College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Performing Arts

At Holton, we rejoice when a student opens a door and seizes an opportunity. In the performing arts there are countless opportunities – doors that allow us to tap into our creative spirit, to celebrate humanity, to satisfy our need for artistic expression, and to nurture our souls.

Choral Music

The choral experience at Holton-Arms begins in fifth grade as an outgrowth of the general music program. Every student in grades 5-12 with the desire to sing can participate in a choral ensemble that rehearses within the school day.
Here students learn to breathe life into the musical notes on the printed page, to contribute to a collaborative and rigorous rehearsal process, to find their own voices through the music, to understand music as a reflection of society, to acquire the skills for expressive musical performance, and to build a cohesive ensemble.

The work of the Holton choruses culminates in at least two concert appearances each year. Their music is also woven into the fabric of community life throughout the school year such as the Thanksgiving Assembly, Alumnae Reunion, Admissions Open houses, and Commencement.

Annual Concerts include:

  • Lower School Winter Concert
  • Winter Choral Concert – Middle and Upper Schools
  • Spring Choral Concert – Upper School
  • Spring Choral Concert - Lower and Middle Schools
  • Independent Schools Choral Festival – featuring choruses from nine area schools (held each October in the Washington National Cathedral)
  • Independent Schools Vocal Ensemble Night for small ensembles (held each April)

General Music

General Music classes are at the core of the music program at Holton-Arms. All Lower School students take general music, which meets two times in each rotation. Students develop a foundation in the many and varied qualities of musicianship that will enable them to be successful in all of their musical pursuits. In addition to developing their technical skills and understanding, students learn to take creative risks, to think critically, and to work collaboratively. In exploring music from a wide range of cultures and traditions, students deepen their interest in and sensitivity to the communities of people who created it.

Instrumental Music

Holton girls begin their musical exploration in third grade. The instrumental program helps students acquire technical skills for expressive performance and nurture their artistic talents. The instrumental experience focuses on the following values:

  • Individual responsibility
  • Commitment to the collaborative work of the ensemble
  • Respect for individuals and the ensemble
  • Aesthetic sensitivity

Annual Concerts include:
  • Winter Instrumental Concert – Middle and Upper Schools
  • Chamber Music & Handbell Choirs Winter Concert
  • Lower School Winter Concert
  • Spring Instrumental Concert – Middle and Upper Schools
  • Lower School Spring Instrumental Concert
  • Chamber Music & Handbell Choir Spring Concert
  • Washington Independent Schools Handbell Festival (held each April)
Additional performances for the Holton community and beyond include: school assemblies, Admissions Open Houses, Lower School Grandparents & Special Friends Day, and Commencement. Instrumentalists also have opportunities to participate in solo and ensemble festivals and All State Band and Orchestra sponsored by the Maryland Music Educators Association.


Dance is an integral part of the physical education curriculum in the Lower School. Creative movement, choreography, dance techniques, and improvisation enhance creative thinking and serve as a medium for developing physical fitness. Dance experiences help girls accept and enjoy their changing bodies and lead to an appreciation of dance as an expressive art form.

In the Middle and Upper School, dance is an integral part of the performing arts and physical education at Holton. Dance first "happens" in the third grade and continues through eighth grade as part of the physical education program. Every student has the opportunity to partake in creative movement, composition, modern and ballet technique classes.

Students are encouraged to draw on their creativity to build and expand a movement vocabulary, to share their work with peers, and to present their movements with confidence and pride. Even the most apprehensive mover can flourish in this supportive, positive learning environment. Students spend time in class learning the basics of ballet and modern dance technique, as well as fundamental choreographic skills. The hallmark of the Holton dance program is its commitment to developing student choreographers.

Performance Opportunities:

  • Middle School - Fall Dance Showing
  • Middle School - Junior Orchesis Performance
  • Middle School - Spring Dance Showing
  • Upper School - Orchesis Open House
  • Upper School - Orchesis Annual Concert
  • Upper School - WAISDEA Festival (Washington Area Independent Schools Dance Festival)


At the core of each experience in drama is a commitment to collaboration, creativity, and risk-taking. Every creative process represents a journey.

Holton offers opportunities in all aspects of performance and production. There are opportunities to act, direct, write, stage manage, and design for small and large-scale dramatic productions. There is equal respect for student contributions in all areas of theater; the technician is celebrated to the same degree as the actor. Curricular study in drama occurs during the traditional school day and beyond.

Middle School
  • Fall play (Holton)
  • Winter play or musical (Landon)
  • Spring play or musical (Holton)
Upper School
  • Fall play or musical (Holton)
  • Director's Workshop (Landon)
  • Winter play (Holton)
  • Spring play or musical (Landon)
  • Improv shows throughout the year (Holton and Landon)

The Crucible Winter 2017

A Few Good Men Winter 2016

Once Upon a Mattress Fall 2015

Classrooms, Rehearsal Rooms, and Venues

  • Werner-Hoy Band Room
  • Chorus room
  • Orchestra room
  • Eli Sheridan Music Technology Lab
  • Practice and private lesson rooms
  • Large Dance Studio, Dance Studio A, and Dance Studio B
  • James Whittier Lewis Theater (400 seats)
  • Diana Coulton Beebe Black Box Theater (150-250 seats)
  • Set Construction Shop
  • Costume Shop
  • Amphitheater
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