Nothing builds students’ self-confidence, focus, and perseverance quite like the arts. While many schools have cut back on their arts programs, creative expression at The Rumson Country Day School has never been stronger and that was celebrated on Thursday, May 19 at the Annual Arts Festival. One of RCDS's most widely attended events, the Arts Festival was inspired to elevate both the visual and performing arts. After two years of a virtual format, the event returned in-person and better than ever showcasing a broad scope of artwork and performances by students in Nursery through Grade Eight.
“Seeing our students rise to the challenge is wonderful,” said Music Teacher Amanda Schottlander. “The Arts Festival is one of my favorite events because it is a culmination and a celebration of all the learning that happens throughout the year. There is so much hard work that goes into preparing for the event. The students take on new responsibilities, they dedicate themselves to practice, they step up as leaders, and they really shine.”
Student talent blossomed this year as young artists excitedly led their guests to point out their masterpieces on display including sculptures, ceramics, woven patterns, mosaics, pop art, and more. Joyful voices of student songbirds resounded in the Blake Gymnasium. Meanwhile, the auditorium and little gym were staged for the Lower School band, keyboardist, and young soloists. Thundering applause reverberated the halls in response to all of the impressive performances.
RCDS’s enriched arts curriculum includes five, full-time faculty for the visual arts, music, and drama. A robust schedule of art classes introduces students to a range of mediums and projects that often connect to content studied in the classroom. In addition, each Lower School class produces a class play, a beloved tradition where every student has a role. The plays not only provide opportunities for students to develop creative passions but also bolster public speaking skills, teamwork, and leadership.
“A willingness to take risks is not something everyone is comfortable with,” said Mrs. Schottlander. “Our arts program provides many opportunities for our students to put themselves out there. They are used to taking to the stage. They are encouraged and supported by their teachers, peers, and parents. And those experiences will serve our students in any discipline – it’s not limited to the arts – these skills will guide them for the rest of their lives.”
Click here for more photos from the 2022 Arts Festival.