The music department at Norfolk Academy strives to engender an appreciation and understanding of different forms of musical expression in all our students. We provide a wide range of opportunities for students in all divisions to learn, enjoy, and perform.
Students have the opportunity to explore brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments starting in fourth grade, and they can build their expertise with group or private lessons. The Lower School concert band program offers two levels, so that beginners have the fun of ensemble performance. In addition to concerts, the Lower School band regularly competes in a spring band festival at Busch Gardens, where it has a proud tradition of earning high ratings! In the Middle and Upper Schools, the band program transitions to jazz bands, and young musicians explore the roots of the American sound.
Norfolk Academy offers a string orchestra program allowing students to continue exploring ensemble music through all three school divisions. Students begin in the Lower School orchestra in fourth grade. The Lower School orchestra performs two concerts a year, and the group travels to give performances off-campus during the holiday season. The orchestras in Middle School and Upper School perform two concerts each year; concerts include a mix of classical and popular music. Many of the more advanced string players participate in the regional Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, which holds one of its annual concerts in the Johnson Theater.
The Lower School chorus offers young singers the chance to put their voices together for harmonious renditions of popular music. Through singing as an ensemble, students gain an understanding of intonation, choral harmony, and rhythm. As singers progress through the divisions, they can continue with the Middle and Upper School choral groups. Many decide to participate in the Winter Musical, where their soaring vocal ability puts them in the spotlight. Some also compete for spots in All-District and All-State Chorus.
Aspiring musicians can get launched into exploring musical instruments in their first years at Norfolk Academy, and lessons can take place during the school day—an advantage for busy families. Music teachers meet with students in an array of new studios upstairs in the Lower School, offering lessons on all string and band instruments, as well as piano. Musicians may continue lessons throughout their journey at Norfolk Academy.