Fine Arts Department

The Fine Arts Department offers students a wide variety of music and visual art courses. Various Fine Arts sequences leading to advanced diplomas are available by combining courses in music, visual arts or both. One credit of art or music is required to graduate from any New York State high school. In addition, Fine Arts electives meet the Life Skills credit requirement for an advanced diploma with a BH-BL Merit Seal.

Music Courses

This curriculum is the culmination of a program that begins in elementary school; however, opportunities exist for students who have not yet made music a part of their academic lives. Students are required to participate in all concerts and other activities of the organization(s) of which they are members. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the county, area, state and other music festivals. Courses are offered so that a student can participate in several major music organizations simultaneously. Students who wish to perform in multiple ensembles will be required to demonstrate musical ability of a level that will allow them to contribute and grow in each ensemble. The schedule for participation will be determined by the ensemble directors.

Performance Music Courses

MIXED CHORUS
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |   1 year   |   1 credit
The ability to read music is desirable, but it is not a requirement for students to be in chorus. Mixed Chorus performs at four school concerts each year. Students are introduced to quality choral music from many time periods and cultures, including some of today’s popular music. Musical characteristics of these time periods, cultures and composers are studied. Students learn to sight read music and develop their vocal technique and musicianship. All ninth- and tenth-grade choral students are required to have weekly group lessons, which meet on a rotating basis. Through these group lessons, students will be able to work more intensely on proper technique, breath control and overall poise and confidence in their singing ability. Students are encouraged to participate in county, area and state music festivals, as well as school musicals and community productions. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

SYMPHONIC BAND
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |   1 year   |   1 credit
This is open to any student who has been studying a band instrument and participating in the BH-BL instrumental program. Symphonic Band enables students to further develop musicianship and skills on a chosen instrument, and to experience the thrills of live performance. The band performs a variety of challenging and exciting level 3 and 4 music at four concerts throughout the school year. Members are welcome to participate in the Pep Band at all home football games. Students are encouraged to participate in county, area, and state festivals and competitions. Students may also have the opportunity to perform in the Jazz Ensemble and Musical Pit Orchestra. Ninth- and tenth-grade students have small group instruction, which is scheduled on a rotating basis. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

ORCHESTRA
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |  1 year  |   1 credit
The Orchestra is open to students who have been studying an orchestral instrument and participating in BH-BL performing ensembles. Students perform a wide variety of classical, modern, and popular music at four concerts throughout the school year. Students are encouraged to participate in county, area and state festivals and competitions. Orchestra students may also play in the Musical Pit Orchestra for the spring musical. Ninth- and tenth-grade students have small group instruction, which is scheduled on a rotating basis. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

MIXED CHORUS/SYMPHONIC BAND/ORCHESTRA COMBINATION
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |   1 year   |    1 credit
This option is available to music students who are very strong instrumentalists and vocalists, and are performing at a NYSSMA level 4 or higher. Students approved for this music configuration by vocal audition will be full-time members of Symphonic Band or Orchestra and take regular instrumental lessons. Once a week students will attend a Mixed Chorus rehearsal for half a block. Students will be required to attend a choral lesson/evaluation prior to each concert during a study hall or activity period. An audition and permission of the high school band, orchestra and choral directors (who will consult with appropriate middle school staff) are required for admission to this class. Students choosing this option will receive one full credit for Symphonic Band or Orchestra while also having the opportunity to participate in a choral experience. This option is based on enrollment and not an option for Concert Choir. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

CONCERT BAND
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   1 year  |   1 credit
Concert Band is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have been studying band instruments and participating in the BH-BL instrumental program and who are recommended by the band director. The band performs a variety of challenging and exciting level 5 and 6 music at concerts and festivals. The band also performs during annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies. Members may participate in the Pep Band at all home football games. Students may also perform in the Jazz Ensemble and Musical Pit Orchestra. Tenth-grade students have small group instruction, which is scheduled on a rotating basis. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

