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Faith Lutheran Conservatory to expand fine arts classes

Faith Lutheran High School’s Conservatory of the Fine Arts plans to open its previously senior-only classes to all Las Vegas Valley high school students beginning next school year.

The conservatory features majors in four fine arts disciplines: music (vocal and instrumental); visual arts; dance; and theatrical arts. Auditions are slated for March 7 and 28 at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School, 2015 S. Hualapai Way.

Dean of Fine Arts Emily Ball heads the conservatory, which debuted in August.

“My vision is to allow creative students an outlet, a place to fit in, a place to belong,” she said. “A place to learn and grow … and really use their gifts to glorify God.”

As part of the curriculum, 27 professionals gave private lessons to the 33 inaugural students. One of them was Brianna Dagdagan, who is studying technical theater and works on sets and costumes for the school’s productions.

“My dream job would be to work for a major company like Disney or Cirque (du Soleil), that quirky kind of thing,” she said. “… Before the conservatory, the classes were, like, general, but now it’s a more in-depth study of it.”

She said when the conservatory added new classes, she had a problem because, “It was really hard to choose which ones to take.”

Another student, Robert Quam, is studying acting, his intended career. He said Faith’s theater program has an excellent reputation in the community but is not as well known outside the valley.

“So seeing ‘conservatory’ on (a college application) is a boon,” he said. “If you have conservatory on there, it ups the ante. It makes them look at you and say, ‘Oh, he was with a conservatory; he’s been studying this for a lot longer than the average Joe.’ “

The idea for the conservatory was first proposed about three years ago. Ball researched other high school performing arts programs to see how they started building their conservatories. It took about a year to develop the curriculum for each of the disciplines. She and other school administrators took a trip to Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., to tour its facility.

However, not everything could be anticipated. Ball said soon after the conservatory debuted, it became apparent that the curriculum needed adjusting.

“It gave me a chance to address all of those holes next year, and my CEO and principal have been so supportive, allowing me to add (tap classes),” she said. “And we’re adding keyboarding and piano theory for our music majors because these kids really need to know how to play the piano.”

Performance opportunities for conservatory students include: theatrical plays and musicals; competitive theatrical performances at regional, state and national levels; theater field trips to New York City; choir concerts and recitals; band concerts and tours; visual arts showcases and studio exhibits; dance team competitions; and performances in chapel services.

A few of Faith’s technical theater majors already got internship experience during Super Summer Theatre, a professional-quality venue at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

“Some of those students are going on to pursue their degree in technical arts, so we’re really proud of that,” Ball said.

“I knew we needed this. It was in my heart that we needed this. But it has grown so fast. When I put out feelers to the professional community, I got 20 emails back, saying, ‘I want to work with your kids.’ ”

Annual tuition at Faith Lutheran for the 2014-15 school year is $10,500. There are no additional expenses for admission to the conservatory.

Financial assistance is available. For more information, visit faithlutheranlv.org.

Contact Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

 

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