Creative Thinking and Practice

The arts at Andover are vibrant and inclusive. Through our three departments—Music, Art, and Theatre & Dance—we offer the opportunity for all students to express themselves. Find your medium and you mentors in the studio, on the stage and amongst your peers. We can't wait to see what you create.

Arts at Andover

Hit Your Mark

The dance department’s dual goal is to offer preprofessional training that prepares students to enter college dance programs or conservatories and to engage students who see dance as a form of recreational and lifelong fitness. Ballet and modern dance, the core of Andover’s program, are the foundations of dance technique. Instructors purposefully expose students to diverse dance forms as well as choreography and composition as they explore dance as a language.

Dance technique is offered through the athletic program, while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and cocurricular.

The Academy’s primary performance ensemble, the Andover Dance Group, comprises the most dedicated and experienced dancers, while student-run groups focus on jazz, hip-hop, and tap.

Learn From The Best

Guest artists broaden students’ exposure to the world of dance. Recent visitors include Mark Morris, Donlin Foreman, and Rennie Harris.

Step Up

There are many student-run dance clubs on campus including Hypnotic, Blue Strut, and Footnote.

Pitch Perfect

For all students at Phillips Academy, music will be a part of their studies at some point in their career. The ensemble programs—both instrumental and choral—offer numerous performance opportunities to all students whatever their level of expertise. Some students arrive at Andover with significant playing and performing experience and find themselves among a group of peers with similar musical backgrounds. Equally, other students arrive at Andover ready to discover new musical skills and develop new musical experiences. The depth and breadth of the music program at Andover supports students who share a passion for music at all points of entry into the program.

With 10 resident faculty and over 40 adjunct faculty in Andover's music department, there is exceptionally strong professional support for every kind of musical endeavor ranging from classes in advanced music theory and composition, a capella singing groups, working in the electronic music studio, to taking lessons on one of the multitude of instruments taught on campus. The performance program, enriched by classroom study for all students, offers between 60 and 70 concerts each year; all open to the public.

Download the Winter 2019 concert calendar.

Facilities

Graves Hall has three classrooms, a music library, electronic music studio, 19 practice rooms, two rehearsal spaces, and a recital hall.

Take the Stage

Most major performances by students and guest artists—such as Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble & Wynton Marsalis—take place in Cochran Chapel.

Musical Adventures

Each spring, Andover musicians embark on an international music tour. In 2018, the Chamber Orchestra & Fidelio Society played Carnegie Hall!

Curtain Call

Along with excellent costume, paint, and scene shops, Andover’s Tang Theatre and Steinbach Theatre boast the latest technology. Performance opportunities abound, including several faculty- directed plays and 30 student-directed one-act plays produced by Drama Labs, a vibrant cocurricular program. Elective courses include acting, directing, set and light design, public speaking, Shakespeare, playwriting, and play production. Students also engage with guest artists ranging from local specialists to the likes of theatre director Peter Sellars ’75, actor and producer Dana Delany ’74, documentary filmmaker Maro Chermayef  ’80, playwright and producer Craig Lucas, and David Fincher, director of The Social Network

In alternate years, auditions are held for an international touring experience to such well-known venues as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa. Andover’s theatre program has twice won the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Memorial Award. 

Express Yourself

Elective courses include acting, directing, set and light design, public speaking, Shakespeare, playwriting, and play production.

The world's stage

Auditions are held for international touring experiences to venues such as Edinburgh Festival Fringe & Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

Explore Your Medium

Students in Andover’s visual arts program find inspiration in infinite and often unlikely places. Courses include art history, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, weaving, architecture, lm photography, digital photography, ceramics, and video. The department also offers a yearlong advanced studio course for uppers and seniors, which includes visits to museums and a student-designed capstone project and exhibition. 

At the Elson Art Center and Benner House, students create everything from charcoal drawings to ceramics to digital art. They also enjoy time at the campus’s Addison Gallery of American Art, which showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world. Guest artists hosted by the Addison complement many art courses and have included Frank Stella ’54, Lorna Simpson, Chris “Daze” Ellis, James Prosek, Sheila Hicks, Elaine Reichek and Jeanne Silverthorne, and Triple Candie’s Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett ’84. 

Upcoming Events

In Action

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Each year Andover hosts six main-stage performances ranging from large- scale musicals to classical ballets to contemporary pieces in theatre and dance.