CONCERT CHOIR
Grades 10, 11, 12   |   1 year   |   1 credit
Concert Choir is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have successfully completed one year in Mixed Chorus and who have demonstrated proficiency in basic vocal technique and musicianship. Other students may be admitted by audition or with the recommendation of their current chorus director. Recommendation by the choral director is required. Students will continue to develop sight reading and other skills to prepare a vocally challenging Level 5 and 6 repertoire from all musical periods and styles. Concert Choir performs four concerts each year. In addition to the activities available to Mixed Chorus, Concert Choir members will perform short major works with the Orchestra and participate in state and out-of-state festivals. The Concert Choir may also perform with Albany Pro Musica in their annual high school choral festival. Tenth-grade students have small group instruction, which is scheduled on a rotating basis. Through these group lessons, students will be able to work more intensely on proper technique, breath control, and overall poise and confidence in their singing ability. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used as a component in a five-unit music or fine arts sequence.

Classroom Music Courses

MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY & YOU 1
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12   |   ½ year  |    ½ credit
Students will learn 21st-century skills already being used in the fields of composition, music business, music technology and the recording industry. Applications to be used include Garage Band, O-Generator and Sibelius. Students will learn basic music theory. Field trips and guest artists will provide insight into how music is commercially produced and the opportunities available in the music industry. Students will compose and perform their own original compositions and will examine how music composition relates to other fields, including video games and film.

MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY & YOU 2
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12   |    ½ year   |    ½ credit
The emphasis of this course is on students continuing to develop their compositional skills. Projects may include writing and composing a short commercial and composing music to accompany a video game. Prerequisite is Music, Technology & You 1. A full year of Music, Technology & You meets the music/art graduation requirement and may be used in a music or fine arts sequence.

MUSIC THEORY
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12   |   1 year  |   1 credit
4 UHS credits offered through SUNY Albany for students in grades 10-12

This course is offered on an alternate year rotating basis with Introduction to Theater. It will be offered in 2020-2021, 2022-2023, etc. school years.

Music Theory offers students the opportunity to study harmony and other elements of music through actual writing, arranging, analyzing, and hearing music from different periods of history. Computer software is utilized for skill development as well as composition. This course meets the music/art graduation requirement and can be used in a music sequence leading to a Regents Diploma. Basic skills in music reading is a prerequisite for this course.

INTRODUCTION TO THEATER
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12   |   1 year  |    1 credit

This course is offered on an alternate year rotating basis with Music Theory. It will be offered in 2019-20, 2021-22, etc. school years.

This course will explore the theater arts. Since this is a performance class, students will be required to perform daily as well as in an end-of-the-year showcase. Students will learn this art through various exercises in improvisation and team building, and will create characters through work on monologues, scenes and script writing. Students will study the scope and sequence of theater history through dramatic reading and will learn the technical aspects of production, including costume, makeup design, lighting, properties, stage management and set design. Students will be encouraged to observe professional and amateur theater in the school and community. Participation in these productions will be encouraged but not required. Written and performance assessments will be used to evaluate students. This course will meet the art/music graduation requirement and may be used as part of a five-unit fine arts sequence.

PRIVATE MUSIC STUDY (APPLIED MUSIC)
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12     1 year     ½ credit
Students may earn one-half credit for private study outside the school by meeting the following requirements:.

  1. Students must have completed one year of private study without credit.
  2. Students must receive 1/2 hour of instruction each week for 36 weeks and must practice a minimum of five hours per week.
  3. Students must perform a minimum level 3 or 4 NYSSMA solo at the spring festival and/or perform an equivalent solo, major scales and sight reading for a designated district teacher.
  4. Quarterly progress reports must be filled out and have a grade issued by the private music teacher. Private study should focus on solos, technique development and scale studies each quarter.

Applications may be picked up at the Fine Arts office. Students must complete the application process during the first two weeks of school or at the end of the preceding year. Applied Music will not meet the graduation requirement for one credit of art/music study, and it may not be used as part of a three or five credit fine arts sequence. Grades in this course are Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.


Visual Art Courses

All students are invited to participate in the art program. Students interested in careers or a sequence in the visual arts or fine arts are required to begin this process with Studio Art 2-D and/or 3-D in their freshman year, which satisfy the NYS graduation requirement but are also prerequisites for additional art courses, including those offered for college credit. Students who plan to attend college for art, computer graphics, animation, architecture or photography will need a portfolio to apply for these programs and should take an art sequence that includes the Portfolio course. Students who are interested in both music and art should explore the fine arts sequences offered.

