Fine Arts

Yorkies are encouraged to explore their creativity and passions
From the earliest age, Yorkies are encouraged to explore and unleash their creativity. We believe that early arts experience has a profound impact on a child’s learning and development.
Our youngest Yorkies begin to construct their understanding of the world around them through musical games, storytelling, drama, and drawing. 

Senior School students have access to a wide range of fine arts programs as well as co-curricular opportunities in music, drama, textiles, new media, and visual arts.

Whether or not a Yorkie decides to pursue a career in fine arts, we encourage the students to express their creative selves and develop an understanding and appreciation of the arts that will last them a lifetime.

Fine Arts Programs

List of 5 items.

  • Music

    The York House Music Program offers courses in both instrumental and choral music. Students have the opportunity to study, explore, and perform music from all genres. 

    Our senior music ensembles have been invited to represent Vancouver and York House School in national and international festivals and competitions. Our ensembles have toured Spain, Eastern Europe, Hawaii, Austria, Italy, and California. Most recently, the Senior School Concert Choir and Chamber Choir both received gold rankings at the national level at Musicfest Canada in 2023.

    Music Ensembles

    Senior Concert Band
    The Senior Concert Band is an accredited course made up of students in Grades 10 to 12. Students rehearse twice a week, one morning from 7:15 am - 8:25 am and over one lunch hour. The Senior Band is proud to have competed in local and international music festivals and tours – most recently to Cuba in 2019. The Senior Band participated in the Whistler Cantando Music Festival last year, receiving a Silver standing, and will be attending the Seattle Heritage Music Festival in Spring 2024. 

    Grade 9 Concert Band
    The Grade 9 Concert Band rehearses twice a week, one morning from 7:15 am - 8:25 am and one lunchtime. These students rehearse a wide variety of repertoire and increase their proficiency on their chosen concert band instrument. Along with the other bands, they perform in two evening concerts each year. This group will also be attending the Seattle Heritage Music Festival in Spring 2024.

    Grade 8 Concert Band
    The Grade 8 Concert Band rehearses 2 to 3 times a week within the timetable. These students develop their musical technique and tone through daily practice of appropriate repertoire and exercises. Along with the other bands, they perform in two concerts each year and they have the chance to team up with other music students to participate in the music festival in Seattle.

    Senior Jazz Band
    The Senior Jazz Band is a club that runs once a week at lunchtime. This performance group learns the basics of jazz and improvisation. Performing at many events throughout the school year, the senior jazz band is an audience favourite.

    Senior School Concert Choir
    The Senior School Concert Choir is an accredited course with alternating morning and lunch hour rehearsals. It is open to all students in Grades 8 to 12 who love to sing. The basics of proper vocal technique, projection, stage presence, and tone production are explored. Students are exposed to a variety of choral genres. They perform in two to three concerts throughout the year. This ensemble received a gold ranking at the national level at Musicfest Canada in 2023.  

    Senior School Chamber Choir
    The Senior School Chamber Choir is an accredited course for an auditioned ensemble. This course consists of 12 to 16 singers in Grades 10, 11, and 12. Auditions for the course are held in June for the following year. This accredited course involves alternating morning and lunch hour rehearsals. Students are challenged by working in a small ensemble which furthers their level of musicianship. The Chamber Choir received a gold ranking at the national level at Musicfest Canada in 2023. 
  • Visual Arts

    There is an impressive array of artistic talent visible throughout York House School. Just visit the corridor outside the theatre, which hosts a revolving exhibition of Senior School student artwork throughout the year, or the colourful murals and displays in the Little and Junior school. Many of these masterpieces go on to grace our hallways and offices.
    An artistic mindset begins in our Little School, where students are inspired to build their creative thinking toolkits every day through explorations of all kinds of art mediums. Students are invited to experiment with sculpting, drawing, painting, woodworking, collage and more! 

    Visual art in the Junior School is all about the process and the journey. It is our goal to cultivate creative thinkers who explore their world and express who they are. During the process of creating, students are learning to observe, evaluate, experiment, problem solve and persevere. In the Junior School, students encounter a wide range of media and materials which allow them to explore the beauty of colour, texture, movement, lines and space. They learn to create art with thoughtful intention and follow their intuition. As the students become more comfortable and skillful with different media, they are able to use them to communicate their understandings, emotions and questions. 

