status.

In February 2010, the visual arts department participated in Philagrafika, a print show that spanned across the city of Philadelphia.  Students from both the Lower and Upper Schools created banners that were displayed in the Free Library of Philadelphia and City Hall.  It was a great opportunity not only to show their work, but for students from different divisions to work together towards a common goal.

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GA’s arts department provides a curriculum that promotes curiosity, reasoning and questioning, imagination and aesthetics, an understanding of oneself and others, clear communication, broad application of knowledge and satisfaction in learning.  Our faculty models high standards along with a spirit of kindness and cooperation.  We help students find a place to “fit in” while working to increase their sense of self-worth, recognizing and supporting the unique talents of each individual.

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