Foundation Courses
STUDIO ART 2-D
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |    ½ year  |    ½ credit
Studio Art 2-D is the beginning course for all advanced art training. Basic concepts, skills and techniques are developed through experiences in fine arts areas such as drawing, painting and mixed media. Satisfies half of the one credit art/music requirement. No prerequisite.

STUDIO ART 3-D
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  |    ½ year  |    ½ credit
Studio Art 3-D is the second beginning art course for all advanced art training. It includes basic concepts, techniques and experiences in sculptural media (such as clay, plaster, relief, etc.), and graphic arts. Satisfies half of the one credit art/music requirement. No prerequisite.

Fine Arts Electives

NOTE: A full year (1 credit) of Studio Art (2-D and 3-D) is the prerequisite for all the advanced fine art and graphic art courses.

DRAWING & ACRYLIC PAINTING
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
In this class students will learn to draw and paint what they see, as well as explore creative ways to work with several drawing mediums. They will learn professional techniques for mixing colors and painting with acrylic tube paint. A great half-year class for portfolio building. Successful completion of this course will allow students to take Advanced Drawing for college credit and/or Advanced Painting during their junior or senior year.

DRAWING & WATERCOLOR PAINTING
Grades 10, 11, 12   |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
In this course students will experiment with fun techniques in watercolor and multimedia drawing. They’ll develop their skills and create a variety of quality pieces to add to their portfolio. Drawing & Acrylic Painting is not a prerequisite. Successful completion of this course will allow students to take Advanced Drawing for college credit and/or Advanced Painting in their junior or senior year.

EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING
Grades 11, 12   |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
Formerly titled Advanced Painting, this course is an opportunity to explore and experiment! Further develop your painting skills through the use of a variety of creative paint materials and painting surfaces. This is your chance for an in-depth, individual study in your favorite color mediums. The finished pieces will be original and portfolio ready. Prerequisite is either Drawing & Acrylic Painting or Drawing & Watercolor Painting.

ADVANCED DRAWING
Grades 11, 12  |    ½ year   |   ½ credit
3 UHS credits offered through The Sage Colleges
Students in this course will continue to build their skills as they concentrate on drawing from observation. They’ll work with a variety of media and subjects to create dynamic compositions that express their ideas. This in-depth focus will result in quality life drawings that are a must for college entrance portfolios. Prerequisite is either Drawing & Acrylic Painting or Drawing & Watercolor Painting.

CERAMICS
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
Students will explore the creative and fundamental aspects of clay in this introductory course. Students will be inspired by the influences of past cultures and contemporary ceramic artists, and will produce both functional and sculptural work. Basic techniques covered are hand building, glazing and introductory wheel throwing. A great half-year class for portfolio building. Successful completion of this course will allow students to take Advanced Ceramics for college credit their junior or senior year.

ADVANCED CERAMICS
Grades 11, 12  |    ½ year  |   ½ credit
3 UHS credits offered through The Sage Colleges
Students will broaden their understanding and hone their skills in this course that focuses on advanced hand-building and glazing techniques. This class offers students a greater opportunity to showcase technical skills, design expertise and creative expression. Additionally, students can choose to further develop their skills at the pottery wheel. Prerequisites are Studio 2-D, Studio 3-D and Ceramics.

SCULPTURE
Grades 10, 11, 12   |   ½ year  |    ½ credit
In this course students will explore creative concepts and materials as related to current trends in sculpture. Students will utilize a variety of materials such as clay, stone, wood, plaster, etc. and learn more advanced construction processes including modeling, carving, casting, armature building, etc. Students will view both historical and contemporary trends in sculpture as they explore their own artistic expression to create meaningful three dimensional artwork. Students will experience the creative process both as an independent artist planning then constructing their sculptures and as a member of a creative studio sharing ideas with their peers.

MIXED MEDIA
Grade 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year  |  ½ credit

This course is offered on an alternate year rotating basis with Sculpture. It will be offered in 2019-2020, 2021-2022, etc. school years.

