Performing Arts

In addition to our college preparatory school curriculum, the Besant Hill School Performing Arts Department is dedicated to educating students of all levels in the art of theater, 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
  • voice and beginning and advanced levels of film

We believe that education in the performing arts occurs not only in the classroom, but must also occur in performance/production opportunities as well. Each year, Besant Hill School produces spectacular 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, the 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. During these special events, artists share their knowledge of the art and business of theater and film with students. 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. We’re committed to maintaining this even in an era when the arts are often being eliminated from education. At Besant Hill School, 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, with the arts, we’re also dreaming. In the words of playwright Jane Martin, “You gotta have a dream. It’s our dreams that make us what we are.”

You gotta have a dream. It’s our dreams that make us what we are.

Jane Martin

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 theater, production and technical theater. Education occurs not only in the classroom but also in production opportunities.

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’s High Schools, the Beatrice Wood Studio, and a variety of other venues.

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 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.