In Elson Art Center and Benner House, students have access to everything from charcoal to ceramics to digital art.

At Andover, students are able to explore the stage from behind-the-scenes. We offer classes and opportunities in directing, lighting and set design, playwriting, costume design, and more.

With its diverse course offerings, private lessons, and performance opportunities Andover helps students hone their talents and broaden their musical interests.

Performance opportunities abound, including three faculty-directed plays and 30 student-directed one-act plays.

The opportunities for musical expression are endless. Musicians at Andover are encouraged to explore all forms of musical expression.

Dance technique is offered through the athletic program, while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and cocurricular.

Visiting musicians like Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble, Pentatonix, and Wynton Marsalis, frequently engage in master classes with students.

Andover's theatre program has twice won the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Memorial Award.

The Visual Arts Department offers a yearlong advanced studio course for uppers and seniors. This includes visits to museums and a student-designed capstone project and exhibition.

Students in Andover's Visual Arts Program find inspiration in infinite and often unlikely places.

Some students arrive at Andover with significant playing and performance experience; others are just beginning their musical journey.

Get inspired

The Andover community is full of creatives doing exciting work. What will be your muse?

Ria, Senior

“I came here interested solely in acting. Then I was encouraged to direct a short play—and directing became my passion. Now I'm doing both!”

Luke, Lower

“Andover’s music program is extensive and dynamic. Music has created relationships for me.”

Isaiah, Senior

“I took an introductory course in visual media studies and fell in love with filmmaking. Now I’m working on a self-directed film project.”

Kevin “KO” Olusola ’06

Beatboxer for the Grammy-winning a capella group Pentatonix and an accomplished cellist.

Camilla, Senior

“I took a yearlong studio art course, and that class became a family. It is invigorating to collaborate with an intellectual community.”

Derek Jacoby

“The creative process can often be something of mystery, a particular combination of inspiration, hard work, gut feelings, and experience.”

view full profile djacoby@andover.edu

Frank Stella ’54

Minimalism pioneer. A major figure in the art world internationally hailed as one of America’s most significant artists.

Christina Landolt ’02

Department Chair. “My favorite part of this job is convincing students that they do have a voice in music.”

view full profile clandolt@andover.edu

Sabrina, Senior

“My dance instructors not only intensified my love for ballet—they also pushed me to explore other avenues I might never have experienced.”

Thayer Zaeder ’83

Instructor and Department Chair. “As an art instructor, I try to pass on this wisdom—that inspiration can be found rather than divined.”

view full profile tzaeder@andover.edu

Holly Barnes

Instructor and Director of Performance

hbarnes@andover.edu

Justice, Upper

“The most influential part of my Andover experience has been my involvement with theatre. My self-confidence has skyrocketed!"

Therese Zemlin

"In addition to the time I spend teaching, I find that it is crucial for me to spend time making art."

view full profile tzemlin@andover.edu

William, Senior

"Music at Andover is a candy store with endless opportunities. I have written compositions, jammed in a band, and played around the world."

Graham Johns ’14

“The dance program doesn’t cater to 1 discipline. My ballet teacher explained movements and made them applicable to other types of dance.”

Olivia Wilde ’02

Best known for her role as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on the award winning medical-drama House.

Emily Trespas

"In teaching, I strive to instill my students with curiosity and confidence in their creative promise."

view full profile etrespas@andover.edu

“This is a place where creativity is valued—in a chemistry class, in an art studio, everywhere. You don't have to be an “artist.” You just have to be open to seeing things in a new way.”

Nico Senior, Andover, MA

Every other year, the Andover Department of Theatre and Dance produces a unique version of the Nutcracker. The event is truly a community production and involves faculty and their families, students, and staff.

Performance Ensembles

All participants in Academy Performance Ensembles commit to two evening rehearsals each week. 

Orchestral

Academy Symphony Orchestra (85 members)
The Academy Symphony Orchestra includes all string players and select winds, brass and percussion players determined by audition. All string players of the Academy Symphony Orchestra are placed through an audition process in one of three smaller chamber ensembles as well. 

Academy Chamber Orchestra (20 members)
Chamber Orchestra is the most advanced of the three string ensembles. Its membership consists primarily of uppers and seniors. Members of this ensemble can expect extensive practice requirements outside of scheduled rehearsals in order to meet the demands of the repertoire.

