Young artists flourish in Mayfield's Conservatory for the Arts
We dance, draw, paint, write, take stunning photos and sing our hearts out. We love to perform under a spotlight. The Conservatory is far more than an extracurricular activity. With rigor and excitement our UC-accredited courses unfold on stage, in studios and in hands-on workshops as Mayfield trains the next generation of artists and artistic thinkers.
We nurture and develop artistic talent
Mayfield’s signature Conservatory for the Arts program strikes an engaging balance for both aspiring and dedicated artists. For the past 30 years, our program has produced artistic thinkers who know how to integrate creativity, voice and expression into their lives. Our artists develop confidence and resilience as they form bonds with a group of girls who become their closest friends.
Mayfield teachers are working artists who enthusiastically share their real-world knowledge at every meeting. As Holy Child educators they teach students to use their artistic gifts to engage with and interpret the world around them.
— Cornelia Connelly
Art is a universal language, and also a discipline which calls for close attention, leading to wonderment and contemplation.
Last night, Mayfield’s Choreographers’ Ball opened to an enthusiastic audience. This annual performance highlights the talents of the Dance and Technical Theatre Conservatories, with student choreography and student lighting design. This year featured choreography by Dance Conservatory’s nine upperclasswomen. And the pithy title “hello. goodbye.” brings to mind all of the in-between spaces associated at the beginning and end of things. And these choreographers have a lot to reflect on during their high school years: from the retirement of their longtime dance teacher (Denise Leitner) to the hiring of their energetic new teacher (Sarah Alaways), from the COVID lockdowns to the anxious/exciting deliberations of imagining their lives beyond the Bellefontaine campus—and much, much more. We had a chance to sit down for a round-table discussion with several of the choreographers and their Dance Teacher, Ms. Alaways, as they opened up about parts of their creation, the bitter and the sweet…
As we move into our Fall/Winter season of the conservatory program we are gearing up for some amazing performances! Our fall play "Macbeth" runs from Nov. 17-20! Following the fall play, we shift into the Christmas season full of exciting performances from Instrumental and Vocal! Shout out to our Artist of the Week—one of newest members of the Creative Writing conservatory—new to the school, actually. Her versatility is impressive from memoir, fiction, to spoken word, this scribe is multi-talented. Give it up for Kasani Freeman '24! And our Mayfield community is gearing up for Halloweekend. Arts Council hosted Halloween festivities this week on campus with pumpkin decorating and a costume contest! Please enjoy these fun Halloween costume shots.
This week was crackling with fall artistic energy with class projects in full swing and performing arts groups gearing up for our November and December performances.
Shout out to instrumentalist, Venice Jithavech ‘24 who was named Artist of the Week!
Many thanks to our musicians and singers for bringing music to our Holy Child Foundation Mass celebration: Jade Telles '25, Venice Jithavech '24, Giuliana DeFilippo '23, Anna Pruyn '23, Lauren Mascarenhas '24, Grace Nguyen '23, Lily Salazar '23, Kendall Cuenca '23, Kaitlin Boutros '23, Women’s Ensemble and Mr. Castelo.
This weekend, we welcome 7th and 8th grade students to a free day of arts classes at Explore the Arts at Mayfield. This session offers Studio Arts with Mr. Lewis and Ms. Green and Creative Writing with Ms. Gomez.
Next week, the Arts Council will be hosting Halloween Activities, including pumpkin decorating, a costume contest & more!
All Arts Night last Friday was a huge success! We want to share a big “thank you” to all the Arts Faculty, Student Artists, and Community for supporting the arts!
Artist(s) of the Week: Lilly Santizo ’26 and Julia Lothian ’26. Both freshmen have demonstrated a great talent for Design and Technical Theater. Both have demonstrated leadership and have been very helpful with assisting fellow students with our Design of our upcoming Production. Lilly and Julia have also demonstrated a great ability to set-up and mix events, that include mics and a band. We saw their talents as they worked as co-sound-engineers for last Friday's Arts event. We look forward to many great productions in the future from these two talented Technical Theater students. Congratulations and thank you.
The Arts Council is organizing some fun Halloween activities for the Mayfield community including pumpkin decorating, a costume contest and more!!!
From Choir Retreat to pre-production for “Macbeth,” it’s an exciting time for all of the arts at Mayfield! Read more to learn what each conservatory is up to!
This week, we sat down with Denise Leitner for a behind-the-scenes peek at the Spring Dance Concert and an interview as she finishes her final Mayfield production. Read more to learn what you can expect from the show, and hear about how she came to Mayfield, what she has learned from her students, and what she plans to do with her retirement.
Your current and final dance concert for Mayfield is entitled, “The Music Never Stops.” With a name like that, was it meant to be a gentle nod to your retirement? Or do the students help shape the names of the shows?
I'm gonna be honest with you—it's the title of a Grateful Dead song! (Denise laughs) When I knew that this was my last show, I thought I'm gonna pay homage to some music that has inspired me as a dancer, because when you go to those shows and you see those people dance there, it's so free. I could say that this is the name of a song, but also the name inspires me. Even when I leave the school, the music never stops, dance will go on, art will go on. The journey will continue.