This is a course intended for students to experiment with art materials and techniques to create unique and non-traditional art. Students will try new materials and expand their creative possibilities by combining painting, sculpting, printmaking and other techniques to produce 2- and 3-dimensional mixed media artwork. Projects may include: mixed media on paper, wood or other surfaces; collages; found- object sculptures; wall hangings and assemblages.

PORTFOLIO
Grade 12  |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
Students in this course will complete their portfolio in the fall of their senior year for personal satisfaction or for college entrance and scholarships. They’ll use their favorite media to create artwork that meets their individual needs and interests. Students will have the opportunity to participate in portfolio reviews, exhibits, and competitions. Information about college art programs and individual assistance in career planning is also provided. Successful completion of two and a half art credits or teacher permission is the prerequisite.

Graphic Art Electives

DIGITAL ART
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year  |   ½ credit
Digital art is changing the way we create art as a design tool and illustrative medium. In this introductory graphic arts course students can express themselves by combining state-of-the-art technology with creativity. Students will use drawing tablets and graphic software especially designed for artists (Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) to draw, paint, create and manipulate images just like professional artists and designers. Successful completion of this course allows students to take Advanced Digital Art & Design for college credit in their junior or senior year.

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOJOURNALISM
Grades 10, 11, 12   |   ½ year  |    ½ credit
In today’s world, most everyone take pictures, but not everyone is a “photographer.” this course is designed for those who wish to develop a photographic practice with emphasis in fine art photography and photojournalism. Students will develop the skills necessary to capture beautiful photos through the understanding of light, exposure, and composition using digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. In addition, students will learn how to process images in the digital darkroom using professional Adobe software, and how to produce beautiful photographic prints. Students will be introduced to influential photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Assignments will be both teacher and student driven. DSLR cameras are supplied. Prerequisite: Either Studio Art 2D and 3D, or Technical & Digital Photography.

ADVANCED DIGITAL ART & DESIGN
Grades 11, 12  |   ½ year  |    ½ credit
3 UHS credits offered through The Sage Colleges
This course is a more in-depth exploration into digital art and design, especially helpful for students considering a career in digital or graphic arts. Using the same graphic software and techniques from Digital Art, students will apply basic principles of design and composition as they conceptualize and create original art and designs that communicate ideas. Digital projects may include illustrations and paintings, logos, T-shirt designs, packaging and posters. Prerequisite is Digital Art.

CARTOONING & ANIMATION
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year   |   ½ credit
Students can draw their own characters and animate them! In this class students will look at the styles and techniques of successful animators as they develop their own characters and animations. They’ll learn techniques for drawing expression and character design, and how to illustrate movement in cartoons and animated scenes both on and off the computer. Projects may include comic strips, flip books, mini graphic novels and animated short films using Adobe Animate.

FILM DESIGN & PRODUCTION
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year   |   ½ credit
Make films! Students will develop their skills in the art of storytelling through digital video. They will plan an conceptualize their own films before directing, filming, and editing them. Emphasis will be on learning effective filmmaking techniques, lighting for mood, and choosing camera angles to get the best shots to effectively tell a story in an artistic and compelling manner. Students will use Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Garage Band to edit, add effects and create music for their films. Students may use their own video cameras or borrow one from the class.

PRIVATE ART STUDY
Grades 10, 11, 12  |   ½ year   |   ½ credit
Students may earn one-half credit for private study outside of school by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Students must have completed one year of private study without credit.
  2. Students must receive one hour of instruction each week for 10 weeks and must do a minimum of three hours a week of independent artwork.
  3. Students must produce a portfolio with a minimum of eight finished pieces in the designated medium. This portfolio will be reviewed by a district art teacher. The portfolio will serve as a final exam in this course.
  4. Quarterly progress reports must be filled out and have a grade issued by the private art teacher. Private study should focus on skill, concept development, aesthetic study and art appreciation.

Applications are available in the Fine Arts office. Students must complete the application process during the first two weeks of school or at the end of the preceding year. Applied art will not meet the graduation requirement for one credit of art/music study, nor be used as part of a fine arts sequence.