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.
Beneath the black cape of a screaming, mean old Witch is a student overcoming stage fright. The student musicians tucked in the orchestra pit have 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.
The works of five outstanding Mayfield visual and photography artists will take a place of honor at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the annual Robert Graham Memorial Exhibit that celebrates select work of Catholic high school students.
Breathe deep. Stand straight. Lift your head. Loosen your shoulders. Support your core. Wiggle your fingers. Project outward! When world-renowned countertenor Jeffrey Kim conducted a master class for Mayfield’s Vocal Conservatory, it looked a lot like a PE class—but with exercises that included hitting high-reaching notes and singing soaring scales.
In an unforgettable field trip, AP Photography students toured the rustic Silver Lake studio of an award-winning, internationally recognized artist—Mayfield’s own Conservatory for the Arts teacher, Paul Tzanetopoulos.
The sun bakes the pavement into a sweltering lake of condensed heat. Freckles of sweat spot each student’s face and arms as they line a narrow shelf with glue and heft a long slab of wood atop it. They’re making flats—vertical wall panels—for the upcoming play, Steel Magnolias.
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.