Recognizing that the performing arts are at the core of human existence, The Performing Arts Department offers music and drama ensembles and classes in a supportive environment that provides for performance-based assessment and process-oriented learning. Students are encouraged to exceed previous levels of achievement, discover self-confidence, develop self-esteem, build self-discipline, and achieve self-awareness.

The performing arts at Rivers aim to help students understand how to listen to and interact with other performing artists as well as to express themselves confidently, articulately, and artistically. Teachers are models for active learning, risk-taking, and self-expression. Students are taught the arts for the sake of the arts and as a model for all learning. Motivated students are prepared for advanced study.

Student musicians can enroll in orchestra, chamber ensembles, Big Band, jazz combos, and men’s and women’s choruses that meet during the school day and perform regularly for the Rivers community and beyond. Student musicians may also take private lessons during the day with the Conservatory’s renowned faculty.

Students interested in drama take part in both curricular and co-curricular performance opportunities. During the day, classes in drama and playwriting are offered; after school, students can audition for roles in the co-curricular drama program. Rivers Upper School drama group, the Nonesuch Players, present a fall drama production and a winter musical each year. Additionally, the Middle School stages a production each spring, alternating annually between a musical and a play. Upper School students may also participate in the annual National Shakespeare Competition and the Upper School Drama Club.

2023-24 Nonesuch Players Season

Upper School Fall Play:
November 9, 10, & 11, 2023

Middle School Fall Play:
November 16 & 17, 2023

Upper School Winter Musical:
February 22 & 23, 2024

Middle School Spring Musical:
May 16, 17, & 18, 2024

Music Ensembles

Select String Ensemble (US) - Ben Carson, director
Select Wind Ensemble (US) - Dan Shaud, director
Select Piano Ensemble (US) - Paola Plano, director
Chamber Ensemble (US) - Dan Shaud, director
Chamber Ensemble (MS) - Dan Shaud, director

Rivers Honors Big Band (US) - Philippe Crettien, director
Rivers Big Band (US) - Bill Jones, director
Select Combo I (US) - Philippe Crettien, director
Select Combo II (US) - Philippe Crettien, director
Intermediate Jazz Band (US) - Philippe Crettien, director
Beginning Jazz Ensemble (MS) - Clayton DeWalt, director
Middle School Jazz Ensemble (MS) - Bill Jones, director

Select Chorus (US) - Thomas Marks, director
Chorus (US) - Thomas Marks, director
Middle School Chorus - Thomas Marks, director