    In the Senior School, our art room has become a safe haven for our artists. Here, our students are able to unleash their creativity while exploring a variety of styles, techniques, and media.

    Students start with developing and refining basic drawing skills that serve as a foundation for all art disciplines, then move on to portraiture, figure drawing, 2-D and 3-D media techniques, and the study of perspective. Projects range from painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and computer graphics.

    The students are inspired through the study of artists and art through the ages. They also learn to analyze and critique their own and their peers’ work.

    As students progress, the concepts and studio activities are geared towards producing a portfolio of work that is suitable for post-secondary admission, a career in the art field or simply an item of great personal satisfaction.
  • Drama

    The Drama Program offers students the opportunity for creative discovery and expression. Drama teaches life skills: self-confidence, improved speech, creative problem solving, and teamwork.
    Junior students showcase their acting, singing and dancing talents in small class or grade productions throughout the year. They may also participate in some Drama lessons with the Senior School Drama teacher throughout the year.
    The Senior School puts on one major drama production per year. Most recently, the York Rose Players presented Matilda the Musical. Previous productions have included The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Addams Family Musical, Midsummer Jersey, Legally Blonde, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Girls of the Garden Club, Wizard of Oz, Arrivals and Departures, So Much to Tell You, 7 Stories, and Fame.

    Drama coursework in the Senior School involves role-play, devising and performing theme-based scenes and published scripts, exploring various theatre styles, and understanding the different elements and conventions of drama. Students build skills in improvisation, body and voice work, character development, mime, and vocal expression while rehearsing both student-written and published.

    Scene study involves classical and contemporary scripts from Restoration Comedy, Greek Theatre, Shakespeare, American Classics, and Contemporary Canadian Theatre.

    Scene study involves classical and contemporary scripts from Restoration Comedy, Greek Theatre, Shakespeare, American Classics, and Contemporary Canadian Theatre. Students may also have the opportunity to study acting, scriptwriting, and production in a variety of theatre styles including Realism, Melodrama, Commedia Del’Arte, Documentary Drama and Verbatim Theatre. 
  • Media Arts

    New Media, or Modern Visual Arts, takes our senior students out of the art room and into the computer lab. Students learn the fundamentals of new media and the role of digital technology in art making.
    New Media, or Modern Visual Arts, takes our senior students out of the art room and into the computer lab. Students learn the fundamentals of new media and the role of digital technology in art making.

    Combining traditional art with digital technology, students utilize a variety of cutting-edge software including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

    Students will develop an innovative approach to digital photography, image-based projects, video recording and editing. In this course, students will be introduced to digital photography with a specific emphasis on digital single lens reflex cameras. Specific attention will be paid to exploring the equipment, image composition, light techniques, and creative problem solving. Students will experiment with a variety of software programs including Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Premier. They will also learn various creative techniques using still and video formats including time-lapse, long exposure photography, studio lighting, and a final video project.

    Film & Television

    In this course, students will not only gain an understanding and appreciation for film as literature, but also develop the screenwriting and production skills necessary to create and present their own films and videos. Each student will study the art of storytelling (and how it has evolved in film), as well as examine how the technical components of filmmaking are used to express and convey significance. During the year, students will be introduced to the latest video editing software, including Adobe Premiere and After Effects, and learn techniques to use these programs in conjunction with the film equipment. 

    Students will also engage in writing activities that will teach them how to construct characters, stories, and scenes with the intention of completing their own screenplay. Through analysis, discussion, individual assignments, and group projects, students will be encouraged to explore their own socio-cultural relationship with “movies”, as well as employ newly acquired literary and technical skills to present complexity, emotion, and individual expression to an audience. Like most art, film has a complicated duality: It is both an art form and a business industry. This class will help students gain a full understanding of both.
  • Textiles

    In textiles, or applied arts, our senior students produce quality work while gaining practical skills and technical knowledge in sewing and fashion design. Students work on a variety of projects from hand-stitched crafts, sewing projects to advanced dressmaking and fashion design.
    The program starts with hand stitching and the basics of garment construction using a sewing machine. As students progress, they learn advanced dressmaking, tailoring and design. Creativity in fashion design is emphasized as students are invited to display their creations in an annual fashion show in May.