Upper School Arts
Waynflete’s substantial commitment to the arts is unique and well known in Maine.
We understand that all students possess the ability to express themselves artistically and respond to the creativity of others. Music, art, drama, dance—these are universal languages. Learning to use them well enriches our understanding of our world and our lives.
The Waynflete visual arts, performing arts, and applied arts programs benefit from exceptional rehearsal, performance, and gallery spaces on campus and draw upon the rich artistic resources of the Greater Portland area for faculty and inspiration. The professional and working artists that work closely with our students are important members of our community.
Whether students are firing sculptures in ceramics, exploring alternative methods of printmaking or photographic processing, learning graphic design, sewing theater costumes, choreographing a modern dance, practicing a vocal solo, or improvising during a jazz session, they are learning about other cultures, the history of art, and themselves.
24-Hour Playwriting Festival
Hosted by Upper School theater students, the 24-Hour Playwriting Festival invites students from other area high schools to write short plays, overnight, to stage the following day based on a series of prompts—a location and one line of dialogue. The instant and spontaneous outpouring of creativity (as well as the connection to students at other schools) has made this festival a fun and enduring tradition.
Written, designed, illustrated, and photographed by Waynflete Upper School students, LitMag is a sophisticated expression of the wide range of creativity and inspiration within Waynflete student work.
Chamber music is an intimate form of music-making with no conductor and with one player to each unique line of music. Students work with a coach to explore small ensemble repertoire, with special emphasis on balance, tuning, stylistic interpretation, and individual leadership as the music demands, and perform in two formal concerts per year, the Waynflete Invitational Chamber Music Festival, and additional informal performances.
Singers will explore music from various styles, cultures, and traditions, including contemporary a cappella and musical theater, performing in winter and spring concerts and “run-out” opportunities like workshops with touring ensembles and collaborative performances with musicians from other schools.
Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo
Jazz Ensemble is open to all Upper School instrumentalists and Jazz Combo is limited to nine players who have demonstrated a superior level of commitment to jazz performance and musicianship. Both ensembles explore various styles of jazz, including swing, shuffle, funk, jazz-rock/fusion, ballad, Latin, and rock. Students are strongly encouraged to develop improvisational skills. In addition to formal concerts, they participate in the Maine Music Educators Association Jazz Festival and, if invited, the State High School Instrumental Jazz Festival.
A supportive and stress-free way to share original creative work (and work-in-progress), Waynflete Coffeehouses are fun student forums for poetry and fiction readings, musical performance, dance and choreography, and more. Students enjoy the chance to share their passion projects outside the classroom with a friendly and appreciative audience.
Acoustic Roots Ensemble
This new ensemble gathers students playing guitar, banjo, ukulele, and dobro to build technical skills on their instruments, expand their understanding of music theory, develop music-reading skills, and explore music from a range of acoustic genres. The ensemble will also have opportunities for formal and informal performance and may collaborate with other music ensembles.