Performing & Visual Arts
The Performing & Visual Arts faculty works diligently to surpass local, state, and national arts standards. Agassi is one of few schools not only in Las Vegas, but in the Southern Nevada area to offer such a wide variety of arts courses to its students. We provide rigorous college academic instruction through the mediums of visual arts, instrumental music, vocal music, dance and theater arts.
The department is comprised of a highly qualified team of dedicated teachers who strives to offer the most outstanding arts education for every student at Agassi. Our team consists of teachers who specialize in performing & visual arts education. The departmental team provides ample opportunities for the students to showcase their hard work, dedication, discipline and talents at various venues and concerts throughout the school year. The faculty believes that every student has the ability to learn and develop through these disciplines.
The department holds several on campus concerts every year, including A Winter Solstice (Winter Concert), Griot with the Stars (Black History Performance) and a week-long series of concerts entitled Spring Extravaganza (Spring Concerts). Along with our own productions, we invite and host performances and concerts from local and non-local artist.
AACPA works and partners with several organizations that allow for our students to take trips and witness first hand high-quality productions in the valley area.
Our students have the ability to take their talents and participate in other arts organizations in the area. These students perform in honor bands, dance recitals and often are special guest or performers for special events.
To help push our students into greatness, we want our students to learn as many techniques and styles within their selected discipline. To comply with this, we sporadically bring in guest artist to showcase and instruct our students. This allows for growth and understanding on how there are many skills and practices to their discipline.
The vision of the Performing & Visual Arts Department is to be a highly qualified arts educational program. We strive to develop the students artistically and academically so that they leave the academy with a lifelong interest and understanding of the arts. Our graduates who choose to pursue an arts related major will have the platform to succeed at their choice of top universities.
The mission of the Performing & Visual Arts Department is to cultivate the creative talents and aspirations of our student body within a college preparatory curriculum. Our graduates will reveal defined skills learned through the arts and will enable them to be productive, self-directed, lifelong learners, who appreciate and respect diversity and culture.
Become familiar with the language of your specific craft by acquiring a working lexis based on elements and principles within their selected field.
- To become proverbial with a variety of techniques and forms.
- Examine and appraise the history, present and the anticipated future of the arts as a whole.
- Develop the ability to demonstrate, in writing and discussion, African-American, Western European, and other cultural art forms.
- Acquiring knowledge of career opportunities.
Our arts courses are divided into three categories for each discipline: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. Below are our definitions of what constitutes each level of study.
Beginning Level – Beginning level students are novices, learners who are acquiring basic knowledge of the subject with little to no prior awareness of the matter.
Intermediate Level – Intermediate level content challenges learners by including information learned from prior work and developing upon these skills to make the student extremely efficient at basic skills. Clear understanding about the subject matter makes an excellent intermediate level student. These students can perform at an above average level.
Advanced Level – Advanced level learners are nearly fluent and can handle the full spectrum of work without having it “watered down”. Students learn how to take intermediate level work and expound on it for a deeper and more profound understanding of the content. Advanced level content is taken from college or university based curriculum.
The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy Instrumental Music Team works diligently to create and instill students with a deep appreciation of music. Beginning in Elementary School, students are introduced to instruments in the string family and learn the foundation of music theory through a Suzuki based curriculum. Upon graduation to Middle and High School, the students have opportunity to continuing their music education to a more advanced level with the opportunity to learn a string, wind or percussion instrument(s). Daily instruction includes basic music fundamentals, music reading, and learning the mechanics of playing an instrument. Advanced music education serves as a vehicle to prepare students to compete for future college scholarships and acceptance to university programs around the country.
MAJOR COURSE GOALS
- Develop proper technique through the use of correct posture, dexterity and breath support.
- To take proper care and maintenance of the student's instrument.
- To study and comprehend: scales, intervals, triads, inversions, time, and key signatures.
- Demonstrate accurate playing of musical scales, percussion rudiments and musical literature.
- To develop an understanding of music in relation to history and culture.
- Be able to fully utilize acquired skills in public performances.
- Become aware of career opportunities available in instrumental music.
Chorus allows students to discover, develop and widen their appreciation of music through voice. Lives of all people are enriched and strengthened by music. Students learn to take this appreciation and explore it through classical, contemporary and secular choral literature. This approach provides music education, vocal training and technique, and performance experience at the highest artistic level possible and exposes students to numerous cultures of vocal ensembles. Career and vocational possibilities are explored for students who may want to continue their training into their college years. This in turn gives students a life-long love for music.
