VAIS Festival of the Arts an Eye-Opening Experience for Students and Faculty

Now in its fourth year, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) Festival of the Arts brings students and teachers from member schools together to share their passion for, and knowledge of, all aspects of visual and performing arts. Participating schools invited up to six students and Isobel D. ’21, Julia G. ’21, Teagen S. ’21, Dami O. ’21, Maeve M. ’22, and Gabby G. ’23 represented Foxcroft this year.
Our association with other schools is often centered around athletic competitions, leadership workshops, STEM events, and social activities. The same opportunities do not always exist in the arts. VAIS saw and filled this need by creating the Festival of the Arts. 

Students spent the day learning, creating, performing, and collaborating with teachers and students from other schools. They were exposed to different mediums and new ideas in workshops like: “From Sheep to Sweater,” where they learned how to spin wool, and “Shattering the Myth of 10,000 Hours: Let's Practice Smarter!” 

This year’s festival had more music offerings and featured not one but two sessions led by Foxcroft teachers:

“Solo or Duet?: Collaborative Masterclass” with Chorale Director/Music Coordinator Amy Asbury and Latin & Music Teacher Eric Dombrowski
Ms. Asbury and Mr. Dombrowski worked hands-on with students who brought sheet music and performed for the group in their workshop. Specifically for singers, the workshop provided pointers on the collaborative performance process and answered questions like: Who sets the tempo? Who controls the volume? Where is your entrance? When is your cut-off? Is this a solo or duet?
“Storytelling: Making Your Voice Heard” with English Department Chair Steve McCarty and English Teacher Lindsay O’Connor
A good story is more in the way you tell it, not the action. Storytelling blends the genres of narrative non-fiction and drama for an entertaining performance. So explained Mr. McCarty and Dr. O'Connor in their workshop where they addressed how to brainstorm a compelling situation, effectively craft a narrative arc, and then present it to an audience. 

For our artists, the opportunity to collaborate and expand their horizons, to be inspired by others, and to bring rekindled passions back to Foxcroft and share with classmates can be rejuvenating. 

"The VAIS Festival of the Arts was a very eye-opening experience about what different areas art has to offer,” reflected Gabby G. ’23. “There was a variety of art workshops, whether it was music, writing, drawing, or even creating your own yarn. I learned about the different aspects of creativity and enjoyed my experience at this festival. I would definitely go back next year and try some of the other workshops. It was both significant and worthwhile. Even though I did not go to class at Foxcroft that day, I still learned so much."
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.