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A Place To Create

Learning rhythm on African drums, creating dynamic characters, visually expressing the way one sees and thinks – experiencing art is personal – and we teach this by asking students to observe the world around them. They are supported and encouraged as they face new techniques and mediums.

At Potomac, in all grade levels, we think of the arts as expressive pathways, both inward to the mind and heart of the individual and outward to the wider world. While emphasizing the acquisition of skills and aesthetic judgment, we respect the instincts, intuitions, and ideas our students bring to their experience in the classroom, stage, and studio each day.

student sits at pottery wheeel

ARTISTIC 
EXPLORATION

Sometimes all it takes to be artistically inspired is a melody, a feeling, good lighting, or a story. In Potomac's Arts program, we look for ways to explore the world around us, not only for inspiration, but for appreciation of how different perspectives, techniques, and tools from around the world contribute to unique expressions of creativity and self.

Enriching Curriculum

The arts are a central component of learning here at Potomac. Our qualified and experienced faculty provide a space for all to shine – in their own ways. We broaden their educational environment with visiting artists, field trips, independent exploration, competitions, exhibits, and more. Read about the value that the arts bring to a well-rounded education and to the human experience at large.

Music Program

Performing Arts

Visual Arts

Stories from The Arts

Bands Take on Nashville

Last weekend, the Upper School Band and Jazz Band traveled to Nashville, TN, where they showcased their talent at the Heritage Music Festival alongside bands from across the nation. The Jazz Band's performance earned them first place in their division and a prestigious gold rating. The Concert Band also secured first place in their division, with a silver rating. 

Highlighting the individual brilliance within our bands, two outstanding soloists from Potomac's Jazz Band were recognized for their exceptional talent. Lauren Hilliard ’25, on saxophone, and Jack Morgan ’24, on drums, took home these prestigious awards! Beyond the competition, our students immersed themselves in the rich musical heritage of Nashville. They explored the captivating exhibits at The African American Music Museum, experienced a show at the Grand Ole Opry, and stepped into the legendary RCA Studio B for an unforgettable tour and recording session in the same space where legends like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton recorded their hits. Congratulations to our Upper School Band and Jazz Band for their outstanding success at the Heritage Music Festival!

Independent Schools Choral Festival

Last night, the Upper School Madrigal Singers participated in the 34th Washington Independent Schools Choral Festival at Washington National Cathedral. Nine independent schools presented individual and mass pieces. The concert’s finale was Mozart’s Kyrie, K 125; 300 singers and a chamber orchestra under the direction of Mr. Jerry Rich featured Potomac soloists Lin Baker ‘24 and Alex Martin ‘25, as well as Potomac instrumentalists Noah Altschuler ‘25, Charlotte Gabriel ‘25, and Hugh Kanner-Bitetti ‘25.

VPAC Field Trip Inspires

Last Friday, students in Honors Art History, Painting, and VPAC visited two major museums, The National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection. At The National Gallery, Art History students engaged in a "conversation with a painting," closely examining works they chose from the outstanding Baroque collections and reflecting on subject matter, techniques, aesthetic impact, historical influences, and social implications. All students also had time to explore East and West buildings independently in an unhurried way. At The Phillips Collection, we toured their current landmark exhibition, Bonnard's Worlds, enjoying that innovative artist's radiant use of color. 

Recycled Materials Fashion Show

The Upper School Ensemble Theatre class took the runway this week in their annual Recycled Materials Costume Design show! Students in Mrs. Fisher-Phillips's Ensemble Theatre class have been studying costume design and construction. After weeks of designing and crafting, they ended their unit with a full-fledged runway show. Well done, designers and models! 

Romeo and Juliet Captivates 

Congratulations to the cast and crew of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Their performances over the weekend showed the wide range of talent here at Potomac. Read the preview of the show from The Current, written by Trevor Nelson ’27 and Brandon Mayrhofer ’27. Please view the photo gallery.

Portraits of Civil Rights Leaders

Seventh grade art students created block print portraits of civil rights leaders in honor of Black History Month. Students reviewed and learned about these activists before making their selection. First, they drew a portrait from a photo, adapted that drawing to the block print process, carved out the block print, and then made a variety of prints. Some of the prints also included collages. Their works are on display in the EPAC lobby as part of the Black History Month Art Show.

US Band Students Recognized with Honors

Last month, 25 Upper School band students auditioned for the VBODA District 12 Honor Band, competing against 500 of the top high school band students across Fairfax County. Alex Davis ‘25 (percussion), Brandon Mayrhofer ‘27 (euphonium), and Vivienne Evans ‘27 (oboe) earned spots in the Honors Symphonic Band. The All-District Band event was held this past weekend, where all the students came together and rehearsed for three days under the direction of Dr. Scott Jones of The Ohio State University, then performed a concert at Oakton High School. Congratulations to our band students for their incredible performance.

Four Potomac band students were also selected by director recommendations to participate in the Virginia Tech Honors Band earlier in January. Jack Morgan ‘24 (percussion), Davis, Cliff Kanner-Bitetti ‘25, and Mayrhofer represented Potomac at the event. Once students were on campus, they auditioned for band placement, and all Potomac students made the top ensemble under the direction of Dr. Derek Shapiro. 

IS Student Accepted to VBODA District 12 Honor Orchestra

Congratulations to eighth grade violinist Esther Choi! She was accepted to the 2024 VBODA District 12 Junior Honor Orchestra in a highly competitive audition in November. The orchestra, made up of 80 of the best seventh and eighth grade string players in Northern Virginia, rehearsed for 10 hours on Friday and Saturday with clinician Sandra Goldie, then presented the results of their hard work in a splendid concert on Saturday at Langley High School. A recording of the concert will soon be available for everyone’s enjoyment!  

Arts at Potomac

ARTS CONCENTRATION

The Visual and Performing Arts Concentration program (VPAC) is offered for Upper School students who wish to undertake a deep and rigorous study in the arts. To be admitted to the program, students must be able to demonstrate a special passion for and sustained commitment to their own artistic development. Concentrations are offered in music, theater, and visual arts.

VPAC