Fine Arts Course Descriptions

Introduction to Graphic DESIGN and Publications

An introduction to graphic design, layout, and Associate Press style writing will be components of this survey course. This class is a prerequisite course for the staffs of the newspaper, yearbook and graphic design II. Students will learn about how the mass media currently operates and will learn a basic history of sources of media. Communication methods and theories are also examined in the early part of the course. This course trains students in the fundamental skills of journalism: interviewing, organizing information, drafting, revising, and meeting strict deadlines. The design portion of this class focuses on principles and elements of design, form, shape development, typography, and color theory. Students will learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, while conceptually developing the structure of information to communicate ideas. This will include logo design, product marketing, poster design, and real-world projects for school-wide functions. Students will become familiar with a variety of tools and techniques used to produce professional work in the fields of graphic design, advertising, and illustration. This course provides practical experience in essential studio processes, procedures, critiques, and group discussions.


A foundation course in which students explore the elements and principles of art and design through art production, art appreciation, art history, and criticism. Students express individual creativity in two and three-dimensional media (drawing, design, and sculpture), maintain a sketchbook for assignments, and are responsible for improving their art vocabulary for use in informed visual art discussions.


This course will further the students development in the basic principles and elements of design. The students will express their creative thought through the application of these skills. Students will be given a sense of art history though discussion and visual presentations that relate to the current studio project. A variety of materials will be used. Some of the techniques and materials that may be included are color theory, rendering, perspective drawing, design, composition, acrylic pain, and ceramic clay. They will be expected to maintain a sketchbook for assignments and participate in informed critical thinking as it pertains to the visual arts.


This studio art course is offered for advanced students who have successfully completed foundation courses ART I and ART II. Through an emphasis on creative problem solving, students are challenged to improve skills, enhance self-expression, and develop aesthetic sensibilities through a variety of drawing and design projects. Diverse materials and techniques will be practiced, including observational drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, clay, and other sculptural construction. The development of quality artworks for admission to the Advanced Studio Art and inclusion in an AP portfolio is emphasized.


Open to juniors and seniors by application and with department approval

This course is designed for motivated and advanced art students, with an emphasis on improving drawing and 2D skills and visual self-expression in various creative processes at a more accelerated pace. The curriculum follows the general guidelines of the "Breadth" requirements of AP Studio Art, so students are challenged through specific assignments to create a portfolio of works in a range of themes, mediums, and techniques which may be submitted for AP scoring. Creativity as an ongoing process that involves the student in informed and critical decision making is encouraged.

AP Art History

Open to juniors and seniors by application and with department approval

This course is designed as a general chronological survey of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, and architecture), from prehistoric to contemporary times, covering Western and selected Non-Western cultures. Through slide and video lectures, texts readings and other research, and discussion, students gain fundamental art historical knowledge and expand insight into the nature and vocabulary of aesthetics and art appreciation. Evaluation is based on homework, tests, quizzes, and participation. The course is the equivalent in content to a two-semester college level survey of Art History and prepares students for the AP Exam in May, successful completion of which will normally fulfill 3-6 hours of college credit. Students may take this course as a History, Fine Arts, or academic elective.


Open to 10-12th grade students who have successfully completed Art I or Graphic Design

This course will provide students an opportunity to explore the aesthetic principles and basic technical skills of photography as a fine art form. Students will be introduced to functions of digital cameras, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards to produce expressive and meaningful artworks. A survey of the history of photography and the work of famous photographers will be included. Coursework will consist primarily of written and photographic assignments by theme, composition, lighting, color, and other variables. Traditional and experimental post-processing, including a variety of transfer processes into mixed media art pieces, will be included. A digital camera with manual control over aperture and shutter speed is required for the class. This course is open to 11-12th grade students who have successfully completed ART I or Introduction to Graphic Design and Publications.


Open to 10-12th grade students who have successfully completed Art I or Graphic Design

This course continues the examination of the elements of design, spatial relations, typography, and imagery as they apply to practical visual solutions for print and web applications. It also provides extended study of graphic design principles and their application to more complex visual solutions. Moreover, the class will explore the intersection of business and graphic design by introducing students to the fundamentals of planning, research, design, and the construction of three-dimensional forms (packaging and displays). Students will also gain experience with a variety of materials and techniques while developing their more advanced foundational skills. Students must complete Introduction to Graphic Design or Art I before advancing to this class.


Open to 10-12th grade students who have successfully completed Art I or Graphic Design

Semester course that offers students engagement in the principles of 3D thinking and building aesthetically satisfying forms in real space. Using a variety of mediums and processes, students will create both relief and in-the-round sculptures dedicated to various aesthetic themes. Working with clay, plaster, wood, found and recycled objects, wire, paper mache, and other materials, students will consider principles of design and formulating ideas and developing 3D artworks.


This class develops and sharpens the student’s appreciation, understanding, and technical mastery of performance skills, including character development and relationships, stage movement, and script evaluation. Materials include published plays, monologues, poetry, and others manuscripts selected by the students and the instructor.

Theatre Production-Acting

Open to students in grades 10-12 with department approval

This is a studio class for highly motivated acting students. The program is designed not only to heighten the acting student’s mastery of performance technique, but also to acquaint the student with the many elements involved in producing a play or film, including lighting and sound design, costuming, scene design and construction, budgeting, and directing.

Theatre Production-Technical

Open to students in grades 10 – 12 with department approval

Students are trained in set design and construction technique, as well as sound and lighting design and implementation. Students have the opportunity to work daily in a state-of-the-art theatre and to broaden their particular areas of expertise through active participation in multiple productions produced by this class and the theatre department throughout the school year.