MAJOR COURSE GOALS
- Apply correct vocal techniques including expressive tone quality and intonation, correct postures, breathing and clear enunciation.
- Differentiating among the various styles of sacred and secular literature and styles.
- To produce a healthy and pleasing tone through the use of proper vocal technique.
- Accept direction from others for the good of the group as a whole.
- To increase a repertoire of songs representing genres and styles from diverse cultures.
- Perform in groups, blending vocal timbres, matching dynamic levels and responding to the cues of a conductor.
- Obtain knowledge of career opportunities.
Agassi dance courses are designed for students to explore various cultures through the art of movement. Students learn techniques of diverse dance forms to develop their ability to communicate in non verbal ways which is different from written or spoken word, or even from other visual or auditory systems. Within this process, they learn to respect their bodies and to comprehend that dance is the product of intentional and intelligent physical actions. AACPA recognizes the development of movement skills, creativity, and critical thinking skills in dance are important, regardless of whether students intend to pursue a career in dance. This is achieved by enhancing the students perceptive of theory, anatomy, vocabulary, biographies, history, and performance of dance. Students are trained in the styles of Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Jazz, and West African, along with other influential cultural dance forms. We strive to develop in our students ingenious, critical, and technical skills essential to the creative process and scholarly examination in the field of dance.
MAJOR COURSE GOALS
- Increase coordination, range of movement qualities, strength, and musicality. This includes rhythmic perception, spatial awareness, and technical skills.
- Develop a basic understanding of dance improvisational ideas.
- Develop a basic understanding of the dance rehearsal process and performance through learning and performing a section of a dance.
- Students will develop the ability to demonstrate, in writing and discussion, the understanding and sensitivity towards both African-American and Western European influences of the development of dance in America.
- To acquire knowledge of career opportunities available in the dance field.
Theatre, in its entirety, is one of the primary ways students learn about actions, consequences, customs and beliefs, others and themselves. Students learn through their social pretend play and from hours of viewing television and film. With these unconscious social impressions, students arrive at school with rudimentary skills as actors, designers, directors, script writers, and even audience members. Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy theatre courses are intended with this focal point, to familiarize students with theatre's intent, structure, and values. Classwork focuses on performance through demonstration of various skills, i.e. acting, script writing, and stage production. Emphasis is placed on developing self-expression, self and other responsiveness, increasing general knowledge of theatre and encouraging social adjustment. Agassi’s Theatre Program strives to provide students with exciting opportunities to develop their abilities to express their understanding and broaden their knowledge of other cultures.
MAJOR COURSE GOALS
- To become familiar with the language of theatre by acquiring a working vocabulary based on elements and principles within this field.
- To become familiar with a variety of techniques and selected areas including: acting, stage production, and script writing.
- To examine and evaluate theatre’s past, present, and pending future.
- Utilize various presentation techniques requisite for various stage productions.
- Exploring appropriate multi-media technology as it relates to theatre.
- Acquiring knowledge of career opportunities available in theatre.
Visual art range from the folk arts, drawings and paintings, to sculpture and design and from architecture to film. Students in these courses develop a deeper and more profound appreciation of visual art that reflect the maturation of their creative and problem-solving skills. Students understand the multifaceted interplay of different media, styles, forms, techniques, and processes in the creation of their work.
MAJOR COURSE GOALS
- To become proverbial with the language and skills unique to the visual arts.
- To become familiar with a variety of techniques.
- Select and use the visual characteristics and organizational principles of art to communicate ideas.
- To use subjects, themes, and symbols that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
- To explore the career opportunities available within this field.
CIRQUE DE MONDE
Cirque du Monde is an extra-curricular social circus program created by Cirque du Soleil and Jeunesse du Monde. It combines circus techniques together with educational social intervention to help young people. Cirque du Monde is one of the greatest sources of pride for Cirque du Soleil. Since its creation, this program is now implanted in more than 80 communities throughout the world in partnership with many local community organizations recognized in their milieu for the quality of their work with young people. Circus arts call for teamwork and a combination of strengths and talents – and these are elements that can help young people develop a sense of belonging. They allow for freedom and creativity while demanding perseverance and discipline. The workshops offer young people a space to open up, express themselves and to create, while respecting their marginality, new bonds with a society that has often excluded them. Social circus aims to help these young people get their self-confidence back, make them realize their strengths and discover their hidden talents.
