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Fine Arts

The Department of Fine Arts seeks to offer a wide range of electives spanning the areas of visual arts, art history, music/performance arts, music appreciation, and drama.

Throughout the years the department has grown and developed a program of courses which follow curricula meeting the needs and National Standards for Education in the Arts. This department strives to complete the secondary school picture of a Xavier education that educates the whole Xavier man.


Xavier Music Website

Click here for specific information on news and events from the Xavier Music Department, including photos and videos of past shows.

Art Curriculum

Art Appreciation

Course #9711, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This course provides an overview of the study of art history and art appreciation. Students are exposed to basic art forms and techniques used by the masters and recognized as great works over the past centuries. Approximately ten units of study are presented which range from Prehistoric Art to Post-Impressionism. The use of a textbook, slide presentations, lecture/class discussion and related videos and online materials provide the basis for this program of study.

Basic Drawing

Course #9611, Semester Course, .5 Credit, All Grades

This elective course is designed for the student who wishes to fulfill a .5 Fine Arts elective and who may not necessarily be interested in pursuing a future program of art courses. Drawing lessons and assignments will offer variety in terms of media forms and subject themes. Materials such as pencil, charcoal, pen & ink will be employed, and subject themes may vary from nature drawing to design.

Foundations of Art

Course #9510, Full year, 1 Credit, Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This challenging full-year course is designed for the serious art student who is interested in continuing with future courses in visual arts. The curriculum is based upon the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students become knowledgeable of these concepts via lessons in basic drawing principles, exploration of a great variety of media, and insight into varied subject themes and styles/methods of creating art. Students keep a sketchbook/journal for not only their assigned homework drawings but for use with the development of classroom studio concepts.

While all successful artwork incorporates both aspects of Elements of Art and Principles of Design, each of those categories respectively is organized into the first and second semesters of the course. Likewise, most of the work in the first semester is simplified by dominantly being created in black and white, reserving extensive use of color for the second semester. This course provides the necessary fundamentals needed for any student interested in the AP Studio Art course. Pre-requisite: Approval of the Art Instructor.

Landscape Painting

Course #9621, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

Students in this elective work in three types of media – watercolors, acrylics, and oils. Students will complete many pieces in watercolors and acrylics; oils will be presented toward the end of the course. At the onset, students will be reminded of the need to recall basic drawing skills for planning compositions. Occasional slide presentations will be offered of some noteworthy masterworks in the landscape/seascape. Techniques and methods of the Great Masters will be incorporated when deemed appropriate by medium at hand and students’ level of proficiency. Pre-requisite: Basic Drawing or Foundations of Art.

Color & Design

Course #9631, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This course is designed for the serious art student who is interested in creating designs and studying Color Theory. Knowledge of the Principles of Design is important and necessary for students to be able to successfully complete the assigned projects. Thought, creativity and originality of ideas are the keys to success for this course and an absolute necessity. An overview of the Great Masters of the 19th and 20th centuries provides background and insight into the use and interpretation of color. Students work in a variety of media such as paint, marker, fabric and color papers, as well as various paint and drawing surfaces. Pre-requisite: Basic Drawing or Foundations of Art.

Illustration & The Figure

Course #9641, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This elective course is designed for the serious art student who is comfortable with figure drawing and has a strong interest in that subject theme. Art students who have refined skills and a high level of proficiency with pen and ink drawing, incorporation of color ink washes, color pencil drawing and the printmaking process would experience great personal artistic development in this course. Oftentimes the student works in a semi-independent study format which requires both self-discipline and self-direction. Pre-requisite: Basic Drawing or Foundations of Art

Graphic Design

Course #9651, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This elective course is designed for the serious art student who is essentially very creative and idea-oriented. This aspect of visual arts necessitates the need for the artist to be inventive in terms of art concepts and the use of color vs. black and white elements. “Design” projects involve elements of stylized drawing, dynamic composition, eye-catching elements and striking aspects of color. Pre-requisite: Basic Drawing or Foundations of Art.

AP Studio Art: Drawing

AP - Course #9671, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors & Seniors

This course is designed for the most serious of art students whose intention is to pursue art education on the college or university level following graduation from high school. Based on the information provided both online and in printed format from the College Board, students choose their favorite art topic or theme to pursue for a portion of this program.

