The arts hold a vital position in the academic program at Saint Stephen’s. Exposure to a full curriculum that encourages an understanding of creative work and the development of skills to pursue performing and visual arts spans our students’ experience from pre-kindergarten through their senior year.

Younger students work with performing and visual arts instructors as part of their regular routine of classes. As students mature, they complete required courses in the arts and are given opportunities to add to those experiences by choosing from a wide variety of electives.

Visual Arts

Color and line, pencil and paper, camera or brush – Saint Stephen’s fosters the confidence and the skills that allow all of our students to express their ideas in visual media. From Fledgling Falcons to seniors, visual arts are part of the regular class schedule. Students explore various visual media with teachers who are specialists in their fields. They exhibit and place in numerous juried art shows, including the Sarasota International Airport Competition, Congressional Art Competition, Gamble Plantation Art Competition, NCECA K-12 National Ceramics Competition Exhibition, Florida Art Education Association K-12 Digital Exhibition, and Southern Teachers Agency Calendar Art Competition.

In the spring, the Pre-K through 8th Grade Art Show and the Upper School Alexi Tucker Memorial Juried Art Show highlight student achievements and successes in the visual arts. Our Arts Conservatory candidates annually cap off their senior year with a celebrated opening and a month-long show at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.


Our youngest Falcons begin with simple instrumental, vocal and movement instruction. A rich World Music Drumming program deepens understanding of rhythms and of coordinated group performance for students from kindergarten through middle school.

As the students grow, early music education methodologies and Orff-Schulwerk ensembles progress to orchestral string studies for fourth grade students, and then wind instruments and percussion in band for fifth graders. Students in 6th-12th grade are offered many elective courses in vocal and instrumental performance to continue their enrichment. In the Middle and Upper Schools, the Bands and Orchestras perform regularly at school and community events, football games, adjudications, festivals, and showcase concerts.

Crescendos is an after-school program offered to second and third grade students. In the Intermediate School, students can continue their vocal interests with the Treble Makers group. They learn songs, play Theatre games, and develop performance skills.


Saint Stephen’s has a long and colorful history in the performing arts. For decades, the all-school musical was one of the focal points of each academic year. The production brought the entire school community together. With the growth of our school, the musical tradition has continued with two productions.

The Lower and Intermediate School productions are in November, and the Middle and Upper School productions are in March. Auditions are used to cast the shows, but every student who would like to perform in the musical production may. Recent Lower and Intermediate School productions include Disney’s Finding Nemo, Jr., Dreamworks Madagascar Jr., The Wizard of Oz, and Seussical. Our most popular Middle and Upper School productions have been Grease School Edition, The Addams Family, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., and Into the Woods Jr.

All sixth-grade students take Performing Arts for one interim. Students are given an introduction to theatre through improvisational games and short plays. Seventh and eighth-grade students are given theatre as an elective each year. They study the foundations of live theatre, practice non-verbal and verbal methods of communication, and learn to improvise and build creativity through storytelling.

Theatre 1 and 2 and Theatre Production 2 and 3 are electives offered in the Upper School. These classes teach students how to perform as actors and how to create a production. They learn improvisation, vocal technique, theatre history, appreciation, and script analysis. Each year, all theatre students write a 10-minute play and enter it into the Sarasota Theatre Odyssey Student Playwrighting Competition. We value this competition because the finalists watch their plays directed and performed by professionals at the Jane B. Cook Theatre at the Asolo. Additionally, as part of the Upper School Theatre Program, students can attend the three-day Florida Theatre Conference. Participants get to immerse themselves in hour-long workshops and meet other theatre students from across the state.