PERFORMING & VISUAL ARTS DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL:
Jerek Hough is a graduate of The University of North Carolina At Greensboro, where he acquired his undergraduate degree in Dance Studies. He is trained in various dance techniques such as Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, and West African. Jerek has toured across the country in countless performances as a solo artist and company member. He has performed on So You Think You Can Dance and other television and stage work including productions like Hairspray, All Shook Up, and Dreamgirls. Jerek uses his talents in the community to instruct dancers of various ages and at various locations.
Dr. Rachel Julian
M.S./H.S. Percussion Ensemble
H.S. Music Theory
Rachel Julian completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in December 2005. She also holds a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Her performance credits include the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Nevada Pops, The Lion King at Mandalay Bay, “Steel R & R” steel drum duo, Killian’s Angels, the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, Opera Las Vegas, Hairspray (Luxor) and other endeavors. Rachel is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, endorses SABIAN cymbals and serves as secretary for the Nevada Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
Mr. Darin Myers
H.S. Jazz Band
Darin Meyer attended graduate school at New York University and studied music technology and composition. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Composition/Theory and Jazz Studies. After college, he composed and engineered for several commercial campaigns, television shows, and film projects. Several years later, he began volunteering for an outreach ministry counseling inner city youth: an experience that changed his life. For the past eight years, Mr. Meyer’s devotion in youth advocacy led to opportunities in mentoring, counseling, coaching, and teaching. As a music teacher at Andre Agassi Academy, Mr. Meyer offers an education rooted in traditional pedagogy combined with contemporary practices.
Ms. Elena Kapustina
E.S. Suzuki & Strings
Elena Kapustina graduated from Belas State Conservatory in 1989 with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Cello Performance and Pedagogy. She is a former member of the Opera-Philharmonic Society Orchestra of Plovdiv, Bulgaria and has toured Europe, Asia and the United States with the Plovdiv National Opera Theater for 13 years. Elena is a member of Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a very active performer of chamber music with many different groups, most recently with her "Eclectic" trio. She is a para-professional with the Clark County School District, a teacher at Nevada School of the Arts and has her own private teaching studio.
Mr. Terrence Brown
Terrence Brown found his love for singing at an early age as a vocalist in his church’s choir. With this passion, he went on to achieve success within the music industry as the founding member of the multi-platinum R&B recording group “Next”. Since 1997, the group has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide winning Billboard Music Awards, multiple ASCAP honors, a Soul Train Award, and has received nominations for American Music Awards. Terrence enjoys performing with his group and continues to headline successful tours worldwide. His true passion is working directly with young students and teaching them music appreciation through vocal training and techniques.
H.S. Film Studies
Emily Fagan entered the world of theatre at age 7 in the musical Oliver! She continued to perform from then on staring in over 40 plays and musicals and attended countless theatre workshops and camps throughout her childhood and was able to teach some of her own by the time she entered college. After graduating from the University of Houston -Victoria, Emily quickly made her way to Austin, Texas to continue her career. She has directed at University of Texas, stared in shows at Concordia University, produced her own show, and is a company member at The Vortex in Austin, TX. Emily was the Executive Director of Groundwork Music Project and then went on to become certified in Theater, Speech, and English. Two years were spent as a speech and debate coach that allowed her to travel with her students and be successful state wide and nationally. To end her time in Texas , Emily was a teacher, director, and continues to be an avid supporter of Austin Children’s Theater.
Bernadette Y. Quander (Ms. Q.) has been a Visual Arts instructor for over seven years and has often worked with creative writing-challenged students. She has developed a series of art lessons that combines art with reading, writing, math, and science. Her educational background in art illustration and teaching diverse ethnic students has given her a broad base from which to approach and create tall tales in many genres. Upon receiving her Master's in Education, she published her thesis, “Can Art Therapy Help Improve the Secondary Autistic Curriculum?” Bernadette has created, produced and hosted a reading radio show for children and new authors. She has also written articles for the HSMAI Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International California Desert Chapter in Palm Springs and the Morning Press Independent Newspaper. Ms. Q. enjoys traveling abroad and currently lives in Nevada with husband.