Presently students at Xavier have been most successful in pursuing the Drawing Portfolio as it lends itself to all methods of drawing and painting. In addition to completing all requirements of this rigorous full-year course, students are required to take the AP exam in the spring, which means the production of the specialized portfolio packet as required by the College Board. Prerequisite: Foundations of Art and two academic years of art courses at Xavier High School.

AP Studio Art: Design Portfolio

AP - Course #9681, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This course is designed for the serious art student who is knowledgeable and competent in working with the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. The 2-D Design student would also be developing this portfolio production course in the senior year. The focus of the year long program is the exploration, discovery and development of a design “idea” chosen by the individual student. The pieces within this program must exhibit competency and proficiency in working with design principles. Art work is submitted via 35mm slide format to the College Board program at the conclusion of the year via the portfolio produced. This portfolio consists of 24 slides and 5 pieces of actual art work and constitutes the AP exam for this course. Prerequisite: Foundations of Art and 2 full academic years of visual arts courses at Xavier High School.

Music Curriculum

Chorus

Course # 9132, Full Year, 1 Credit, All Grades

The chorus studies and sings vocal music of all periods and styles. Through daily singing, students will gain greater vocal technique and musicianship. Open to all students, the chorus performs 3 concerts a year in December, March and May, and provides liturgical music for the Xavier Community throughout the year. In addition to school performances, the chorus travels to a festival competition every other year with our 3 other performing ensembles. Prerequisite: Some music experience is encouraged but not required.

Concert Band

Course #9122, Full Year, 1 Credit, All Grades

The concert band is Xavier’s largest performing ensemble, open to any and all woodwind, brass and percussion students. The concert band performs 3 concerts a year in December, March and May. This ensemble also performs along with the jazz band members as the Football Band in the stands at home football games. In addition to local performances, the concert band travels to a festival competition every other year with our 3 other performing ensembles. The concert band is open to all levels of performers from beginner to experienced.

Jazz Ensemble

Course #9124, Full Year, 1 Credit, All Grades

The jazz ensemble is one of Xavier’s premier performing ensembles. This group studies, rehearses, and plays various jazz styles with an emphasis on improvisation and ensemble playing. In addition to 3 school concerts and other Xavier functions, the jazz ensemble also participates in regional jazz festival competitions and travels to a music festival every other year with our 3 other performing ensembles. This ensemble also performs along with the concert band members as the Football Band in the stands at home football games. Students in this group are expected to perform at a high level of musicianship and be prepared for class every day. Prerequisites: Audition and approval of Music Director.

String Ensemble

Course #9129, Full Year, 1 Credit, All Grades

The string ensemble is comprised of all classical string instruments: violin, viola, cello and string bass. This ensemble performs 3 concerts a year in December, March and May. Additionally, the string ensemble travels to festival competition every other year. The string ensemble is open to all levels of performers from beginner to experienced.

Understanding Music

Course #9101, Semester Course, .5 Credit. Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This one semester course traces the history of American popular music from its beginnings in mid-19th century America to today. Beginning with Stephen Foster and minstrelsy, students will learn how the various genres of music unfolded decade by decade, and in addition, they will trace the development of the modern music business and copyright law.

Guitar

Course #9110, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

Guitar class is a one semester course that introduces the fundamentals of music and guitar playing to students with little or no experience. Students will learn to tune their instruments, read various types of music notation, play melodies and chords, and will play both individually and with other classmates. Students interested in taking this class must provide their own acoustic guitar.

Performing Arts

Course #9311, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

This one semester course will explore the role of theater and other performing arts as they influence our times and culture. The exposure to plays, musicals, opera and film will define the role these performing arts have in our lives in the new millennium as well as define the sense of character, time, and place. This overview of the many aspects of performing arts will help the student to become a more discerning critic of our culture’s forms of entertainment.

AP Music Theory

AP - Course #9130, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors & Seniors

The AP Music Theory class covers all of the building blocks of music from simple notation to full 4-part writing. The class is split into two components: a writing component, which involves composition and analysis; an aural component which involves sight-singing and ear training. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the AP Theory class is handled on a case-by-case basis, and it is highly recommended that the student have a prerequisite of prior music ensemble experience here at Xavier.

Fine Arts Faculty

William Braychak

William Braychak

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Erik Elligers

Erik Elligers

Email:
Jayne Vitale

Jayne Vitale

Email: