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.
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.
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.
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.