Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department enhances the academic curriculum by offering students many opportunities to explore the joys of the visual and performing arts. Our middle school students have the option to join one of our Band, Strings, or Choral Ensembles and take Visual Art and Theatre classes. These opportunities continue into our high school, where students can choose from one of these programs as well as additional opportunities in Dance Classes and/or after-school Stage Crew and Theatre Production.


“Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny.”
—Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Artists

Fine Arts Department Notables

The SJCS Fine Arts Department, founded in August of 1999, seeks to enhance the academic curriculum by offering students an opportunity to explore the joy in the visual and performing arts.

– Seniors were awarded college acceptances and scholarships to pursue their love of the Fine Arts at many schools.
– The Fine Arts Department offered several MS Minimester opportunities: En Plein Air (Visual Art), Improvise! (Theatre), Story of My Life – Soundtrack Project (Music), and Hip Hop Dance (Dance).

The Modern Dance class despite the restrictions of Covid continues to dance on!  Whenever possible, the ballet class has met outside to dance in the fresh air.  Some senior dancers have chosen to use dance in their senior projects this year.  And soon the Fine Arts floor, which is filled with the sounds of both band and strings, will have the added sounds of tap shoes as the Modern Dance class takes on Tap.

2019-20 Highlights: The theatre program produced four full-length productions and one student-directed one-act play for state competition and also sponsored two summer camps and a shop safety certification class.

The following productions were performed:
– Mainstage productions included:
Charlotte’s Web
Black Coffee
High School Musical (cancelled)
– Student-directed One Acts:
Wait, Wait…I Can Explain (directed by Philip Mosley and Alice Norton)
– Twelfth annual 8th Grade play:
Comic Book Artist

Students attended college auditions at the SC Theatre Association Convention and the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

At the South Carolina Theatre Association Secondary School Festival held in November, the student-directed one-act play, Wait, Wait…I Can Explain, was performed. Senior Alex Hoverath and junior Sara Gushue were recognized as All-Star Cast Members.
At this same conference, two teams of St. Joseph’s students competed in the sixth annual Tech Olympics, performing six technical theatre events, in the areas of Lighting, Wardrobe, Stage Crew, and Rigging. At this year’s event, one team placed 3rd in the Rigging event and placed 2nd in the state for the fastest combined time in all six events. Additionally, Sara Gushue placed 2nd in Wardrobe, Alex Hoverath and Philip Mosley placed 1st in separate Lighting events.
For the first year, the conference held a Broadway Lip-Sync Battle. Meghan Malone, Alice Norton, Sara Gushue, Ethan Montes, and Alex Hoverath prepared a lip-sync of “Your Fault” from Into the Woods and placed 3rd.
Lastly, three students participated in the audition and technical Theatre portfolio process for SC college and university programs. Among the thirteen colleges in attendance, the students received a collective total of 19 callbacks.

Sara Gushue attended the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference, held in March in Louisville, KY. Additionally, she participated in the College & University Technical Theatre interview process, receiving callbacks to more than fifty undergraduate Theatre programs.

The spring semester Speech & Improvisation class welcomed guest artist BJ Lange remotely for the final day of class.


2019-2020 Highlights: The middle school and high school Chorus, Strings and Band Ensembles each performed a full-length concert at the end of first semester.

A select group of students from the middle school ensembles performed a special performance for the annual Grandparents Day Luncheon.

Pep Band hosted a “Pep Band Camp” to learn and prepare for performing at the home Varsity Football games. The band enjoyed a record membership of 28 students for the fall season.

The Pep Band had prepared to perform as a part of the Greenville St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled.

Middle School Band students were registered to participate in the SCISA Music Festival at the USC School of Music. Unfortunately, the 7th & 8th Grade Festival Band and the 6th Grade Band had transportation issues which cancelled the trip to Columbia.

Fifteen (15) members of the Band and two members of the Choral ensemble joined other Catholic high schools to participate in the 2nd Annual Diocesan Music Clinic held in Columbia.

The 8th Grade Choirs joined the HS Choir in performing “America the Beautiful” for St. Joseph’s Veteran’s Day Assembly Presentation.

The HS Choir, along with 8th Grade ladies choir, prepared chants, hymns, and anthems for weekly All School Masses.

The HS Choir prepared and recorded choir member Alex Hoverath’s original composition for the SJCS 2020 Commencement celebration.

Visual Art

2019-20 Highlights: SJCS hosted its first virtual Art Show during the 2020 Jubilate Knight event; over 75 students participated in the Art Show!

2018-19 Highlights: SJCS hosted two in-house events: The Fall Art Exhibit featuring the work of sixteen students and one faculty member and the 12th Annual Spring Art Show with six Middle School entries and fifteen High School entries. This event is juried by local art instructors.

Spring Art Show Awards:
Best of Show – Katy Tally – “Calla Lilies”, prismacolor pencils

High School awards:
1st place – Anna Impeduglia, “Arizona Wolves”, mixed media collage
2nd place – Lizzie Latham, “SIXTIES POP!” – photograph
3rd place – Rachel Hall, “The Ornament” – charcoal drawing
Honorable mention – Lizzie Latham, “capsized” – photograph
Fan Favorite (with 71 votes) – Lizzie Latham, “capsized” – photograph

Middle School Awards:
1st place – Meredith Wiper, “Regression” – photograph
2nd place tie – Meredith Wiper, “Sentinel” – photograph
Chloe Bradley, “#LoveforLeah” – photograph
3rd place – Kate Noel, “Sundrops” – watercolor
Fan Favorite – Chloe Bradley, “Dark Woods” – photograph

Student artwork was entered in three local competitions: Youth Art Month, the 29th Annual Upstate High School Art Exhibit (March 21-April 19, 2019), and the 2019 Congressional Art Competition.

