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Performing Arts

The Besant Hill School Performing Arts Department is dedicated to educating students of all levels in the art of theatre, film, vocal and instrumental music and musical theater. Curricular offerings include classes in acting/directing, beginning and advanced levels of instrumental and vocal ensembles, music theory, applied instruction in any instrument as well as voice and beginning and advanced levels of film.

We believe that education in the performing arts occurs not only in the classroom, but must occur in performance/production opportunities as well. Each year, Besant Hill produces mainstage theater productions, formal musical concerts and student led variety shows. Students are also actively involved in performing in the community as well.

Recent opportunities have included, Ojai Day, local battle of the band competitions, a combined concert with the Ojai Youth Symphony and the Ojai Film Festival. Occasionally, curricular offerings are supplemented with opportunities to work side by side with professional artists for lectures and workshops, sharing their knowledge of the art and business of theater and film. Here at Besant Hill School of Happy Valley, from the earliest days of Aldous Huxley to Beatrice Wood, the arts have been an integral part of every student’s education and in an era when the arts are often eliminated, here, we celebrate them!

The arts are forms of storytelling, human relations, and emotional expression. Imagination has always been a celebrated characteristic of those learning & teaching at the school. Yes, we are “still learning”, but, in the arts we’re also dreaming and in the words of playwright Jane Martin: “You gotta have a dream. It’s our dreams that make us what we are.”

Theater Program

The Besant Hill School Theater program is dedicated to educating students of all levels in the art of theater through classes in acting, directing, design, voice, dance, musical theatre, production and technical theater. Education occurs not only in the classroom, but also in production opportunities.
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Music Program

The music program at Besant Hill is performance based, providing performance opportunities for all skill levels from beginning to advanced. These opportunities include not only school concerts, variety shows and assemblies, but off campus events as well. Some of these off-campus events include Ojai Day, M.L.K. Day, Battle of the Bands, performances at other county High Schools, the Beatrice Wood Studio, and a variety of other venues.
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Dance Program

During our time together, students will be introduced to dance, movement, and creative exploration through various styles of dance such as ballet, jazz, modern, tap, social dances, and the current commercialized style known as hip hop. Students will learn dance technique through ballet barre work with correct body alignment, conditioning, traveling floor and center combinations, and choreography.
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  • Ojai Day

    Posted October 24, 2014

    Last Saturday was Ojai day, a celebration full of local art community and culture. BHS admission office had a booth to speak with local families while our students played on one of the five music stages. They were a huge hit.

  • Special Assembly Guest, Harpist Alice Giles

    Posted October 5, 2014

    Alice Giles has been celebrated as one of the world’s leading harp soloists. She performed on Sunday as part of the Chamber on the Mountain series, and today, gave a presentation during assembly to students about her trip to Antarctica.

  • Ojai Playwrights Conference Begins!

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Where do award winning playwrights and actors gather to develop new works for the American theater and beyond? Right here at Besant Hill School in Ojai!

  • Aun Aprendo Newsletter, Summer 2014

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Enjoy articles, pictures, links to videos and more in this latest edition of Aun Aprendo. You will notice a new "magazine-style" format that we know you will love! Enjoy!

  • Assembly Performances

    Posted May 9, 2014

    On Thursday we had lots of music during assembly kicked off by Yu-Chien, '15, on the cello, Cate '17 and band (with great solos by Tait,'15 and Bruce, '16!), followed by a beautiful choral piece and a reading by Roman, '15.

  • Spring Concert

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Friday, April 25, Music Chair Dave Cosby and Performing Arts Chair Dan Call led students in their final concert of the year.

  • 4/23- Special Musical Guest: Tony Khalife

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Special musical guest Tony Khalife will visit Wednesday, April 23, to perform during assembly and hold an evening workshop. Khalife is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and tabla player who captivates his audience with a brilliant interweaving of Indian, Middle-Eastern, Flamenco and Rock ‘n Roll styles. His original blend of world music inspires a vision of global unity and peace.

  • Spring Musical! April 18 & 19 at 7pm

    Posted April 15, 2014

    The Performing and Visual Art Department presents the hit off-Broadway musical “Urinetown”. Friday and Saturday night at 7pm in the Zalk Theater.

  • Musician Kief Nilsson ‘03

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Kief Nilsson ’03 performed some of his tunes and spoke about his experience as a professional touring musician. Watch a highlight video of the performance and interview.

  • Our Spring Newsletter is here!

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Download and enjoy the latest edition of Aun Aprendo.

The world is a complicated place, and there's a lot of division between people. The performing arts tend to unify people in a way nothing else does." David Rubenstein

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