The Firestone High School Visual & Performing arts program is designed for the serious student in drama, dance, visual art, or vocal and instrumental music who plans a career in an arts profession. Over a four-year period, students will earn eight credits in art electives and upon graduation will receive a diploma which reflects this concentrated study.
Enrollment and Audition
Entrance to Firestone High School Visual and Performing Arts program is based on an application and an audition process which begins during the Akron Public Schools' Open Enrollment timeline.
The Open Enrollment applications are available at any of the Akron Public Schools and administration buildings as well as all branches of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.
Please follow the instructions on the form and mail to the address on the form. Upon receipt of the Open Enrollment Application, applicants will be mailed the audition criteria as well as the audition schedule. Applicants are required to call 761-3190 to set-up a specific audition time during the time slots listed on the letter.
For students attending Litchfield whose home school is Firestone, a separate application is available at Litchfield during the Open Enrollment time frame. Please ask in the office for this application. Likewise, for a student attending a private or parochial school whose home school is Firestone, a separate application is available in the office of Firestone High School.
During the audition process, the applicant must demonstrate proficiency in an arts area based on prepared work as well as assigned tasks given during the audition. Eligibility is based on the applicant's talent, potential, abilities, and evidence of commitment to education based on the student's most current report card (academic ability, tardy and sick day pattern). At the time of audition, the applicant will be given a contract which explains the expectations of the program.
Formal notification of acceptance will occur during late May, and upon acceptance the student and parent/guardian must sign a contract which secures the commitment of the Student and the Family to abide by the rules and procedures of the visual and performing arts' program.
Requirements for All Areas
- The most current report card. (this may be a copy)
- Two (2) letters of recommendation from adults who are familiar with the student's talents. (original letters)
- A resume listing accomplishments, honors, school and community involvement from 6th-8th grade.
- A recent school photo or other picture.
The above items must be present at the time of the audition; otherwise, the student will not be auditioned. These items will not be returned.
Visual Arts Audition
- Must present a portfolio of at least six pieces of work done in the past year.
- Student will be asked to draw a still life during the interview.
Theatre Arts Audition
- Student must present a memorized monologue or poem using expression, etc.
- Student will perform an improvisation situation. (who, what, when, where)
- Student will be given something to read.
- Students must come dressed in appropriate dance clothing.
- Student must perform a three-minute dance that a teacher or the student has choreographed. (bring own music) If a 4th or 5th grader, student may demonstrate dance steps that are being learned.
- Students will be asked to follow guided directions and will be taken through basic dance steps and combinations.
- Perform a prepared piece. Be sure and bring written music with you. For vocalists, a teacher will play the accompaniment.
- Be prepared to sight-read a selection as well as do pitch matching and rhythm clapping if the teacher requests it.
About our FacilityDANCE
Kelly Berick (Dance Instructor) received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Columbia College and a Master of Education in Dance at Temple University. Both as an undergraduate and a graduate student, she performed extensively in student, faculty and guest works and was cast in dances by Dan Wagoner, Rachel Lampert, Liz Lerman and Eva Gholson. Her professional performance experience includes four years in the modern dance company, Wrenn Cook and Friends, which included serving as an artist-inresidence in over 20 South Carolina public schools. Her Master's Thesis involved creating a work for inner-city Philadelphia third graders. Hutchinson has been on the faculty at Columbia College, Temple University, The University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College. She is a member of the National Dance Association, American Association of Health, P.E., Recreation Dance, Ohio Association of Health, P.E., Recreation and Dance (Chair-Elect, Dance Performance Division), and OhioDance.MUSIC
Pamela Fiocca (Orchestra Director) received a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Music from The University of Akron. She has performed with many professional ensembles including the Akron Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Warren Chamber Orchestra, the Allegheny Summer Music Festival, and is currently a member of the Ashland Symphony and the Lakeside Summer Orchestra. She is a freelance violinist and violist in the Akron Area. She has recently studied with Catherine Tait (Eastman School of Music). Eugene Altshuler (Cleveland Orchestra), Marsha Ferritto (Kent State University), and Baroque Performance with Marilyn McDonald (Oberlin Conservatory). She is a member of the American String Teachers Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the American Federation of Musicians. Her past teaching experiences include Bellevue City Schools and Alliance City Schools.
Sally Schneider (Vocal Music Director) received a Bachelor of Music from Mount Union College and a Master's of Music Education degree from The University of Akron. She has directed high school choirs in the Akron Public Schools for 13 years. Her choirs have consistently earned superior ratings at state OMEA competitions and have been invited to present at OMEA/ACDA professional conferences. Mrs. Schneider is a Jennings scholar and was awarded Ohio's Outstanding Music Educator by OMEA in 2000. She is a member of Ohio Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and the International Association of Jazz Musicians.
Dr. David Spondike has taught the core academic music curriculum for
Akron Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts program at Firestone since 1998. Dr. Spondike holds a Doctorate in Music Theory and Composition from Kent State University (2001), a Masters in Music Education from the University of Akron (1994), a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Ohio State University in Photography and Cinema (1988), and graduated Suma Cum Laude from Mentor High School in 1980. Dr. Spondike supervises the sound crew for Firestone theatrical productions and conducts the annual spring musical. As a bassist, Dr. Spondike is an active performer in the Akron/Cleveland area, and is a member of the Delta Chi chapter of the Pi Kappa Lamba National Music Honor Society, the Ohio Music Educators Association, and the Music Educators National Conference. Dr. Spondike is an avid sailor and holds an Extra Class amateur radio license (N8SAX).
