The fine and performing arts are for everyone, whether you choose to explore and develop a new interest or specialize in a current interest. Participation in the arts enhances your creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
The Fine Arts are a vital and vibrant part of our school culture at Vincent Massey. Students in all three grades have access to courses in Art and Drama as well as opportunities for extra-curricular centred activities at our school.
Fine and Performing Arts Includes
- Visual Arts: Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Professional Development in the Arts (PDA)
- Drama: Drama, Advance Acting & Touring Theatre, Directing, Film Studies, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, PDA
- Band: Instrumental Music, Band, Woodwinds & Brass
Fine Arts Courses Offered:
This class is an excellent sampling of drawing, painting and sculpture. Over the course of one semester students focus on learning zentangle using pen and ink, cartooning, colour theory, making an oil pastel cityscape, animal drawing and painting using tempera paint, a mixed media projects and creating a project in clay. This class is open to all skills and student levels.
In grade 8 and 9 students have the opportunity to take courses in both two-dimensional art which encompassese drawing and painting and three-dimensional art which utilities sculptural materials like wire, clay, pulpboard, mixed media, and plaster.
Art 8 (2D)
Projects for this course are selected based on student interest. In previous semesters students have created an art portfolio to house their work, tessellations, one and two point perspective projects, oil pastel projects, colour theory using paint, monochromatic paintings, portrait drawings and celebrity caricatures.
Art 8 (3D)
A large portion of this course is dedicated towards learning the basics of handbuilding and using clay and learning to glaze finished projects using colour theory principals. Students will also use wire and found materials to create wire animals and sometimes attach them to rocks or branches. They will also make a plaster mask using a face form that will go along with what unit they are studying in Social, possible masks might be Venetian, Aztec or Noh theatre masks. If extra time is available in the term students will create a mixed media sculpture using cardboard and found objects.
Art 9 (2D)
Students are taught the technical background basics that they need to complete projects in this course. Projects are much more in depth in Art 9 and more time is dedicated to them and preparing for high school art. Areas of focus are, pencil shading, oil pastel, water colour, colour theory and acrylic painting. Topics may vary depending on student interest.
Art 9 (3D)
This course continues to build on previous sculpture knowledge from Art 8 (3D). Students spend more time further exploring handbuilding concepts with clay. Projects are more intricate and challenging and take longer to complete. Students learn different glazing techniques to apply to their bisqued projects. Students will complete Expressionism carved plaster faces and either a pulpboard action figure or a mixed media diorama. Projects vary each semester depending on student interest and time spent on each lesson.
Students will explore acting, improvisation, movement and speech. They will develop confidence and learn about themselves and others. Students will discover how much work it takes, behind the scenes and on the stage, to put on a successful production.
Fine Arts and Extra-Curricular
Remembrance Day Assembly
Every year students put on a Remembrance Day assembly to honor those who fought in the world wars and to reflect on peace and our world today. The assembly features the work of our students through performances by the band and a short movement piece from the grade 9 drama students. Also, specific student artists share their talents through a display of painted canvases throughout the event.
Vincent Massey puts on an annual play that runs during an evening performance for family and friends and a day performance for students at the school. Previous plays that have run at Vincent Massey; Julliett and this Guy Romeo, a Student written and directed play, A Christmas Carol, Adventures of a Comic Book Artist, The Hobbit and Alice in Wonderland.
Due to funding & staff constraints, Band offerings are very limited in 2021-22.
Ensembles and Performances
Symphonic Ensemble -The premier concert group of the music program. The ensemble is made up entirely of the Grade 9 students. A serious approach to more difficult musical literature is undertaken, but opportunities to broaden students musical horizons are the main focus.
Grade 8/9 Concert Band -Consists of Grade 8 and 9 students. This group pursues musical challenges and excellence within the Grade 2/3 music level.
Grade 7 Band – Consists mainly of students from the Grade 7 level, with extra students added due to instrumentation or development. The basics of performance etiquette along with instrumental technique are pursued through challenging and rewarding literature.
Senior Jazz Band – The premier jazz ensemble at Vincent Massey. This ensemble pursues challenging literature from a number of different genres, including swing, Latin, funk, and rock. There are also opportunities provided for improvisation, basic jazz theory, and jazz history. Formed from interested students currently enrolled in the Grade 9 Band Classes in early September each year.
Concerts, Camps, Festivals, and Tours
The Vincent Massey Music Program attends multiple concerts, camps, tours, and festival throughout the year. Each band performs multiple times throughout the year at different venues within Calgary, and outside of Calgary
Band Camps are musical retreats that afford the Vincent Massey Music Program the opportunity to pursue some intense musical study in a non-distracting environment. Currently the Grade 8’s and 9’s go to Camp Caroline for 3 days. This camp includes guest conductors, instrumental clinicians, and other musical opportunities.
