Visual Art – Students in all grades have the opportunity to learn and work with the elements of art (form, shape, color, texture, space, line, value) in both two- and three- dimensional experiences using a variety of media and through the study of artists of varied styles, cultures, and eras. Student's art work is displayed throughout the school building as well as at the annual F.A.M.E. Festival (Mid-March).
General Music – Students at all grade levels study music through listening, singing, moving, and creating. Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze, and traditional music approaches are utilized. Recorders are introduced at 4th grade and also used at 5th grade. Guitar is introduced at 7th and 8th grades. Composers of all cultures and through all eras are introduced to all students.
String Orchestra – Beginning strings (usually violin, possibly cello) is open to students in grades 2-8 as a weekly 30-minute group class utilizing a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods. Following a year of instruction most students progress to Intermediate strings. These students participate in a 30-minute weekly group class improving their skills and learning more techniques. After several additional years of instruction, students may join Advanced strings. More complex techniques and advanced skills are taught in this weekly 30-minute group class. All group classes are held during the school day. Many of these students elect to take private individual lessons outside of school in addition to their school class. Students in grades 5-8 are encouraged to participate in the annual ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) solo and ensemble contests held in late January/early February. All the students may perform as a group at the annual F.A.M.E. Festival in March. The required school performances are a winter concert in December and a spring concert in May in the school gym.
Band – Beginning band (usually flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, possibly baritone or French horn) is open to students in grades 4-8 and is formed in December of each year. Students meet one to two times per week for a 30-minute class. Intermediate band is usually comprised of students in grades 5-6 with a focus of improving skills and techniques on the individual instruments as well as learning to play more complicated music within a group. Each 25-30-minute class meets two-three times a week first semester and three times a week second semester. Advanced band is usually comprised of students in grades 7-8 with a focus on honing their reading and performing skills. Each 25-30-minute class meets also three times a week first semester and three times a week second semester. Students in grades 5-8 are encouraged to participate in the annual ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) solo and ensemble contests held the last Saturday of January. The required school performances are a winter concert in December and a spring concert in May in the school gym.
Choir – Girls and boys in grades five through eight are invited to participate in the school chorus or choir. This 20-minute class meets three times a week and teaches students to sing a variety of two and three-part choral music. The students perform at the winter concert in December and a spring concert in May in the school gym. Students are encouraged to prepare a solo or ensemble choral piece and participate in the annual ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) solo and ensemble contests held on a Saturday in late January or early February.
Pueri Cantores – This is the official international children’s choral organization of the Catholic Church and is headquartered in the Vatican. The American branch has a website which includes a video as well as information on the nature of the program and the music. The diocese hosts a Pueri Cantores (Young Choristers) children’s music festival the rotates from parishes in South Bend and Fort Wayne each year. Eight to ten students will be invited to represent St. Charles Borromeo School and Parish and have weekly after-school rehearsals October through March. In addition, two 2-hour school day rehearsals with other schools are being held during the winter at the local Catholic high schools. Over 400 students will join in song during the full day festival event in March. Attendance at this event is by ticket only.
Hand Chimes – Students in grades 5-8 may participate in this after-school enrichment activity. Students learn to read music and play one or more notes (hand chimes) as part of group to perform simple to complex music. This ensemble meets for 60-minutes weekly after school. The required school performances of this group are a winter concert in December and a spring concert in May in the school gym. Students may have the opportunity to play at the Fine Arts Fair or to play a reflective hymn at Mass late in the year.
Drama – Students in grades 3-5 may join the fall drama group. These students meet weekly after school October through December and participate in the Christmas play/musical in December. Students in grades 6-8 may join the winter drama group. These students meet at least twice a week after school January through March and participate in the Spring Musical in March. This year’s productions have not been decided at this time.
Fine Arts Boosters support these programs with Box Tops for Education and an annual Craft Show.