Lois Cowles Harrison Center For The Visual and Performing Arts - Departments and Education

Departments and Education

Harrison is the house for students to take their Arts classes, while general education classes are taken at Lakeland High School. The school day is divided into 7 periods. Underclassmen take five general education periods in Lakeland High School, while their two arts classes are taken in Harrison. Upperclassmen resort to four general education classes, and three arts classes in Harrison. There are 11 departments in Harrison: Dance, Motion Picture Arts, Choral, Guitar, Piano, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Musical Theater, Theater, Theater Tech, and Visual Arts. Students take their department class plus one more (two if upperclassmen) other class that will enhance their knowledge in the area. All departments require an audition to be accepted. While students that attend Harrison, are dignified as "Harrison" students, they can also take part of extra-curricular activities offered in Lakeland High School such as: Sports, Clubs, Leadership, FCA, and others.


One of the original departments that surged up with the school's opening, is dedicated to students' learning in Contemporary Dance and Ballet. Areas such as Jazz Dance, Hip Hop and Modern Dance are also explored. Students also take classes in dance history, functional anatomy, and improvisation. The department hosts two concerts and two senior choreographed concerts.

Motion Picture Arts

One of the two new departments that came in with the 2008 expansions, MPA dedicates itself into enhancing students' knowledge in film writing, film screening, directing, and editing. Screenwriting in three levels, Digital Editing in four levels, and Cinematography are the classes taken by students who are accepted in MPA.


Opening with the school itself, Chorus is as well one of the oldest departments in Harrison, starting off with 21 kids. Chorus is dedicated into improving vocal technique, chorus music, music history, theory, and music appreciation. Students can also take an AP Theory course, or a World Choir class which enhances in music from different regions of the world. There are currently three choirs: Women's for girls in grades 9-10, Chamber for boys in grades 9-12 and girls in 11-12, and Harrison Singers, an all-combined choir.


The other new department that opened with the 2008 expansion, Guitar is dedicated to helping the basic and advanced knowledge in Guitar playing, improvisation, theory, and technique. Students in Guitar are also eligible for the AP theory course, which involves a rigorous curriculum in theory, sight reading, and composition.


An original department, Piano enhances knowledge in basic and advanced skills in piano playing as well as music history, theory, classical and modern piano music, and improvisation. Piano hosts two concerts per year, exploring in all types of repertoire including classical, jazz, and blues music.

Jazz Band

A recent incorporated department, Jazz Band explores jazz history, different types of jazz, theory, and instrument technique. Jazz Band also participates in various concerts hosted by other departments.


Along with Chorus, one of the oldest and most successful departments in Harrison. Orchestra strives for its students to master the skill of symphonic sound through instrument tech, music appreciation, and theory. Harrison's Symphonic Orchestra is well known around the nation and the world, going to Chicago every three years to play in its art festival and going to international festivals around Europe.

Musical Theater

One of Harrison's most prestigious departments, musical theater focuses in the development of acting, singing, and dancing. Students take classes in Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Swing, and Fusion for Dance and practice different techniques for Vocal. Acting is categorized by theater history and acting technique.


Harrison's theater department is another original, going back to the day of Harrison's inception. The theater department is categorized by theater performance, with emphasis on acting technique, improvisation, creative writing, and directing. Students also engage in dramatic theory, theater history, and stagecraft.

Theater Tech

One of Harrison's most important departments, Theater Tech is in charge of every aspect of the show without performing in it. Students take control of the theater sound system for concerts, lights, stage props, stagecraft, and other aspects that are needed to run the show. Students also take part of a semester in acting. Students in theater tech are fully in charge on how shows will go. Teachers are only present to give some directions and supervise.

Visual Arts

Harrison's renowned Visual Arts department is categorized by all forms of art: Painting, Sculpting, Photography, and Drawing. Students also take part of 2-D and 3-D animations using the 3-D art lab in Harrison. Harrison as well has their own gallery of all projects done so forth by the Visual Arts department and examples are also shown in the nearby Polk Museum of Art. Students are constantly recognized around the nation for their creations and many can be seen in places such as the Smithsonian in Washington D.C, Museum of Miami, and others.

Read more about this topic:  Lois Cowles Harrison Center For The Visual And Performing Arts

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