Performing & Visual Arts Department

The Department of Performing & Visual Arts

Welcome to the New Rochelle High School Arts Website!

The Arts Department of New Rochelle High School is an expansive program that integrates Visual Art, Media Arts, Music, Dance and Theater Arts, and also provides an impressive Performing and Visual Arts Education Program (PAVE), which enables students to major in the Arts.

As the largest department of its kind in Westchester County, the NRHS Arts Department encourages students to appreciate this multicultural environment and to bring their own unique cultural perspective to their work. In addition, the department emphasizes differentiated instruction, in order to address the diverse learning needs of all students without compromising the essential knowledge and skills students are expected to learn.

We are a forward looking department: Our Arts wing houses a dance studio, music rooms, art and sculpture classrooms, and also includes a computer graphics lab. We take pride in the fact that many of our talented teachers are exhibiting artists and practicing performers, who are devoted, life-long learners. They encourage our students to exhibit work in our Museum of Arts and Culture, as well as to participate in public shows and to perform regularly in our theater productions.

The PAVE Program

PAVE is the premier arts program at New Rochelle High School. Begun in 1999, our teacher/artists designed PAVE to develop talented students in the arts. Every spring, rising ninth and tenth graders who show promise in one of the four art
forms—dance, music, theater or visual arts are encouraged to prepare for a competitive audition. Each year our very gifted students who show promise join the ranks of the thousands who have gone before them—they experience the PAVE
Advantage. They have the opportunity to develop a high level of artistry second to none that helps prepare them for success in college and beyond through a comprehensive sequence of courses specific to their arts concentration.
Successful completion of the requirements enables them to earn a “Performing Arts Major” seal on their high school diploma. Graduates of PAVE have been awarded significant college scholarships to top colleges. They are well-positioned to become the next generation of professional artists and arts leaders.

Learn about the PAVE Program

PAVE Dance

Dance students study technique, form, and choreography, through multiple styles of dance, while building their bodily flexibility and strength. In addition to PAVE courses, they also enroll in “Performance Dance” classes. These classes build students’ capacity to perform more deeply at higher levels. They are expected to demonstrate their proficiency in both solo and ensemble settings.

PAVE Music

Music students major in voice or a band or string instrument. They learn advanced performance skills specific to their concentration. They perform throughout the school year in both small and large ensembles. In addition to their PAVE classes, our musicians are expected to take leading roles in their major school ensemble.

PAVE Theater

Theater students acquire skills in acting, directing, stagecraft and playwriting. They gain skill in concentration, expressing emotion, movement, memorization strategies, and relationships between characters through monologues, dialogues, scene work, and improvisation. Students complete their theater sequence with courses in Script Writing and Musical Theater in America.

PAVE Visual Arts

Visual Arts’ students master the Elements of Art and Principles of Design through projects in both 2-D and 3-D. They learn to combine ideas about line, shape form, color, texture, space and value that show balance, emphasis and movement. In addition to their PAVE classes, visual arts’ students complete their arts sequence with additional studio art classes.

Auditions for the PAVE Program

Auditions for the incoming PAVE class are held every Spring. Rising ninth and tenth graders converge on House IV one afternoon in March to compete for a chance join PAVE. Many applicants have spent weeks and months preparing for this day. They have worked with their arts teachers to perfect their performance skills for this special day. Our PAVE teachers welcome them with high expectations. The auditions requirements are summarized below.

Dance students choreograph a short solo dance with
their own choice of music.

Band, string or vocal students prepare a NYSSMA
Level III solo, demonstrate sightreading skills and
perform scales or verbatim rhythmic and tonal

Theater candidates are expected to memorize and
perform one character from a given scene. They are
also expected to improvise a scene with given

Visual Arts
Visual artists present a portfolio of three
representative works, create an observational drawing,
and a drawing from imagination.