St. Andrew’s Singers

This course covers the basic elements of vocal production, music theory, sight-reading, three- and four-part singing, musicianship, and concert presentation. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop their voices as instruments of self-expression, to improve their music literacy, and to enjoy a meaningful group experience through daily participation and performance.


Open to students in grades 10 – 12 chosen by audition

St. Andrew’s Rhapsody is a concert choir composed of advanced student musicians. In addition to sight-reading, four- to eight-part singing, singing in foreign languages, and formal concert presentation, the class pursues an advanced knowledge of music theory and a high level of musicianship. This ensemble performs everything from standard choral literature to a capella arrangements of pop standards. This choir is the premier choral ensemble at St. Andrew’s and frequently participates in events both in the school community and beyond.


Open to students in grades 10 – 12 chosen by audition

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble at St. Andrew’s is comprised of members of Rhapsody. In addition to an advanced music theory knowledge and excellent musicianship, these singers are expected to have great self-expression and stage presence. Vocal Jazz performs both accompanied and a cappella vocal jazz style repertoire. This ensemble may present concerts and performances in addition to the annual Holiday and Spring Choral Concerts.

Upper School Band

This course teaches music and musicianship in the context of a performing instrumental group. Development of musical skills (scales, rhythms, tone quality, sight-reading, intonation, phrasing, and interpretation) is a priority. Student musicians are exposed to a variety of musical styles and provide service to the school and community by performance.

Beginning Wind Instruments

Students in grades 7-10 are eligible to learn to play a band instrument in the Beginning Winds class. No prior musical of band experience is necessary. All students are placed on an instrument (flute, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone, or tuba), balancing their interests, their physical predispositions, and the needs of the program. Students are taught basic tone production and technique on that instrument. Counting, reading, playing, and listening are all elements of the program method. Students make accelerated progress due to the small class size and one-to-one instruction. The Beginning Winds students are incorporated into the intermediate or Upper School Band for the concert at the end of the year.

AP Music Theory

Requires application and department approval

This course offers a detailed study of the principles of musical construction and of ways of connecting the visual and aural elements of music. Students explore the elements of pitch, rhythm, chord construction and recognition, voice leading and part writing, texture and style, twentieth-century materials and techniques, rhythmic reading and dictation, melodic dictation, harmonic recognition and dictation, and sight-singing


This course trains students in the fundamental skills of journalism, interviewing, organizing information, drafting, revising, and meeting strict deadlines. The objective of the course is to allow each staff member to play a significant role in the publication of the student newspaper, The Revelation, which is published 5-6 times during the school year. The newspaper staff is headed by the writing editors, who supervise production, establish deadlines, make final editorial judgments, and write editorials. They are aided by several section editors who manage their respective staffs and write articles. Other staff positions include layout editor, photographer, and staff reporter. All students will be required to use Adobe InDesign to layout the paper. Students who demonstrate responsibility, enthusiasm, and capable writing skills, and have taken Introduction to Media are given priority in the staff selection process, which occurs in the spring of each year. Applications are required, and previous staff must reapply each year.


The yearbook course trains students in the fundamental skills of journalism, including organizing information, drafting, revising, and meeting deadlines. The objective of the course is to allow each staff member to play a significant role in the publication of the yearbook, Sanctus, which provides a comprehensive look at the school year. Students who demonstrate responsibility, enthusiasm, and capable writing skills are given priority in the staff selection process, which occurs in the spring of each year. Applications are required; previous staff may reapply each year.


Speech and Debate Competition prepares students for interscholastic speech and debate competition in four basic areas: Public Address, Interpretation of Literature, Debate (individual and two-person team), and Congress (mock legislative). Students who want to compete on the schoolÍs Speech and Debate team are expected to be enrolled in the class with the permission of the teamÍs coaches and to compete in a minimum of six invitational tournaments and the two nationals-qualifying tournaments (see below). Any student who cannot schedule the class because of complications and who wants to compete on the team must make arrangements with the coaches for a minimum amount of regularly scheduled practice each week. During the spring semester, two major Mississippi tournaments serve as qualifiers for competition at the national tournaments of National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) and National Forensic League (NFL). A third major tournament determines individual state champions in various categories, as well as a team champion, among member schools of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). The course can count as a studentÍs Fine Arts elective and may be repeated for credit. With the permission of the Chair of the Department of Speech Communication, students who take the course for two successive years and meet standards of excellence and achievement formulated by the Department may substitute this course for the Speech Communication course required for graduation.


Fall semester only; Open to juniors and seniors

A nation's art expresses its identity. Artworks capture a culture's hopes, fears and dreams. They provide a snapshot of a nation's history, documenting the lives of its people and reflecting the character of its citizens. Many Americans are more versed in European art, especially masters like da Vinci and Monet, but are unaware that America's past and present includes many notable artists and significant masterpieces. This semester-long course will introduce students to their nation's great artistic traditions, from the colonial period to today. Students will use both primary and secondary sources to understand artworks within their social and cultural contexts. Some topics that will be discussed during the course will be portraiture and the self, picturing war and national identity, race and representation, and European influences on American art. A final project will give each student the opportunity to research and analyze an American artwork in the collection of his/her local art museum.


Spring semester only; Open to juniors and seniors

This course presents the historical evolution of contemporary American music. The course will primarily cover American pop/rock music through the lens of treating American pop music as a worldwide musical first. The course is the first of its kind, covering the pop/rock genre in a deep, consistent, and accessible way. The course includes detailed listening guides helping students understand compositional technique, musical timing, and lyric construction. Of particular significance is the inclusion of Interactive Listening Guides providing moment-by-moment descriptions of the music as it is performed.

South Campus • Pre-K3 to 4th grade • 4120 Old Canton Road • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601-987-9300
North Campus • Grades 5 to 12 • 370 Old Agency Road • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601-853-6000

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