The Performing Arts Department is dedicated to providing all students the opportunity to experience, explore and learn through formal and informal instruction in theater, dance, and music - both vocal and instrumental.
While at Kents Hill students can take classes in acting, playwriting, theater history, stagecraft, drama as literature and production. In addition, the theater program stages two shows each trimester. This includes the opportunity for student-directed and produced shows. Performances vary in style, length and genre, ranging from monologues to one-acts, to full-length Broadway shows.
A special tradition, The Young People's Holiday Show is performed for local elementary schools during the third week in December and includes a performance by the Kents Hill Singers. Other traditions include a musical in the spring and a theater exchange with Kents Hill's sister school, Kent College Pembury, located just south of London, England.
Recent shows include: Picasso at the Lapin Agile, How to Succeed in Business without Even Trying, Guys and Dolls, Waiting for Godot, Into the Woods, The Breakfast Club, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Little Shop of Horrors, Lucky Stiff, Mullen's Alley, Actor's Nightmare, and Pippin.
The Kents Hill Singers continue a century-old tradition of choral music at Kents Hill. The class meets outside the academic schedule in order to enable any interested student to participate. The Kents Hill Singers is a year-long program; students may participate on an extra-curricular basis or for academic credit. The Singers perform at numerous school occasions over the course of the year, including Family Weekend, Awards Assembly, and the annual Vespers service in December. Singers of all levels are encouraged to join.
Students may also audition for the Maine All-State Chorus; Kents Hill usually sends one or more students to this festival each year.
Instrumental music at Kents Hill is currently divided into two groups: Contemporary Rock Band and Instrumental Band. There is also and intermediate and advanced chamber group which are part of the Snow Pond Partnership (see below). Both groups are open to all students and meet once a week in the evening. Having these groups meet outside of the daytime academic schedule allows as many students as possible to participate. The repertoire is tailored to the groups according to their interests, level of playing and instrumental variety. They are required to perform at several school events, such as the Winter and Spring Concert, school assemblies and graduation.
The Kents Hill Music Program hosts two annual Music Assemblies which offers any and all students, regardless if they are enrolled in the music program or not, the opportunity to get up and perform their brand of music in front of the school. There may be an offering of song and dance by the hockey team, or an instrumental duo playing a classical piece. Kents Hill faculty and staff perform as well. Students taking lessons through Snow Pond have the opportunity to participate in the Ensemble Concert and Solo Recitals.
Coffee Houses at Kents Hill are offered several times throughout the year. On Friday nights, students will gather in the Colhoun Room and share their offerings with one another. Vocalists, musicians and even poets are encouraged to perform and share their talents in this wonderfully intimate setting.
Partnership with Snow Pond Community Music School
Kents Hill School and Snow Pond Community Music School are collaborating to enrich the musical opportunities for all interested Kents Hill Students. Kents Hill School is proud to announce the ability to provide instrument rentals, on-campus private lessons, chamber music groups and participation with local musical groups.
Instrument Rentals: Kents Hill students who cannot bring their instrument from home, or would like to try a new instrument, can now rent from Snow Pond Community School.
On-Campus Private Music Lessons: Through our partnership with Snow Pond Community Music School, Kents Hill Students are taking private music lessons, on-campus during the academic school day with the finest music instructors in central Maine. Currently, students are taking lessons in violin, viola, upright bass, guitar, voice, piano, trumpet and ukulele. Snow Pond will make every effort to find a local instructor to come to campus for any instrument. (Parents pay Snow Pond directly for this service.)
Chamber Music Groups: Classically trained musicians have the opportunity to form or join Chamber Music Groups to rehearse on campus and perform at special school functions and out in the larger Augusta community.
Participation with Local Orchestras: For our most advanced musicians, Snow Pond Community School helps direct them to appropriate musical opportunities in our larger community. Currently, Kents Hill school has three students participating in Colby College's orchestra, one participating in the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra and one participating in Bowdoin's Mozart Mentors Orchestra. Additionally, Kents Hill School often has students audition into Maine's All-State program.
Our Snow Pond partnership benefits all Kents Hill students interested music. Beginners can start a new instrument and our most advanced musicians are taught and inspired by instructors who are distinguished in their own musical professions.
"We are proud to offer the enriched music program that comes with our Snow Pond partnership! I encourage all prospective students who have a passion for music to come to campus and learn about the possibilities!" says Assistant Head of School Erika Penczer.
Kents Hill families interested in learning more about taking lessons may contact Assistant Head of School Erika Penczer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-685-1622.