The Department of Fine Arts at CBHS hosts a diverse and enriched selection of in-school courses and out-of-school ensembles and opportunities for all students, regardless of previous experience or proficiency in any given area: vocal, instrumental, theatrical, and visually artistic. The Fine Arts faculty are exceptionally competent in their crafts, but are also highly passionate about the educational and developmental aspects of the lives of students. Students who pursue any type of Fine Art, from those just stepping into a given area to those who have much experience, find their lives more enriched, their school day more fulfilling, and their high school experience more personal and memorable. The goal of each Fine Arts teacher is to help all of our students experience the Fine Arts in such a way that our students walk away incredibly proud of their accomplishments and part of a family of fellow artists who appreciate their talent and work.
The Band, Choral, Theatrical, and Visual Arts programs connect student learning in the arts to a wide spectrum of academic and social activities. Research shows that what students learn in the arts helps them master other subjects, such as reading and math. Students who participate in the arts often improve their achievement in other realms of learning. Students with high arts involvement perform better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, students involved in the arts watch fewer hours of TV, participate in more community service, report less boredom in school, and have high marks in critical thinking. Performing groups (band, choir, theatre) create a sense of community in the students different than that which is normally achieved in the classroom setting. Visual arts classes help broaden conceptual thinking, communication skills, cooperative decisions, and increased observations and interpretation skills. Groups of students must work together every day and hold each other accountable for their performance level.
The Band program offers beginning to advanced instrumental performance opportunities that focus providing music and entertainment for school and civic functions, teaching students the art of music through performance, and assisting in providing scholarships to college in music and band. The art of music empowers and pushes students daily to engage in this magnificent art form. The traditions of our unique band program provide long-rooted connections for students, who then in turn help it to prosper for generations to come. The program changes the lives of students in it every day. The Developmental Band courses are designed to develop a student’s abilities on a band instrument in preparation for acceptance into the Christian Brothers Honors Band. Students are given a band instrument and practice alone and rehearse in groups until proficiency is met as determined by the band director. Once proficiency has been reached, students are then enveloped into the Honors Band, Pep Band, and for many, the Historic Band.
The Visual Arts program is designed to instill in students specific techniques that focus on observation, envisioning, innovation, and collaboration as part of meeting critical goals for the CBHS experience as a whole. The studio art classes encourage students to be creative thinkers who can evaluate, organize, produce innovative solutions to complex challenges, and explore how practical understanding of fundamental concepts will aid in their experiences out in the real world. Students explore a wide range of artistic mediums as they complete varying levels of artistic tasks all the while pursing self-expression and realization about the world around them. Classes begin at the beginner level (Art I) and continue through to advanced exploration (Art IV).
The Theatre program is a benefit to our students in every facet. Through careful and meticulous training of the body, voice, and mind, students walk away from this training with an enhanced ability to comprehend text, a heightened awareness of how they use their bodies and its effect on others, and a new confidence in the empowerment of their own voice. In addition to these essential assets to becoming a rare and cultivated individual, a quality theatre training program seeks to develop the students’ imagination and creative outlook; preparing them in turn to approach future employment opportunities with an ability to think creatively in developing unique solutions to workplace obstacles. Acting classes during school range from introductory courses (Acting I) to more advanced courses (Acting IV, Film Production, etc.). Brothers on Stage is the after school theatrical program that performs many varying works each year on the main stage at the school, and around the community, as well as competitive venues.
The Choral program offers in-school and out-of-school opportunities for students who wish to engage, learn, and explore the world of vocal expression. The students in the choral program are made up of an incredibly diverse collection of young men. The vocal ensembles are comprised of athletes (football, baseball, basketball, rugby, etc.), LaSallian scholars, SGA leaders, Spirit leaders, and more. It is an incredible mix of students who all come together to find brotherhood and connection through music. Men’s Chorus is the largest group, and meets during the school day. Repertoire ranges from Medieval and Classical to pop, jazz, tribal, and contemporary choral literature. Honors Chorus meets outside of the school day, is more select, and serves the same regarding GPA as other honors chorus. Repertoire focuses on harder selections mainly from modern choral composers. SoundWave is a smaller, advanced, selective, after-school ensemble that focuses solely on modern pop, ballad, jazz, and contemporary literature. Other groups are utilized throughout the year such as octets, quartets, and soloists. Students can audition for All West TN and All State TN honor choirs through our program.