Over the years, Malden Catholic has been known for academic rigor and scholarly pursuits, but with the addition of the Girls Division in 2018, the school now boasts of a newly expanded, multi-faceted arts program.
“Nurturing and balancing both right and left brain is critical to promoting the whole person,” stated Lisa Cenca, Principal of the Girls Division. “Creative arts help kids think more critically and clearly,” she added. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, high school students who take music courses score significantly better on exams in certain subject including math and science, than their nonmusical peers. Over 112,000 student records were studied and those who participated in music, who had higher achievement in music, and who were highly engaged in music had higher exam scores across all subjects.
As the foundation of the expanded program, nine new courses including choir, advanced choir, introduction to dance, jazz, contemporary dance, drama, musical theater, speech and debate I and II have all been added to the curriculum. Fine arts courses also balance out the academic structure with drawing, digital art and photography.
In a time when many institutions have cut funding for the arts, Malden Catholic has made a significant investment and targeted skilled teachers to support the expansion. Experienced educators were added to the team. Ellen and Erin Keith who have successfully run Spotlight Productions and are leading the MC drama classes, Stacie Ferriera, an accomplished dancer and instructor for twenty years, is running the dance program, Deirdre Foley and Devan Pecoraro, both experienced high school debaters, are working with students for speech and debate and Lora Tamagini, worked with Catholic and public high school choirs for 25 years and is pursuing her EdD in Educational Leadership and Curriculum. In addition, Brian O’Donnell, an accomplished artist himself, teaches drawing, digital art and photography.
In celebration of program, Malden Catholic hosted a Winter Arts Night on Wednesday, December 11th, providing an opportunity for the community to enjoy the students’ hard work and tremendous talent. Over 250 people flowed throughout the building, moving between the cafeteria, auditorium and the Hub and enjoyed 13 different rotating performances. The MC Choir sang a holiday repertoire in the cafeteria, the MC rock band as well as the dance company performed in the Hub while drama and contemporary dance shined on the auditorium stage. The school also displayed the students’ fine art drawings, paintings and sculptures throughout the halls.
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