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Student Life

Fine Arts at St. Ambrose Academy

In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art. Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable.

Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colours, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen. It does so without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery.

The Church has need especially of those who can do this on the literary and figurative level, using the endless possibilities of images and their symbolic force. Christ himself made extensive use of images in his preaching, fully in keeping with his willingness to become, in the Incarnation, the icon of the unseen God.

– Pope Saint John Paul II – Letter to Artists

Fine Arts

Students at St. Ambrose Academy are encouraged to pursue fine arts education through their elective studies and extracurricular involvement during Junior and Senior High. 


Art studies include historical and modern works of art, medium technique study, basic anatomy, 3-dimensional study, and cultural art. Art curriculum at St. Ambrose is designed to complement and enhance the core subjects. Students learn creative methods to reflect on, explore, and apply material from their language arts, religion, history, and science classes. Art is offered as a semester class in Junior High and as an elective in Senior High.

Junior High Art

Students are taught to use a wide range of media to complete projects that demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in Saint Ambrose Academy’s larger curriculum.

Senior High Art

Students are introduced to a variety of media with an emphasis on fine arts skills. Freshmen and sophomores work on principles of design, form, and space to have a solid foundation for visual expression. Juniors and seniors develop techniques for college art classes and create pieces suitable for a portfolio.


Band electives include individual instrument lessons, group lessons, end-of-semester performances, and other opportunities for playing publicly. Students in these programs also prepare for Solo/Ensemble competitions. Band is offered as an elective in Junior and Senior High the Overture Band Program.

Director: Nadine Kerl


Drama is offered as a Senior High elective course. The first semester of this course focuses on acting skills. Students will develop concentration, characterization, physical agility, and creativity through the use of improvisation, pantomime, monologues, and directing. The second semester focuses on bringing great literary texts to life, from Greek tragedy to Shakespeare to modern theater, using the skills built in the first semester. The year will culminate in presenting rehearsed scenes. 


Music courses offer students an opportunity to focus on choral, solo, and ensemble singing. Music theory and the history of music in the Church is also taught. Music is offered as a semester class in Junior High and as an elective in Senior High.


Theater is offered to students through St. Ambrose Academy’s annual musical theater program. Students can become involved on stage, backstage, or in the pit orchestra. The musical is offered to students in Junior High and Senior High as an extracurricular. Students must be in Senior High to participate in backstage management or to audition for a seat in the pit orchestra.

Musical Director: Angela Hineline

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