GHS Creative & Performing Arts...a World Class Education in the Fine Arts
The Fine Arts Department at Germantown High School has received national and international recognition for its superior work in the field of arts training. The program offers four years of comprehensive, sequential arts training in all phases of theatre, music, visual arts, film and television production. The faculty is composed of highly trained individuals who not only possess excellent teaching credentials, but who also have a variety of professional credits to their name.
The department has achieved distinction through a variety of innovative activities. One major aspect of the program is the visiting artist series. Past guest clinicians include Kathy Bates, Patrick Stewart, Jerome Lawrence, Charles Strouse and David Leong. Another highlight of the department is its international school partnership exchange program. Germantown High School arts students have lived, travelled and performed throughout Russia, Germany, Austria, the Republic of Georgia and Spain. In turn, the GHS Fine Arts Department has played host to over 100 arts students from six different partner schools from around the world. In order to help promote a lifelong commitment to the arts, several scholarships have been established including a $30,000 publicly-funded fine arts scholarship program designed to reward deserving seniors. There are also several active arts honor organizations on the GHS campus including the International Thespian Society, the National Forensic League, the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society. Additional services, enhancements and financial support is provided by the Poplar Pike Arts Guild and the GHS Band Boosters.
In addition to the curricular offerings, a full season of theatrical productions is scheduled in the on-campus theatre facility, the Poplar Pike Playhouse. Choral and band concerts are performed throughout the year at GHS and at venues around the region. The visual arts department annually exhibits student artwork. The school houses a permanent collection of over 35 prize winning pieces of student art work in the Norma Early Memorial Gallery located in the main lobby of the school.
A special feature of the department is the multi-million dollar television studio located on the school campus. Students are actively involved in producing and directing the activities of their own local access station, GHS-TV. Over 700 hours of programming are cablecast monthly from this facility to the entire community. Graduates of the GHS Theatre and Communication Arts program include Saturday Night Live star Chris Parnell; Broadway actor Wes Day (Blue Man Group); film actress Missi Pyle (The Artist, Dodgeball, As Good As It Gets); TNT Documentarian David Bryant; promotions producer Jim Barrett (West Wing; ER); Emmy-winning casting director Scott Genkinger (NYPD Blue, Desperate Housewives); National Public Radio national correspondent Debbie Elliot; and Hollywood producer Martin Cutler (Eight Days A Week).
Because of the uniqueness of the program, Germantown High School has received numerous fine arts awards including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Arts in Education Award, the Highwire Magazine Top 100 Schools Award, the Governor's 10 Great Schools Award and four mainstage invitations to perform at the International Thespian Theatre Arts Festival. The band and chorus consistently score superior ratings in local and statewide festivals. Both groups have performed in concerts in New York and overseas. The visual art department wins top honors in numerous art award contests both state and nationally and has garnered countless gold and silver key Scholastic Art citations. Finally, GHS-TV has won both Emmy award and Cable ACE award nominations. The station has also received over 147 first place national Hometown Video U.S.A. awards, and has had the honor of being named 12 times as the Best Cable Television Educational Access Station in the United States by the Alliance for Community Media. It's students have also won 47 regional and 2 national student awards of excellence from the organization that presents television's coveted Emmy awards.