Tom Weaver (Band Director) received a Bachelor of Music Education degree and is a candidate for a Master's in Music Education degree with a conducting emphasis from Bowling Green State University. He has performed with many professional ensembles including the Toledo Symphony, the Ashland Symphony, the Mansfield Symphony, the Western Michigan Symphony, the Black Swamp Brass, the Falcon Brass, the Johnny Knorr Jazz Orchestra, the Stan Sterner Big Band, the Bob Lucia Big Band, and the Wind Jammer's International Ensemble. He is a member of the Ohio Music Education Association, the Music Educator's National Conference, the International Trombone Association, and the American Federation of Musicians. His past teaching experience includes Northmor Local Schools in Galion, Saint Patrick of Heatherdowns School in Toledo, Bowling Green State University and Garfield High School, Akron.THEATRE
Mark A. Zimmerman (Theatre Director) received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Theatre Arts and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from The University of Akron. He has directed professionally at Cleveland Public Theatre as well as at many community theatres throughout the Akron area. Zimmerman directed several productions as a graduate student at The University of Akron including a production of "Talk Radio" he directed as partial fulfillment of his masters degree. He currently serves on the board of trustees of Ohio Thespians and is a member of the education committee at the Weathervane Community Playhouse. Zimmerman is the cofounder of Second State Dinner and Theatre in Wooster, having served for two years as its business manager and resident director. He is the former Drama Director at Wooster High School and directed briefly at Hudson High School. He is a member of Educational Theatre Association (ETA) and the Ohio Theatre Alliance (OTA).VISUAL ARTS
Patricia M. Jolly received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's Equivalency degree in Art Education from The University of Akron. Additional graduate hours were taken at Kent State University in art history. She also completed training for the International Baccalaureate program for high school art students. This included writing and completing a graduate paper for the IB program from the New Mexico Highlands University. Her professional growth has been further enhanced by studying with the following national and international artists: Marilyn Phyllis, Peg Strohmenger, Cathy Welner, and Jerry Zelinchos - watercolor painters. Patricia also received course credit from The Cleveland Institute of Art and studied with Elizabeth Terrell, enamelist artist and teacher. She completed further studio work by studying with David Kostich, metalsmith/jewelry artist and fiber artist Margo Eiseman. Her own art work has been exhibited at Weathervane Theatre, Garth Andrews Studio, and Kister's Art Studio. These exhibits included works done in watercolor painting, photography, ceramics and enameling. She is a member of the National Art Education Association and on the committee for the Northeast Ohio Scholastic Art Show.
Mrs. Bobbie L Smith holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science degrees from The University of Akron. She graduated Cum Laude and was recognized as an "Outstanding Senior Student" by both the Art and English Departments. She was also awarded "Outstanding Women Student" from Women in High Education and was a USAA "AII American Scholar". She is a member of the National Art Education Association and United States Achievement Academy. She has taught at The University of Akron and is a professional commissioned artist.
The performing and visual arts facilities include a dance studio, and electronic keyboard lab, and a newly designed auditorium. As a result of a $75,000 GAR foundation Grant, students have access to state of the art graphic arts computers, a digital multitrack recording studio, and guest artist forums.
Students regularly participate in local, state and national, competitions, contests, festivals and exhibits are exposed to and educated about all art forms through collaborative projects, guest artist forums and departmental presentations.
Music students emphasize in Band, Orchestral and Vocal music. Music Ensembles available to students include: Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, String Quartet, Cello Ensemble, String Choir, Concert Choir, Women's choir, Men's chorus, Symphonic Choir, Madrigal Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The activities of the performing arts at Firestone High School are generously supported by an active Band Boosters Association, the FHS Instrumental Music Association, and the FHS Vocal Music, Theatre and Dance Association.
Major productionThe Theater Department offers at least two major productions a year in addition to opportunities for the students to perform various scenes from one act plays. Guest speakers share their expertise with the students, and students are always involved in the total production process, including set design and building, as well as running the sound and light boards. The school also has a Thespian Troupe and participates in various activities at the state level. One of the many highlights of the school year is the spring musical where outstanding productions are presented to packed houses at three consecutive performances. Additionally, students from throughout the Firestone Cluster are invited to daytime performances.
Students in the Dance Department participate in their own recitals as well as the spring musical. An important aspect of the dance curriculum is students learning to choreograph their own dances and these are performed in an intimate dance setting as well as on the main stage. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with area dance companies and also benefit from the expertise of guest artists and choreographers. The dance department collaborates regularly with other arts' areas.
Visual Art student at workStudents in the Visual Art Department have the opportunity to work in all media as they take the various courses in the four year curriculum. Students are encouraged to participate in the various art competitions at the local, state and national levels including the prestigious Scholastic Art Contest and the Holocaust Contest. Firestone High School has a history of gold and silver key winners in the Scholastic Art Contest. A highlight of each year is the Senior Art Showcase where student work is displayed in the showcases located in the main foyer of the school as well as an "Arts Extravaganza" evening which is a community Open House sponsored by the PTA.
In accordance with our contract, the Visual and Performing Magnet Arts' stresses achievement in both art and academics. To this end, students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 by the end of the each semester.
If a student's GPA falls below a 2.0 , the student will be dropped from the program. In such cases, the student and the student's parents will be advised of this status.
Should this situation occur, the following will apply: The student will be dropped from the magnet arts' program and he/she will not be able to receive the Fine Arts Endorsement on their diploma or transcripts. If Firestone is not their home high school, they would return to their home school. If Firestone is the home school, the student would schedule other appropriate classes with the guidance counselor.
It is not appropriate that a student in this program receive any grade below a C in an arts class. Should this situation occur following the first semester grade reports, the family will be notified in writing. The student maybe dropped from the program.
Schedule of Events
2010-2011 Schedule Coming Fall 2010!