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 more than 25 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.
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.
Our acclaimed Women’s Ensemble received among the top scores at a national choir festival following their three-song performance that earned seven “perfect tens” for blend, balance difficulty and rhythm.
Beneath the black cape a screaming, mean old Witch is a student overcame stage fright. The musicians tucked in the orchestra pit had never experienced the rigor of playing for a live stage production. Those three massive moveable trees on stage? Our technical theatre students started building them back in January, pneumatic staplers in hand.
Two Mayfield poets wrote from the heart, personal messages they hold dear. A student photographer captured a poignant moment with her grandmother, a shot she treasures. A painter took a risk with a multimedia project and decided to put her work and vulnerability on display.
The duo begins in the center of a darkened stage. A harsh overhead light illuminates their side-by-side forms. The freshman dancer, Drew Valentino, faces front. Only the back of her older sister, Avery, is visible before the two pull the width of the stage away from each other in perfect synchronization.
When Mayfield Patrons for the Arts decided to sponsor a custom Christmas ornament, Visual Arts teacher Amy Green saw a great opportunity to engage her students in a real-world experience in artistic design.
The work of our Mayfield artists transformed the Student Commons into an art gallery and performing arts space, brought beautiful music to Strub Hall and turned the Pike stage into a dance and theatre performing arts house.
“Chin up a little bit...good, good. Now look into the camera and now tell me an amazing secret with your eyes,” theatre teacher Andrea Sweeney ’12 told her student. “Relax your jaw... Ah! These are so good!”
The glorious voices of the Mayfield Women’s Ensemble won top honors, including the Best Overall Choir award, at the prestigious WorldStrides San Francisco Heritage festival over the weekend, elevating our singers to the highest echelons of high school choirs in the nation.
They walked in the footsteps of Holy Child foundress Cornelia Connelly and climbed 528 stairs to reach the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. They not only visited Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, but also learned how to act out two scenes from Romeo and Juliet at The Globe Theatre. They received a special blessing in Canterbury Cathedral, visited multiple museums and saw the hilarious West End musical, Matilda.
Two spring theatre productions within two weeks of each other brought a frenzy of artistry, drama and a lot of set changes to Pike Auditorium as Godspell and Everywoman featured two all-female casts of musicians, singers and actors on stage.
You just can’t take your eyes off those mesmerizing masks! It’s not enough that our Theatre Conservatory students to rewrote the medieval morality play Everyman into their own powerhouse voice of Everywoman. They delved deep into artistic interpretation to design and make Commedia-style masks to represent their characters.
Laura Noriega ’18, a three-year member of the Visual Arts Conservatory, had always viewed sketching, drawing and her newfound love for watercoloring as a somewhat solitary pursuit with pencils, paint, brushes and canvas.
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 21 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.