Columbus School for Girls is proud of its robust arts community which focuses on allowing self-expression through both performing and visual arts. With performing arts, CSG brings together music and theater under one banner as a unified arts community.
Upper School Theater:
The Upper School Theater extracurricular productions offer students the ability to work with Janetta Davis, an actress and director with 25 years of professional acting, directing, and teaching experience. The Upper School produces two main stage shows a year which provide extraordinary opportunities for the student who is serious about her theater experience. The relationship between director, actress, and technician is close and personal, and girls are able to play a wide range of roles specifically chosen to challenge them and allow them to find their strengths or to develop their leadership skills as Stage Managers and Crew Heads. The standards and expectations for the plays are set at a professional level, and the students consistently exceed them. Guest artists and collaborators are brought into the process to enrich the performance experience for the students. The Upper School produces two main stage shows in the state-of-the-art Agnes Jeffrey Shedd Theater on a rotating basis: a serious drama, a musical, a children’s play, and a comedy. Every other year we collaborate with Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, when the students work side-by-side with professionals. CSG Theater students have been recognized the Thespians for their excellence by achieving double superior ratings in acting and stage managing at the State conference, as well as by local theater critics.
Middle School Theater:
The CSG Middle School Theater Department offers Middle School students the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Bishara, a professional actress and director as well as teacher. They present two productions every year. The fall production is a play and the spring production is a musical. The Middle School program emphasizes perfecting the basics of theater production. For the performers, the shows focus on learning the basic techniques of acting. Actors learn discipline and time management skills, teamwork and cooperation, and collaboration. All students who audition for the productions are offered the chance to participate. Interested Middle School students also have the chance to explore technical aspects of theatrical production as well. The tech girls are able to run lights and sound, as well as help backstage during the performances, moving set pieces, being responsible for props, costumes and make-up. Middle School students get to collaborate with Upper School students who have been given the opportunity to design lights or sound for the Middle School productions and can teach the Middle School students how to operate the equipment. This is a rare and great opportunity for the Middle School and Upper School students to interact and bond with each other.
Lower School Music
In Lower School, the Form V Band, Strings, and Choir ensembles perform annually for the Bexley Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon held at Kensington Place. Many of the attendees have deep connections with CSG and enjoy hearing the girls perform.
In Middle School, each ensemble travels for adjudication through Ohio Music Educators’ Association (OMEA) and Music in the Parks. Soloists and small ensembles in Band, Strings, and Choir, attend OMEA’s Junior High School Solo and Ensemble Competition for professional feedback, and earn ratings of Excellent and Superior.
Top Middle School band members are nominated to perform with The Ohio State University’s Middle School Honors Band each January. Hundreds of students from the tri-state area come together to work with professional musicians and perform advanced literature, which culminates in a grand concert for parents. Band members have performed with the Independent Schools of Columbus Middle School Honors Band which combines the top students from CSG, The Wellington School, and Columbus Academy. Top band members also audition and perform in Capital University’s Junior Winds.
Middle School Stringsfest is an annual tradition of more than 14 years which combines all Middle School students from CSG, The Wellington School, and Columbus Academy in a day-long workshop with professionals, culminating in a mass Strings performance for parents.
Choir:The Middle School Choir often gets the opportunity to work with renowned choral conductors that are brought in to work with CSG’s Choir Department. Many Choir members audition and perform with outside ensembles, like The Columbus Children’s Choir, at various venues throughout the year.
In Upper School, each ensemble travels for adjudication through OMEA and Music in the Parks. Soloists and small ensembles in Band, Strings, and Choir, attend OMEA’s High School Solo and Ensemble competition for professional feedback and ratings of Excellent and Superior. Students audition and perform for Honor Choirs, Bands, and Strings at prominent universities around the state as well as for OMEA State Ensembles, Capital University’s Junior Winds and Youth Symphonic Band, Youth Philharmonic of Central Ohio, Chamber Music Connection, and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Newark-Granville Symphony.
The Upper School Wind Ensemble combines with the St. Charles Concert Band to perform a concert of advanced music in early March, a tradition of more than 14 years. This concert also features the Upper School Select Winds and St. Charles Jazz Ensemble. The Upper School Select Winds also perform for special in-school functions such as admission events.
The Upper School Select Strings Ensemble regularly performs at special school events throughout the year. Performances include admission events and special School events, such as the official opening of the new Agnes Jeffrey Shedd Theater in 2015.
The Upper School Concert Choir competes at OMEA’s Large Group Competition each year, receiving Superior ratings at District and State levels. The Grace Notes compete nationally each spring through various prestigious choral festivals in California, Illinois, Tennessee, and New York. The Grace Notes also tour locally, performing for local events and organizations throughout Columbus.