Performing Arts: New Middle School Electives


This year, seventh and eighth grade students were a little surprised when they looked at their schedules and saw “Chorus, Drama, or Tone Chimes” printed on two of the blocks. As soon as we all overcame the confusion of this, it was time to send in our requests. My first choice was Drama, and I was pleased to find out that Drama became my elective.

When I asked Miss Joyce what her favorite part of teaching Drama is, she said, “I would say my favorite part about teaching drama is being able to implement some of the course material from my time as a student at Montrose while also getting to teach an elective where the students really show an enthusiasm to participate.” Mrs. Joyce also added, “While we have a lot of exciting stuff planned for the upcoming middle school year, I would like to keep some of the skits a surprise for the class. I will say however that we will be building skits using some of the students’ favorite songs and children’s books.” When asked about what she hoped her students would accomplish in this elective, Ms. Joyce said, “Over the course of the year I really hope to inspire enthusiasm for drama. I wish that all of my students leave this elective with a newfound appreciation and passion for acting and performing.”

Miss Lechner, Montrose’s new French and Chorus teacher said, “I chose to teach Chorus because I love to sing and I would like to teach other people who hopefully have that interest. I’ve always been a part of a choir and I love music.” She added, “You connect to people in a different way than you would normally. I’d love to have the girls sing at mass (special feast days), have them contribute during the communion hymn, have them go to a nursing home, or perform at Christmas.”

Mrs. Demirjian, the Latin and Tone Chimes teacher said, “I guess my favorite part about teaching tone chimes is two-fold:  I enjoy making music again, a part of my Montrose life I had to give up when I became a full-time Latin teacher, but especially, making music with middle school students.  It gives me a chance to get to know students I might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. I especially love helping girls develop musical literacy and performance skills.  It is always exciting to see girls who might at first feel intimidated by the demands of learning chiming technique, reading notes, and counting rhythm, learn how to become a responsible member of a musical ensemble.  They develop skills and confidence that they never imagined possible before and, after a few months, start clamoring for more challenging music!” She teased that some suprises this year will be, “ performing in both the Christmas and spring concerts.  In the past, we have accompanied at Mass on special occasions and hope to do so again.  If we can expand our repertoire, I would love to take our show ‘on the road,’ and perhaps visit the Thomas Upham house to play familiar tunes and carols at Christmastime and other times of the year.  And, of course, it would be great fun to collaborate with some of the other performing ensembles in the school, such as the instrumental ensemble or the middle school chorus.

I also asked some students what their thoughts were. Ava Ryan ‘23 said, “My first choice was Tone Chimes, and I’m most excited about the Christmas Song this year.” Hana Shinzawa ’24 (a Chorus student) also said, “I am excited to perform in the Christmas Concert.”

The new elective choices is a good decision.

Students are really excited to have these electives and to have choice in selecting electives that match their interests or help them try something new!