December Department Spotlight

December Department Spotlight
Photo: student working on assignment during Ceramics classBelow is an article, co-authored by PVRHSD Communication Interns Vin Coglianese and Drew Welsh, highlighting the Art and Music departments as part of their continued coverage of our district departments.

For December, we featured our district’s Art and Music programs. Throughout the month, we explored classroom environments, highlighted new additions to the department, and had multiple social media posts showing many different features. We were able to sit down with supervisors Valerie Mattesich and Argine Safari to learn more about these departments.

In the Art department this year, Ms. Mattesich spoke about multiple new initiatives that are happening throughout the year. First, there are the new “Open Studio” events at Pascack Valley, which occur once a month, where a student can showcase their artwork. Whether it is photographs or ceramic pieces, students are able to use these events to display their hard work to the school community.

Also in the Art Department this year is a new course called “Communication Design.” This class is geared towards students who have completed a 100-level course of a hands-on arts elective and would like an intermediate art-making experience as opposed to, in addition to, or before taking the Honors Advanced /AP level courses.

The Art teachers in both schools are collaborating on new ways to display student artwork throughout the buildings and to possibly host a juried student art show in collaboration with the Superintendent’s office.
Photo: two students working on an assignment with modeling clay 
In the Music Department this year, students are offered unique opportunities based upon their schools, as members of the Pascack Hills music program attended and participated in a music festival at Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida, while the Pascack Valley chamber choir and jazz band will be traveling to New Orleans this spring for a similar event. Both events provide incredible experiences for PVHS and PHHS music programs, as they proudly represent the PVRHSD on a national scale!

Previously, Pascack Valley High School choirs hosted Friendships concerts with schools from around the country, but this year will be the first year that we will do this on a district level as both schools will be hosting choirs from other schools. Pascack Valley will be joined by El Diamante High School from Visalia, California on March 22nd. Pascack Hills will be joined by Ardmore High School from Ardmore, Alabama on March 28th. Each choir will perform for each other and finish the event by singing together.

Both the Art and Music departments provide students with truly unique experiences that will assist them in real world situations and encounters later in life.
Photo: students playing their instruments during a band class
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