Visual Art classes created the first SJCS art installation, located in the school courtyard. The sculptures referenced work by Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose work was recently seen at Biltmore House and Gardens.

Honor Society Notables
SJCS students are eligible for membership in the International Thespian Honor Society Chapter 6388, the Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter 3535, and the National Art Honor Society Chapter 2647. The goal of these organizations is to promote high standards of scholarship and character, reward artistic achievements, stimulate interest in the study of the visual and performing arts, and promote and perpetuate cooperative efforts in the arts. Each organization has specific minimum standards for induction. Senior members are recognized at graduation with the cords of their society.
International Thespian Honor Society

2019-20 Highlights: Sara Gushue represented SJCS at the Palmetto Dramatic Association/SC Thespian State Festival, celebrating educational theatre with 32 high schools from South Carolina. She competed in one Individual Event, along with the application and interview process for the SC Student Thespian Board. Sara received the following awards:
– “Superior” for Stage Management – advanced to the International Thespian Festival.
– Named Chair of the SC Student Thespian Officer Board for the 2020-2021 school year.

Virtual International Thespian Festival:
Sara Gushue was awarded with the Broadway Licensing’s Send a Leader Diversity Grant through the Educational Theatre Association and attended a special Student Leadership Training at the virtual International Thespian Festival.
– Graduating senior Meghan Malone was featured in the 2020 virtual ITF opening performance of “This is Me” along with 90 students from 38 states and 3 countries and Broadway stars Jason Alexander, Norbert Leo Butz, Joshua Colley, E. Clayton Cornelius, Janine DiVita, Matt Gumley, Sam Harris, Annabelle Kempf, and Analise Scarpaci.

In conjunction with the fall play and Team Day, the International Thespian Society led a food drive for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, collecting 2,969 items of non-perishable food items.

Seven students were inducted into the society during the 2019-2020 school year.

The graduating senior members were Anna Rose Bradley, Margaret Coburn, Carson Crockett, Abby Horne, Anna Impeduglia, Meghan Malone, Philip Mosley, Emily Mullins, Daniel Pekalak, Annie Puckett, Joey Stansberry, Andrea Tolmos, Max Weaver, and Dante Wells.

Tri-M Music Honor Society

Twenty students were inducted into the society during the 2019-2020 school year.

The graduating senior members were Bridget Arnett, Anna Rose Bradley, Brendan Dunlavey, Abby Horne, Nick Loudermilk, Meghan Malone, Josh Masters, Alex May, Declan McKinley, Daniel Pekalak, Emily Schmidt, Joey Stansberry, Luciana Strathern, Max Weaver, and Dante Wells.

National Art Honor Society

Tessa Kelly was the student artist at the SJCS Virtual Gala.

Five students were inducted into the society during the 2019-2020 school year.

The graduating senior members were Anna Impeduglia, Alex May, Maggie Olewiler, and Andrea Tolmos.

Jubilate Arts Guild

The Jubilate Arts Guild seeks to promote an appreciation and understanding of the Fine Arts by supporting an environment in which the creative spirit of all students is enriched. In the 2019-20 school year, the Jubilate Arts Guild was responsible for:

– Successful third annual wreath sale
– Three student-run Coffeehouse events – two hosted for the High School and one for the Middle School.
– The 12th annual Jubilate Knight for the Arts Talent Competition, featuring student, alumni, and faculty performances, as well as featuring the spring Art Show and a display of departmental highlights. This event was successfully transformed into a virtual performance!

Category Winners: (determined by audience vote)
SOLO: “Into the Unknown,” performed by Kimsey Fiddie
DUET/GROUP: “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” performed by Luciana Strathern and Dante Wells
INSTRUMENTAL: “1% Kitchen 99% Editing Skills,” performed by Sara Gushue
ALUMNI: “What Do I Need With Love?”, performed by Patrick Mobley (SJCS ’14)
FACULTY: (tie) “I’ve Been Everywhere,” performed by Mr. McClendon
and “Lean on Me,” performed by Mr. & Mrs. Chapman

Judges’ Awards: (determined by panel of judges)
1st place: “1% Kitchen 99% Editing Skills,” performed by Sara Gushue
2nd place: “Your Name, Sir?”, performed by Philip Mosley and Lyle Jones
3rd place: “Glow Stick Jam,” performed by Everett Babcock

Alumni Highlights

In 2019-2020:

Ellen Willis (’13) – received credit as a Story Production Assistant on Disney’s “Frozen 2”

In 2018-2019:

Kelly Burns (’17) – was hired as the first Thespian Intern to work the annual Palmetto Dramatic Association/SC Thespian Festival weekend.

Emily Kiser (’09) – led the SJCS summer HS Improvisation camp and was accepted into the inaugural MFA Acting program at Northwestern University

Sally Cade Holmes (’06) – won a Tony Award for her work as a producer on Hadestown.

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