The Digital Media room—one of the spaces on campus that didn’t exist before the recent Strub Capital Campaign—is humming this March afternoon. Journalism students sit around a large square table, laptops open. They have a deadline coming up: an 8-minute podcast submission for the NPR High School Podcast Challenge. Everyone is working on their own projects, at their own speed, some in pairs, some working solo. Many have their headphones on, deep inside their editing software. Others are focused inside of their text documents, rewriting script elements and cutting out old content. But whenever instructor Kimberly Gomez cues up something on the central screen, everyone looks up to review the artwork or audio content for whatever feedback is required.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 changed a lot about the ways we gather, the ways we celebrate and the ways we collaborate. Our annual musical at Mayfield is a combination of all three elements. It is a gathering, a joyful celebration of talent, and a result of a deep collaboration between several conservatories: theatre, tech theatre, dance, vocal music and instrumental music. Although all of those conservatories have returned to performing and/or operating again this year individually, this production of “The Wizard of Oz” will be the first time everyone is joining forces together for a truly meaningful performance, with the talents of so many groups on display.
It’s been 19 months since Mayfield’s Pike Auditorium theatre went dark, and although the recent All Arts Night briefly brought audiences back in person, yesterday was the first time Mayfield theatre returned in earnest, with the whodunit murder-comedy “Clue.” We sat down with Theatre Director Maryanne Householder to hear about the lead-up to this long-awaited opening night...
As our community comes closer to in-person learning this spring, the performing arts Conservatory programs at Mayfield have been pioneering new ways to rehearse, perform and engage with audiences, while abiding by pandemic restrictions. This week, vocal music instructor Andrew Alvarez conducted rehearsals as part of a “car choir” with members of the Women’s Ensemble, and theatre director Maryanne Householder launched the first-ever Cubs Cabaret, which was open to all Mayfield student artists who wanted to take on some of Broadway’s milestones in monologues, dances and songs. We caught up with Mr. Alvarez and Ms. Householder to hear more about their recent projects.
When the 2020-2021 theatre season had to start remotely, Theatre Conservatory Director Maryanne Householder didn’t fuss. Auditions? She could hold them on Zoom. Plenty of actors prepare remote auditions at the best of times. Rehearsals? A ton of play preparation involves research, which could be done online, too. No sweat. And Ms. Householder’s can-do attitude extended to the selection of the fall production as well. She chose a one-act play without too many technical requirements, dealing with material that she loves to teach, and a story that would make the actors shine.
It takes a village to bring the beloved musical Oliver! to life in Pike Auditorium. This year’s all-school musical draws from Mayfield’s vast community of talent, from alumnae siblings and faculty spouses, to athletes who are making their Pike stage debuts.
To commemorate the centennial of Strub Hall, Paul Tzanetopoulos’ photography class embarked on an ambitious project—to take a photo of the 100-year-old building with a 100-year-old camera. Paul’s extensive camera collection includes an early folding model used by photographers around the same time that the 500 Bellefontaine estate was built. The final result was a spectral and awe-inspiring portrait of Strub Hall, an image that looks very much like those in the Mayfield archives. We sat down with Mr. T to discuss how this photograph came into being.
Congratulations to our student artists, who racked up an impressive tally of 19 awards in the 2020 Western Region Scholastic Art & Writing Awards from a pool of more than 60,000 submissions. The Scholastic Awards, which recognize students in 29 different genres of creative arts and writing, are among the nation’s oldest and most prestigious arts prizes.
This Tuesday, Nora Warren’s AP Art History class visited the Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles to learn about their hometown’s rich art history. The breakfast outing was hosted by generous club members John and Patti O’Keefe, who invited the group of 20 students to hear guest speaker Christina Nielsen, Director of the Art Museum at The Huntington, and experience a private tour of the Jonathan Club’s impressive art collection.
On the eve of Cornelia Connelly’s Jan. 15 birthday, the students in Maryanne Householder’s freshman theatre class are in for a surprise—an unannounced guest speaker is in their midst. As the girls huddle, cross-legged, in a circle on the stage of Pike Auditorium, accomplished Broadway costume designer Michael Krass joins them for a candid conversation about his craft and his career.
“A Night at the Museum,” presented by Mayfield’s Dance and Technical Theatre Conservatories, is set to take audience members on a journey of light, fantasy, and art, right from the whimsical opening number, choreographed to music from the 2006 film “A Night at the Museum.”
Have you ever picked up a scarf and just felt it? Closed your eyes, no talking, just your touch and the scarf. You don’t know what color it is, where it came from, or who gave it to you, but you just feel it. And as you are feeling, you smell a familiar scent and hear the sound of nature in the background. The room’s edges become defined, the light is reflecting and making shadows...you no longer feel the fabric in your hands. Instead, you feel the story, the character.
The September opening of the senior visual art show gave the Mayfield community a glimpse of the talent that the Class of 2020 has to offer. “The show is a beginning point, with a combination of work they have done at Mayfield that could be in their portfolio,” said AP Studio Art teacher Amy Green. “Starting things at the top of the year, they can see their history and are able to see—hopefully—at least one piece that has a spark for their investigations.”
Mayfield artists pushed outside the familiar gates of Bellefontaine this spring, taking a bold step to put their art “out there” before critics, adjudicators and the public. The results are worthy of a standing ovation:
In a delightfully entertaining show of talent and heartfelt emotion, the Dance Conservatory’s 2019 Choreographers’ Ball showcased the skills of our junior and senior dancers and our Technical Theatre members who created the 100% student-run show.
Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.