ECF & the Arts
For ECF students of all ages, encounters with the arts don’t just occur in formal art, music, drama, and dance classes, but in history, social studies and English; in extracurricular activities and special trips; in festivals, productions, and performances, and in quiet meetings on the Quad at Fieldston.
Following Felix Adler’s predilection for “learning by doing” credo, the fourth graders at Ethical Culture not only perform in their own play each year, but create the scenery as well. At Fieldston Lower, the medieval feast is the pinnacle of the fifth grade’s study of medieval history; students in period costume dance and play music, joined by faculty and parents, also in costume. In the middle school, highlights of the year include the arts festival in January and the annual musical in the spring (last year it was Once Upon a Mattress ).
In the high school, the arts are everywhere, from the advanced visual arts curriculum to the photography magazine, Eagle Eye . Throughout the year, the Fieldston community enjoys musical performances by the chorus, the orchestra, the percussion ensembles, the chamber music groups, and jazz ensembles. Dance students present their work at four concerts during the year, performing work by students and established choreographers. The theater at Fieldston is vibrant and ambitious, ranging from the fall drama and the student-directed plays to the spring musical. Last year’s musical was an original production, un-American Activities based on Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 progressive musical, The Cradle Will Rock .