Choir Director: Ms. Emily Miller
Highland Middle School boasts a strong tradition in the performing arts. In 6th and 7th grade, students are required to participate in choir or band -- or both, if they choose! We have two sections of 6th grade choir (morning and afternoon) and two sections of 7th grade choir (morning and afternoon). There are well over 280 students participating in the 6th and 7th grade choirs.
Preparing for performance is only a part of the education offered in the choir classroom. Students learn about music theory, history, and notation while also exploring the styles of different composers, time periods, forms, and nationalities. The techniques of singing (breath support, posture, placement, tone color, resonance, balance, blend, intonation, etc.) are paramount in the course curriculum. By the time a student has completed a year of choir, they have effectively traveled through time, across the globe, and into the world of intelligent self-expression, interpretation, and evaluation.
8th grade is the ultimate year in Highland Middle School. There are no performing arts requirements in the 8th grade - the result is always a choir of exceptional dedication, drive, enthusiasm and quality! This choir is under the direction of Emily Miller. Recognized at District contests as a top-rated choir in the state, our 8th grade choir program also offers two co-curricular choirs after school - the 8th grade girls choir and the 8th grade boys choir. These groups serve to further enhance and showcase the students' musical gifts as they offer music of a more popular style to our audiences.
Finally, our choir department works in conjunction with the athletic department when scheduling events. Athletics and music are often emphasizing the same skills - teamwork, cooperation, group goals, and personal responsibility. Our music-athletes have always been and continue to be a strong component of the Highland Choir Department. Come see for yourself! Concerts are free and open to the public.
The Highland Middle School Drama Club is open to all students in grades 6-8. The drama club is open to any student with a passion for acting or an interest in the behind-the-scenes workings of the theater. Club meetings consist of fun improv games and acting exercises. Throughout the year, club members may act in short skits. Students are not required to come to every meeting. The drama club advisor is Emily Miller, 330-239-1901 ext. 1614
Visual Art: Lee Palencar, Art Teacher
Highland Middle School’s Visual Art Program is based on the Ohio Standards for Visual Arts. A varied curriculum, that services Grades 6, 7, and 8, one quarter each year, is rigorously delivered. Students are exposed to and work in a variety of media that may include drawing, painting, sculpture, design, technology, fiber arts, and art history. The fundamentals of Art are practiced and feature The Elements of Art (line, shape, space, form, texture, value, color) and the Principles of Design (balance, pattern, unity, emphasis, contrast, movement, rhythm). Assessments and Reflections play a decisive role in helping students understand what they know, what they may not know, and what they need to know to be successful artists. These also improve art production with students considering an appropriate level of complexity through deeper, more logical, and independent thought practices.
Each spring The Highland Middle School Art Show takes place at the Highland Public Library. For one week approximately 250 works of student art is displayed for Highland students, their parents, relatives, and friends to view as well as the community at large. It is always a happy event and is received with great enthusiasm.
The HMS Art Program is also involved in a number of extracurricular projects which may include the cover art contest for the yearbook, tee shirt designs for a variety of school uses, Ink Spot publication entries, murals, framed hallway art, etc.
Students are encouraged to practice critical thinking skills, be creative, and express themselves while enrolled in this studio class. Independent behaviors are expected for the many processes inherent in art making as well as for appropriate social interactions. As always, respect is the key factor in the Art Room.