With full time faculty members experienced in instrumental and vocal music, theatre, and dance, students have the opportunity to explore all facets of performing during their high school careers. Mercyhurst Prep involves students in three main-stage theatre productions, two dance recitals, two choral concerts, two show choir performances, and two orchestral performances annually.
Mercyhurst Prep music students are consistently selected to perform in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State ensembles and The National Association for Music Education (MENC) All-Eastern Conference ensembles. Instrumental and vocally talented Lakers also have the chance to play and sing actual Broadway orchestrations for two full-scale musicals each school year.
Our performing arts department has long been recognized as the top high school theater program in the region. In 1995, Mercyhurst Prep’s production of Nunsense was selected to perform at the International Thespian Society’s National Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the fall of 2002, Mercyhurst Prep was the third school in the country to receive the rights to produce the musical Les Miserables, and in 2006 the theatre department was selected to perform at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. In fall 2014 MPS was privileged to host the first high school performance of Cats in Northwestern PA. The MPS performing groups also perform every other year at Walt Disney World in Florida and have even appeared on ABC as part of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Keeping with the MPS mission, performing arts Lakers also actively use their art to provide service to others. Each year show choir does a series of performances at local senior living centers, the school invites area grade schools to view a daytime performance of our musical, and visual art students design and paint murals in local educational institutions. In addition, the school sponsors school-day workshops in the performing arts and most years an art competition for elementary school students.
Dance Company is a course designed to strengthen and improve the work of the already trained dancer through in-class work and performance opportunities. The main emphasis of the course is to improve the technical performance of the dancers in several different dance genres. Other aspects such as choreography, terminology, and dance history will also be incorporated. [read more about Dance Company]
This ensemble is comprised of competent instrumentalists who perform for liturgies, the school musicals and the Christmas and spring concerts. The objective of this course is to instill the abilities of blend, dynamics, balance, expression, and taking of directions in an ensemble setting. This course is for the student who owns or will rent an instrument and is active in playing that instrument. Some instruments may be borrowed from the music department if we have such on hand. The instruments that can be part of the orchestra are all of the woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion instruments including such “non-orchestra” instruments like the Electric Bass. The class is designed as an outlet for any student who plays instruments here at MPS. [read more about Instrumental Music]
The MPS Theatre Department produces two fully staged musicals and one play each school year performed in our newly renovated Mercyhurst Preparatory School Performing Arts Center [PAC]. Our Theatre Department has long been recognized as the top high school theater program in the region. [read more about Theatre]
The Vocal Music Department offers various courses for the beginner as well as the accomplished singer. [read more about Vocal Music]
“The Mercyhurst Prep Performing Arts program is a family from which no one is turned away. It cultivates an environment where individuals are encouraged to explore their unique gifts and creativity. You have opportunities to learn about yourself and others while working in pursuit of a common goal. With dedication, care, and good humor, the MPS family presents not only performances full of talent, but full of heart.”
“At a time when many schools are choosing to cut their music and arts programs, Mercyhurst Prep continues to value the creative arts as an important part of their unparalleled preparation for life. I truly believe that the arts help to create a more well rounded student whether or not s/he plans to major in a creative arts field. I am so grateful to MPS for supporting these programs, including providing top quality teachers, a wide variety of classes, and state of the art equipment. Both of my children have been able to not only flourish in the arts programs at MPS, but have received credit for taking music and art classes as part of the International Baccalaureate program.“