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Performing Arts

Students clap in Centennial Hall

Music

A young violinist practices

 

The Music Department at Haverford is rich and varied, offering opportunities for beginners and experts alike. Students sing, perform, play percussion instruments, and study guitar. They use cutting edge equipment to orchestrate, arrange, and compose music, while studying the works of the master composers. Our faculty, themselves practicing musicians, share their love for their art and bring out the best in each boy.

Through musical study, students learn the value of perseverance, dedication, and memorization. They recognize patterns and develop inner discipline. These skills and lessons benefit their classroom studies and social relationships.


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Theater

Boys perform in the musical Carousel

 

In Haverford's theater program, boys get hands-on experience in every facet of theater. They learn acting technique, while studying a variety of skills, from lighting design to stage combat. Boys begin with introductory theater courses. As they progress through the program, they build the skills to complete the culminating project: an opportunity to write, direct, cast, and produce their very own play.

The Haverford School offers theater courses in the Middle and Upper School. Our 655-seat proscenium theater, Centennial Hall, hosts three mainstage productions every year. Centennial Hall is also a popular venue for professional production companies outside the School.

 

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Contact our theater department

    Meet Our Faculty

    Duane Case

    Duane Case Music

    Duane teaches Lower School music and directs the Treble Choir. He performed in the Westminster Chapel Choir, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and was one of the youngest singers invited to perform with the renowned Westminster Choir. He has performed at the Academy of Music, Avery Fisher Hall, and Carnegie Hall under the baton of Joseph Flummerfelt, Ricardo Muti, Robert Shaw, and Kurt Masur. He holds a BME from Westminster Choir College and a M.Ed from the University of Delaware.

    Music is a complex layering of technical skill, emotional understanding, and creativity that is best learned when students have the opportunity to experience it in multiple ways; moving, listening, reading, writing, improvising, and performing.

    Valerie Case

    Valerie Case Music

    Valerie is a Lower School music teacher and the accompanist for Treble Choir. While her principal instrument is the piano, having studied with Marcantonio Barone and Harold Zabrack, she also held a position with Westminster Choir College's Symphonic Choir. Valerie is an experienced music educator and choral director who held positions in the Springfield school district and The Malvern School. She holds a BME from Westminster Choir College and an M.A. from the University of Delaware.

    Most days, when I enter the classroom, the boys ask me 'what country are we visiting today?'

    Jennifer Hallman

    Jennifer Hallman Middle School Theater

    Jennifer founded two philanthropic theatre companies, Fourth Wall Productions and H.O.P.E. Players (Helping Other People Endure). She has directed and been cast in various productions, including playing Ouiser in "Steel Magnolias" and Crystal in "Little Shop of Horrors." She has performed in multiple cities' Fringe Festivals as well as the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). She holds a B.A. from West Chester University.

    Theater makes anyone who practices it a better person. Students who have the opportunity to take theater classes in school are constantly putting themselves in other people's shoes (literally and figuratively), in turn creating a climate that cultivates change.

    Darren Hengst

    Darren Hengst Theater at The Haverford School

    Darren's extensive Philadelphia-area acting experience includes performances at The Walnut Street Theatre, the Arden Theatre, and the 11th Hour Theatre Company Next Step Concert Series. He has performed in "Les Miserables," "Of Mice and Men," "Sunday in the Park with George." One of the greatest honors of his career was singing for Stephen Sondheim at the Arden Theatre’s first Master Storyteller Award. He holds a B.A. from Lycoming College and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

    Acting is about understanding human behavior. When we break down a character’s decisions and circumstances, the boys realize that they can relate their life experience to the character’s situation.

    Mark Hightower

    Mark Hightower Music

    Director of the Upper School music program at Haverford, Mark has sung under the batons of several prestigious conductors in conjunction with the New York Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Mark has sung in several operas and played bass, guitar, and piano for several musicals. He holds a BME and an M.A. from Westminster Choir College.

    Equally as important is teaching our boys to be people of integrity who care about others not because it looks good on their resume or because it's a savvy political move, but because it's the right thing to do.

    John Stroud

    John Stroud Music

    John directs the Centennial Singers, The Haverford School Celebrantes, and is a Middle School music teacher. At Temple's Esther Boyer College of Music, he studied with Alan Harler and received the Elaine Brown Tribute Award for choral conducting in 2001. John is associate director of the world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale and is also artistic director of the Media Chamber Chorale. He holds a BME from Susquehanna University and an M.A. from Temple University.

    We want the absolute best for our boys here at Haverford. We're committed not just to excellence in teaching, but to being at the top of our fields professionally.

    Stephen "Dex" Woodward

    Dex got his start as a freelance stagehand in the Boston and Massachusetts Bay area working as a stage electrician, scene shop carpenter, fly operator, costume craftsperson, digital film projectionist. Odd jobs in New England theaters led him on the path to general management and operation of performing arts venues. He has served in that role for Emerson College's Office of the Arts in Boston and the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX. 

    Theater teaches many lessons that are applicable to everyday life, including cooperation, patience, problem solving, and adaptability.