There are two big concerts that the Vincent Massey Music Program runs each year. The Winter Concert, usually at the beginning of December, and the Spring Concert, near the end of May. With the support of Vincent Massey and the VMMPA, we are able to hold our concerts in professional venues including the Southern Jubilee Auditorium, and the Rozsa Centre.
All bands attend festivals within Calgary. Not only do these serve as a performance opportunity, but they expose the students to other musicians and conductors. In recent years, we have performed at the Alberta International Band Festival (AIBF) as well as the Alberta Band Association Festival of Bands.
All grades also have the opportunity to go on a tour each year. Grade 7’s do a day trip to Red Deer to participate in the ABA Festival of Bands, while Grade 8 and 9 band students have the opportunity to travel further abroad. The Grade 8 and 9 tour is different every year, but typically is over 2 nights. In previous years we have gone to events in: Edmonton, Banff, and, Sun Peaks to name just a few.
Instruments and Uniforms
The Vincent Massey Music Program possesses a plethora of musical instruments for the students to use. Students are not required to buy or rent an instrument from an outside source. If they are in band, an instrument will be provided for them for a nominal fee, set by CBE. Extra instruments can be rented dependent on availability.
In grade 7, students generally will be sorted into 2 sections: Woodwinds and Brass. Depending on their class, students will have a choice of several different instruments.
Woodwinds: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon
Brass: Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba
Once in the classes, each student will have an opportunity to try out different instruments and decide on their favourite. However, final instrument choice will be decided by the Band Teacher, based on student skill, preference, availability of instruments, and musical balance of the ensemble. For example, if 15 different students play the saxophone everyone will go deaf and the other instruments will either be drowned out or not represented, distorting the sound of the ensemble.
Grade 7, 8, 9 Concert Bands and Symphonic Ensemble Uniforms
All Band students are to wear black pants, black socks, and black footwear for performances. Students will be issued a school band shirt in time for their first performances. A deposit of $65.00 will be required before shirts are issued to guarantee their return in June after performances have been completed for the year.
GRADE 7 - RED SHIRTS
GRADE 8 and 9 - BLUE SHIRTS
SYMPHONIC ENSEMBLE - GREY SHIRTS
SENIOR JAZZ BLACK AND RED SHIRTS
The students will sign a form when the uniforms are given out as to the condition of their uniform. It is expected that the uniform be returned in the same condition at the end of the school year. In late May the uniforms are returned to the school and checked as to their condition. The deposit cheque will destroyed when the uniform is returned clean, pressed, and in good condition. If the uniform is: not returned, is dirty, or damaged, the deposit cheque will be cashed.
Vincent Massey Music Parents Association (VMMPA)
The VMMPA is an integral part of the music program. Our mandate is to support the music program so as to provide an enhanced musical environment for the students. The Association provides the primary source of funds to assist the Music Director's enriched curriculum.
The VMMPA is made up of all the parents/guardians of students currently enrolled in the Vincent Massey music program. Parents are encouraged to become involved as volunteers, to join as a volunteer on the Board of Directors, and to support their students at their performances throughout the year.
The VMMPA meets on a monthly basis to discuss upcoming events. For the 2010/2011 school year their meetings are held on the second Monday evening of the month at 7:00pm in the Vincent Massey School library. Minutes
Volunteer support and fundraising are the main functions of the VMMPA and are vital to maintaining a program of this caliber. The VMMPA has chosen to enhance student enrichment by:
- Performances – The VMMPA subsidizes two major concerts each year so that our students have the opportunity to perform in Calgary’s best music venues. Past venues have been the Jack Singer Concert Hall, the Rozsa Centre, University Concert Hall and the Jubilee Auditorium.
- Expert Music Instruction – Additional clinicians and guest instructors are hired to share their expertise and assist in student learning and development.
- Uniforms - How the ensemble looks has a direct relationship with their musical performance experience. The VMMPA has invested in uniforms for all ensembles because we believe the students should look as good as they sound! See Uniforms
- Band Camps / Tour Subsidies – With the philosophy that all band students should be able to participate in all band activities, the VMMPA strives to keep band camp and tour fees at a reasonable level. Fundraising enables us to subsidize the cost of band camps and tours. See Concerts
- Adopt–A–Kid - In keeping with our 100% participation philosophy, we raise specific funds for this program. Through 50/50 Draws at our major concerts, we are able to raise much-needed funds to assist families who have financial need.
Fundraising Commitments – The VMMPA holds several different fundraisers each year. In the fall we offer Poinsettias and other seasonal plants, and in the spring there is an outdoor bedding plant fundraiser. Gift Cards, Coco Brooks and other fundraisers as they come available are examples of other fundraising opportunities offered throughout the school year. Also the band has a casino approximately every two years that we share proceeds with the school on a 50/50 basis. We also accept donations. It is strongly encouraged that each student participates in fundraising.
All fundraising dollars raised go directly back to the students, including but not limited to, subsidy of band camp / tour fees, busing to events, providing clinicians for small group tutoring, instrument purchases and the administrative assistant.
Information for Beginners