Amadeus Chamber Ensemble (20 members)
Amadeus is the intermediate string ensemble. Its membership consists primarily of lowers and uppers. Members of this ensemble can expect to hone their skills of expressive ensemble playing through rehearsals combining repertoire preparation and sight reading, as well as regularly listening to recordings. 

Corelli Chamber Ensemble (20 members)
Corelli is the entry level string ensemble. Its membership consists of primarily of juniors and lowers. Members of this ensemble can expect to develop vital string ensemble skills. 

Wind Ensembles

Concert Band (60 members)
Open to all students playing wind, brass, and percussion instruments. All types of music for wind ensemble are performed, including marches, classical, popular, and show music. 

Jazz Band (25 members)
Determined by audition at the beginning of each school year. Jazz Band is a typical big band format and performs the repertoire of the groups of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Woody Herman, as well as contemporary Latin jazz and jazz/rock fusion compositions. 

Chamber Music Program

Faculty coached jazz and classical ensembles of 3-8 players rehearse once each week and perform once each term.

Vocal

Phillips Academy Chorus (60 members)
Chorus is the Academy's major singing group composed of mixed voices, and it performs a variety of choral works, both sacred and secular. Membership in the Academy Chorus is open to all students, regardless of previous choral experience.  

Fidelio (16-18 members)
This small mixed a capella group performs on numerous occasions throughout the year. Its repertoire includes music of all types-early and modern, sacred and secular. Membership is determined by audition and is conditional upon good standing in chorus. 

Gospel Choir
Membership in Gospel choir is open to all students. The Choir performs at ecumenical Chapel services and special celebrations.

Facilities

In theatre and dance: Tang Theatre in George Washington Hall, a 350-seat flexible courtyard theatre with a computerized light board and a digital sound system; the black box Steinbach Theatre; a scenery shop, a costume shop, two makeup and dressing rooms; and two dance studios. 

In visual arts: The Elson Art Center is home to teaching studios, exhibition spaces, and the Polk-Lillard Center for Video and Electronic Imaging, which features dozens of Macs, printers, scanners, and nonlinear professional editing systems. We also offer eight video editing suites and more than 100 digital and video cameras for student use. Benner House features two gas kilns, seven electric kilns, welding machines, and a printing press. 

In music: Graves Hall is home to 19 music practice rooms, an electronic music studio, two large rehearsal spaces, and the Clift Music Library (10,000 recordings, composition software, MIDI keyboards). Cochran Chapel includes a full rehearsal space, a generous performance stage, and a 30-stop, double-manual, tracker-action organ.

Box Office

The Theatre and Dance Box Office is located across the hall from Tang Theatre in George Washington Hall. Get directions to the theatre. 

Phone: 978-749-4433
Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. - 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Thursday 

The Box Office also opens one half hour prior to each show. Tickets go on sale for a performance approximately two weeks before the show is scheduled to run.

The Box Office accepts cash, checks and Blue Card only. No credit cards.

Sell Outs

When a show becomes sold out we will announce it through the Box Office voice mail and events calendar.

When a show is sold out we will start a waiting list one hour prior to the performance. You must come in person to the Box Office and enter your name onto the list. We begin pulling names off the waiting list approximately 10 minutes before a show begins.

All seats are general admission and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors generally open 15 minutes prior to show.

If anyone in your party has a disability our Box Office staff would be happy to accommodate pre-admission seating. Please see a member of the Box Office staff when you arrive at the theatre.

10

large performance ensembles including 2 concert bands, 1 jazz band, 3 orchestras and 2 choruses

400

videos produced and edited by students each year

70

student, faculty, and guest artist concerts on campus each year

20,000

objects in the Addison Gallery of American Art

49

private music lesson instructors teaching 350 students just about any instrument

3

 Student art exhibitions each year

30

 one-act student-directed Drama Lab productions each year

[footnote]

Drama Labs are weekly student-run productions of short plays. Dance Labs are the same idea, except at slightly longer intervals, and with dance. On Family Weekend students produce an ambitious, multimedia talent show, which is called Grasshopper Night.

Student Groups and Clubs

Hypnotiq
Hip-hop dance

Blue Strut
Modern dance

KeyNotes
Inclusive a capella

Azure 
All-girls a capella

Yorkies 
All-boys a capella

Footnotes
Tap dance

Andover Dance Group
Modern, Jazz, Classical Dance

Drumline
Marching and spirit hype

SLAM
Step team

Handbell Choir
Bells in Cochran Chapel