An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Andrew Krus, director of performing and visual arts

Welcome to the 100th year of arts education at Lakeside. With classes beginning to pick up steam, I want to encourage you to actively engage with your student’s art making. Our experience as educators shows us that every student needs active family support to make the most of their arts classes.

You may ask yourself: How can I help if I’m not an artist myself? While it’s true that the student alone can throw that pot, write that scene, or learn to sing and play in tune, there are a few easy things you can do to help your student develop in their art form:

  • Show interest in their work. Ask your student what they did in their arts classes today. Ask what they might do outside of class to get closer to their goals. Ask often. Ask for detail and get them talking about what they are working on. Most importantly, show that you value their effort regardless of the outcome. 
  • Help them persevere. No matter how talented a person may be, the arts will reveal a student’s limitations long before it reveals their talent. I invite you to think of participation in the arts like participation in athletics: Help them stick with it through the challenges and failures.
  • Be a patron. Add Lakeside visual art shows, plays, and concerts to your family calendar. Invite your friends and family to attend with you. See below for a list of fall events and happenings.
Fall arts events

The annual visual arts faculty show opens with a reception Thursday, Oct. 10 in Pigott Family Arts Center from 2:15-3 p.m. The show includes ceramics, drawings, paintings, photography, and sculpture, and features the work of arts faculty Kyle Cook, Jacob Foran, Jodi Rockwell, and Barry Wong. The show will stay up for about a week and the gallery is open during school hours. Please stop by and see the incredible work of our faculty!

The pop-up Depot for Middle School performing arts clothes is scheduled for Oct. 14 prior to the Parents and Guardians Assoc. general membership meeting, from 6-6:30 p.m. It will also be open on Oct. 15, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for students in the Spline at the Middle School. This program started about 10 years ago and is a great opportunity for families to get their students outfitted for the upcoming performances. With students growing so quickly in their middle school years, we want to make sure that every student has comfortable concert clothes. PGA volunteers will set up a few tables of gently-used, concert-ready clothing and shoes. There is no cost; all items are free. If you are unable to shop at the Middle School, parents and guardians are welcome to shop at the Rummage Depot, located at 14201 4th Ave. NE, during Rummage work parties.  Please contact the PGA ( for more information.

There will be four fall music concerts.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. All Upper School music students in the jazz band, choir, and symphony orchestra perform in St. Nicholas Hall at the Upper School. 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. All Middle School orchestras (grades 5-8) perform in Evans Theater at the Middle School.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m. All Middle School bands (grades 6-8) perform in Evans Theater at the Middle School.
  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. Middle School choirs (grades 6-8) perform in Evans Theater at the Middle School.

 The Upper School fall play will be “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare. The play is a pastoral comedy with lots of romance, intrigue, music, and even some wrestling! Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16.

Upper School performing arts retreats are scheduled for Nov. 15 - 17. These retreats provide an intense, collaborative experience that sets the stage for the rest of the year.

Our 6th grade drama class performance will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Evans Theater at the Middle School – students perform pieces that they have written.

Closing out the fall, Lakeside’s New Works Festival will feature the results of the 8th-grade playwriting project and the Upper School Drama IV students’ participation in ACT Theatre's Young Playwrights Program. That performance will be Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in St. Nicholas Hall at the Upper School.

McKay Chapel upgrade

When you visit the Upper School campus this year you will notice a big change in McKay Chapel. This historic space was renovated over the summer and now boasts exceptional acoustics for music rehearsals, performances, lectures, and other community events. We’ve added a variety of acoustic treatments and modern audio-visual elements while retaining the classic appearance and beauty of the space. Among the improvements are improved lighting, better heating, and a new hardwood floor. The renovation of McKay was supported by parents’ and guardians’ donations to the Annual Fund. It’s an honor to be a part of a community that is committed to exceptional arts education.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our arts events. Thank you for supporting your student as they develop their interest and talent in the arts, and all the places that will take them.

Andrew Krus is director of performing and visual arts. You can reach him at 206-440-2915.