St. Hilda’s College has an outstanding Performing Arts programme. Children are introduced to the world of music at a very early age, progressing on to play a musical instrument or sing in the Junior Choir. Throughout their years at St. Hilda’s, students have the opportunity to participate in choir festivals, concerts, inter house music competitions, and the 180- strong St. Hilda’s Community Choir and Orchestra. The Music Department was founded over 20 years ago by an accomplished musical director. In recent years it has produced some notable performances, including Handel’s Messiah; Vivaldi’s Gloria, the Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramirez, and festivals celebrating the works of Mozart, Bach and Gershwin.
Drama is the other side of Performing Arts at St. Hilda’s. From Kindergarten onwards, children are encouraged to take part in school plays and musicals. Two major plays are produced in the Secondary School every year, one in English in Autumn, and one in Spanish in Spring, bringing together not only promising young acting talent, but also original set designs and impressive lighting and sound productions. Often, the school play in English is directed and produced by former pupils. Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, and the classic Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream, are some outstandingl productions of recent years.
The importance of communication and self-confidence are encouraged in the Public Speaking programme carried out by all students in the Secondary School. Overall, the school provides students with a well-rounded education, helping them to express themselves confidently in front of an audience, teaching them to work as a team during rehearsals, and above all, making sure they have fun doing this.
St. Hilda’s College offers a comprehensive musical programme which includes the study of the cultural aspects of music, musical interpretation and musical creation.
Children are taught to play a musical instrument as soon as they reach third grade of Primary School, this process continues until they finish their last senior year. They are given the choice among various instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, piano, percussion instruments and singing. Each instrument is taught by qualified musicians at weekly individual lessons.
The possibility of playing in the orchestras or sing in the choirs, both during the Primary and Secondary School, allows the students to take part in various festivals and to be in touch with diverse repertoires, which enhances their musical culture.
Music tours to Europe are organised every three years, and contribute to the students’ direct experience with other cultures. The primary focus is on playing alongside foreign orchestras, going to concerts and visiting museums and cathedrals.
The music department also organises local outings to symphonic concerts, opera and ballet performances ( At the Colón and Coliseo theatres), and also hosts presentations during school hours offered by prestigious musical bands (open to parents and the community). Among others, we have been visited by the Camerata Bariloche, the Orchestras of the U.C.A. Music Faculty, the Policía Federal Symphonic Orchestra, the GendarmeríaNacional Symphonic Orchestra , The Orchestra of the University of Georgia(USA), The Pennsbury Concert and Marching Band, the National Children’s Choir of South Africa, LagunOnak, Doménico Zipoli and, Ars Nova, The Tuscson Girl Chorus.
Musical camps are also a tradition at St. Hilda’s. They are carried out during the school term at different locations such as Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Entre Ríos and Uruguay, and allow for intensive musical practice.
The programme is complemented with student auditions which take place at the end of each term, the IGSCE international examinations and the Choral Concerts. At these concerts, all the school community (parents, former pupils, teachers, school staff, Primary school choir, Secondary school choir and orchestra) choose a different composer each year such as Vivaldi, Mozart, Verdi, Bach, Ariel Ramírez, Rutter, Handel, Orff, Gershwin and Queen. A very enthusiastic group of around one hundred and eighty performers gathers at our school’s Trinity Hall to offer a concert open to all the local community.
Another valued artistic activity at St. Hilda’s is drama, which is developed from Kindergarten up to the senior years, and also former pupils, who stage one yearly performance. This is a school tradition aimed at achieving fluid and eloquent oral communication, as well as creative team work.
Guided by such spirit, the toddlers of Kindergarden openly express themselves with enthusiasm at the annual Kindergarden show. The shows are based on stories which are selected to emphasise important moral virtues and include traditional English nursery rhymes.
In the Primary School, the students stage two annual musical shows completely in English. This allows them to work on pronunciation, diction and intonation as well as expand their vocabulary and develop acting skills. The shows are directed and choreographed by a school teacher who also adapts the scripts to ensure all students have a role in them.
In the Secondary Schoolt, the students produce two yearly plays, one in English and one in Spanish, in which all those interested are invited to take part. Classic and modern authors from all eras have been represented by the students with genuine zeal and commitment; since they are involved not only in the acting, but as well in the set design, music and sound editing, the choice of costumes and makeup. This transforms drama into an experience which is both dynamic and creative.
Art is considered a subject which allows for the development of creativity; this is achieved by means of visual arts.
Arts classes take place in a special purpose Arts Room which gives the children the opportunity to a wide range of material and to a get a different perspective on the subject. In other words, Art is not one more classroom activity but allows the children to become immersed in an artistic environment.
In the Art Room, children are not only be able to fully discover and develop their abilities but also learn about famous artists of the past. The time spent on this subject will prepare students to sit for the Cambridge University “Art and Design” exam.
Upon leaving St Hilda’s students will be fully equipped to embark upon art related careers at university. A number of Secondary School leavers have chosen Fine Arts degree studies.