The Performing Arts are a vital part of everyday life at Waring School. We believe that a community of lifelong learners is not complete without an immersive experience in Music and Theater, and that all students should be exposed to the Performing Arts by taking active roles as creators and sustainers of our program. In contrast with many schools for whom the Performing Arts are a “frill,” Waring treats them as an essential liberal art involving all students and many faculty.


Waring’s Music Program brings classical music into the lives of the whole community. We expect students to know and appreciate the masterworks that form a great part of our cultural heritage and hope that music will become a lifelong interest for them. Everyone sings in chorus, all are encouraged to study an instrument as part of our program, and a variety of opportunities to perform are provided through coffeehouses, Soirées, All-School Meetings, and other venues. Music Theory is a required course for Core through Group Two (Grades Six through Nine). Our environment also encourages students to explore music independently, as can be seen when students pick up guitars and coach each other in the various corners of our campus.

List of 4 items.

  • Music Lessons

    The private lessons program is unique at Waring. As part of their tuition, students may take an instrument lesson with one of our many instructors (about 15). This program is supported and encouraged by the full community and regular classroom teachers make allowances for students to miss periods for lessons on a rotating schedule. Students have many performance opportunities as soloists and ensemble players. Increasingly, students have taken part in the Districts and All-State/Nationals program where Waring has enjoyed great success recently.
  • Music Classes

    All students in Core (Grades 6 and 7) and Group 1 (Grade 8) are required to take a music course. Core (Grades 6 and 7) classes are part of the partial immersion program. Students in Group 1 and 2 (Grades 8 and 9) study the basics of music theory, ear-training, composition, and sight-singing. In addition, all students listen to selections from different musical periods and are taught to identify the key characteristics of the baroque, classical, romantic, and modern eras.
  • Choral Music

    Choral music is a vital part of the program at Waring. Students in Core (Grades 6 and 7) sing together twice a week in the Core Chorus. All students in Groups 1 through 5 (Grades 8 through 12) are placed in a choral group, including a boys’ chamber ensemble, girls’ chamber ensemble, mixed voice chorale, and an auditioned mixed voice madrigal group each of which rehearses twice per week.

    Throughout their time at Waring, students will have the opportunity to enrich their vocal experience by singing in several of these choral groups. Many Waring students take voice lessons, and especially motivated singers may audition for the Waring Madrigals, a select, 20-member ensemble.
  • Orchestral and Ensemble Program

    Playing together is not only enjoyable but actually a necessary part of playing an instrument. Waring offers opportunities for students to play in a variety of ensembles, from the Orchestra to the Jazz Band. In addition to these larger ensembles, there is, at any given time, several other smaller ensembles (trios, string quartets, vocal ensembles) all depending on available instrumentalists that semester.


Theater at Waring involves all students, not merely a group of talented actors. This means that every student gains theater experience: those with a deeper passion may even direct plays and assist in theater classes for younger students. Though our program trains students to become actors, of course, it also helps them to become public speakers, musical performers, and readers of their own writing. Through exercises, improvisation, scene study and play performance, students increase their range of physical, emotional, and vocal expression. In the process, they typically become confident actors—and more confident human beings.

Our plays generally employ minimal sets and tech crews, although we do use light and soundboards. Instead, the emphasis is on the actors themselves, on honing their skills and nurturing their development as performers. The dramas span a variety of genres, including experimental, classical, traditional, musical, and from time to time, French. Recent performances include: Death of a Salesman, The Tempest, Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden. The Theater Department works closely with the Humanities Department and often selects plays that dovetail with humanities class work such as with The Crucible and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

List of 2 items.

  • Grades 6-8

    Core (Grades 6 and 7) classes introduce students to the fundamentals of theater, beginning with improvisational games and exercises designed to increase confidence. Drawing partly on their work in humanities and French classes, students perform and help write short pieces for Core Night, an evening of presentations in November. During the winter sports term, Core students perform a play, or in some years a musical: this is optional and may include TAs from the Junior and Senior classes. Our skill-building work resumes in the spring, with students working on longer scenes and beginning to interpret and perform scripted pieces.

    Group 1 (Grade 8) Theater builds on the foundations established in Core Theater, beginning with a review of technique and moving on to monologue and improvisation. Students write "self-scripted" pieces and may perform them publicly at All-School Meetings. During the year students typically perform in a play directly related to a current humanities topic. Often, the Group 1 art classes assist in set creation.
  • Theater

    Theater, a production course offered during the afternoon sports period, employs skills acquired during Core (Grades 6 and 7) Theater and Group 1 (Grade 8) Theater. While some exercises and scene work occur early in the trimester, most time is spent in rehearsal. Drawing from both a classical and contemporary repertoire, the Theater Team rehearses and produces a full-length play. Though Theater Team strives to produce a wide variety of plays, it always seeks to explore themes that inform the Waring community as a whole. Students are encouraged to help with all aspects of the production, including costuming, lighting, set design, and advertising.

    Often, the first semester offering for Theater Team is a play that connects with Humanities themes for a cast of 15-20. The Winter has been the season for a Musical, either for the older students or CORE or a mix. In the Spring, we traditionally perform Student-Written Short Plays, using original work that comes out of the Writing program. There is also an honors offering in the form of a small cast play for honors track students in Theater.