Arts at Pace

Welcome to Pace Academy Arts!

There’s just something about escaping into a character, really feeling the music or translating the image in your head onto canvas. In all of its forms, art introduces new perspectives, presents exciting challenges and encourages students to THINK BIG.

At Pace, we provide the highest level of artistic experience and knowledge, and we embed study of the visual and performing arts in our curriculum at every level. It begins with introductions to art and music in the Lower School, where students participate in class plays, our annual holiday program and, in the fourth and fifth grades, join our band, chorus or strings ensembles.

Our offerings expand in the Middle School as young artists explore new mediums through visual art courses, participate in drama, play in the band or orchestra or sing in the chorus. Extracurricular activities offer additional outlets for students to discover their artists passions and hone their talents.

Upper School students further specialize in the visual arts with courses in photography, ceramics, drawing, painting and sculpture. Or, they pursue band, chorus, strings, acting and stagecraft in the performing arts. Advanced Placement classes in art history and music theory provide additional opportunities to develop expertise—knowledge and experiences we encourage students to leverage in the college-application process.

Our teachers are committed to delivering positive personal feedback as part of the learning process. They encourage students to explore and experiment in the arts, to find and pursue their passions. We emphasize process and tradition while remaining current with pedagogy within each discipline. Over time, expanding performance and visual arts opportunities provide outlets to share talents both within and outside the Pace community.

We’re proud of our artistic traditions, and we’re sure that every student will find a place in the arts!

Middle and Upper School strings students will present their annual POPs concert on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

Under the direction of strings instructor Tara Harris, students will perform selections such as Happier by Marshmellow, rock classic Smoke on the Water and, from the hit musical Hamilton, My Shot, featuring junior Allie Appel. The evening also will include a guitar feature by senior Jack Thomson. The concert is free and open to the public.

Twenty members of the Upper School theatre department participated in the 2019 Georgia Thespian Conference, “ThesCon,” in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 6-8. More than 5,000 students from all over the state attended the event, which included theatre productions, workshops led by theatre professionals, individual performance and tech events and opportunities to meet with college representatives from around the country.

Each participating school is permitted to compete in a limited number of events, and when all was said and done, Pace students earned rankings of Good (1), Excellent (4) and Overall Superior (1). Junior Lauren O’Sullivan (pictured) brought home Pace’s top prize for her costume design of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“I’m so proud of the work that Lauren achieved,” says Upper School Theatre Director Sean Bryan. “Her ability to articulate a design is beyond impressive, and her steampunk concept received rave reviews from all three judges.” O’Sullivan will advance to the national ThesCon competition, which will take place in Nebraska in June.  

Join the Lower School performing arts department as fourth- and fifth-grade strings students present a spring concert on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Knights Hall, located on the fifth floor of the Garcia Family Middle School.

“This is my favorite performance of the year,” says strings instructor Nirvana Scott. “It serves as an informal introduction to performing in a string orchestra for our beginning students.”

Pieces will include classics like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Ode to Joy and newer compositions like the theme from Harry Potter. Twenty-one fourth graders and 14 fifth-graders will perform.

Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Bill Chase and Beyoncé are just a few of the artists whose work will be showcased at this year’s Knight of Jazz. The performance—a collaboration between the Upper School band, vocalists and steel drum ensemble—will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

In preparation for the event, students are working with professional clinicians to perfect their jazz techniques. Thanks to the Pace Arts Alliance, clinicians include Bruno Mars band members Jimmy King, Dwayne Dugger and Kameron T. Whalum; signer Ian Bruh of the band Mango; bass guitarist Fuji Fujimoto; guitarist Bill Hatcher; percussionist Jeff Gill; and keyboardist Nick Rosen of The Shadowboxers, who recently toured with Justin Timberlake. Needless to say, this is a show you don’t want to miss!

The work of Pace’s talented visual arts faculty in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools is on display in the Fine Arts Center through March 7.

Stop by to see pieces by Donice Bloodworth, Katy Cowles, France Dorman, Susan Edwards, Mark Knott and Anna Murphy.