ith both an international and
national reputation, The Webb School's Fine Arts program is admired for
the breadth of its course offerings and the outstanding quality of the school's
faculty. Upper level students at Webb (grades 9-12) are required to
take one class in the Fine Arts each year, three of which must be in a different
area of the Fine Arts. The faculty members, who have degrees from some of
America's finest conservatories and universities, give their students both
outstanding instruction (in private lessons and classes) and insiders' views of
the fine arts as working professionals.
Strings has affected my life in almost every good aspect from time management to public performance skills to coordination, but the best thing about playing an instrument is that once you begin to play, your instrument becomes a part of you and you find yourself becoming more and more in love with playing.
-elizabeth bigham '18, violin
With two full productions a year, rehearsals three to five days a week, classes in beginning and advanced levels of acting and theater, one-act productions, and trips to see plays in Nashville, The Webb School is the perfect place to study theatre. Under the guidance of a director and technical director, students run every part of the major productions. Plus, Webb's Theatre Department belongs to the International Thespian Society, honoring student achievement in theatre for more than 80 years and has a membership of over two million, from pre-professional thespians to emeritus levels.
Ruth Cordell serves as Webb's Theatre Director. A recognized actress with 35 years of experience in television, film and theater, Ms. Cordell works closely with Webb students both as a director and teacher of speech, theater, and acting. Under her direction, Webb Students have been invited to perform at the internationally acclaimed "Fringe Festival" in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms. Cordell is member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Recording Artists and Actors' Equity Association. A working actress, Ms. Cordell most recently appeared in the Tennessee Repertory Theatre's productions of "Cabaret" and "All My Sons".
Webb performers benefit from the opportunity to take Theatre I, Theatre II and Advanced Acting classes.
Webb's choir and string ensemble perform both on and off campus throughout the year. Rehearsals take place at Webb's Lundin Fine Arts Center, which also includes a piano lab and rooms for individual practice. Courses in Classical Piano I and II, Music Appreciation, Guitar, and Music Theory are offered.
Webb's choir is both an academic class and a performing ensemble. Students learn to read and sing music from a variety of periods as they work to prepare and perform together. The Choir performs both on and off campus throughout the year with the December Service of Lessons and Carols and the Spring Concert serving as highlights.
Janet Linton chairs The Webb School's Department of Fine Arts. Mrs. Linton conducts the choir as well as teaching piano, music theory, and music appreciation. Before coming to Webb, Mrs. Linton taught at universities in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee. As a concert pianist, Mrs. Linton specializes in contemporary music (she has performed for composers Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, Ned Rorem, Alice Parker, and Randall Thompson) and most recently performed as part of an evening of world premiers at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
As both an academic class and performance group, Webb's string ensemble is an excellent opportunity for both new and experienced musicians to develop their skills. Strings I, which includes instruction for players on the violin, viola, cello, and double bass, gives Webb students the opportunity to learn basic string techniques, music reading and musical terms. Strings II is for more experienced musicians as music reading and performance skills are stressed in preparation for more advanced orchestras. Both the Strings I and Strings II ensembles perform concerts each school semester.
Webb's string ensemble is led by Susan Mullen. Ms. Mullen, a conductor and violinist, has performed with
Orquesta Divertimento in Costa Rica, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Fort Collins Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic, Wyoming Symphony, and University of the South Symphony. She has also conducted the Alabama All-State String Orchestra, the Williamson County String and Orchestra Bash. Ms. Mullen co-founded the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra and served as its director for eleven years. Beyond her work with Webb's musicians, Ms. Mullen is deeply involved with their broader education and has taken Webb students on tours to Vienna, the Galapagos Islands, and Peru's Machu Picchu.
The guitar course at Webb aims to prepare a
student to play guitar in a variety of settings. Students learn repertoire,
technique, and how to approach the guitar in a way that allows freedom and
improvisation. Multiple genres and styles are covered in an effort to make the
student as versatile as possible. The course also covers a general overview of
the history of both the guitar and guitar players, however the overwhelming
majority of the course is rooted in learning to play the instrument in a
The course is taught by Andrew Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes has a degree in music from
Middle Tennessee State University, and has played in a wide variety of
performance venues in the Nashville area.
Working in the beautifully designed Lundin Fine Arts Center, aspiring artists receive the training and recognition they need at Webb. Students can study pottery, drawing, painting, design, printmaking, sculpture and videography with the school's master teachers. Student work is highlighted both during the school's annual Fine Arts Week and throughout the year in the Center's art gallery. There are three levels of art classes available for students with Advance Art, which focuses on the development of a portfolio, serving the needs of the most dedicated artists.
Mike Quinn and Sue Wood teach in The Webb School's Art program.
recipient of the school's David Newton McQuiddy Award for Excellence in
Teaching, Mr. Quinn's professional experience extends from local Emmy award
winning set and puppet design to operating his own clay studio, the Dinosaur
Dirt Farm. His background in biology, travels abroad and interest in philosophy
influence his approach to instruction. Mr. Quinn teaches Art I, Art II,
Advanced Art, AP Studio, and Art Appreciation. (Some may even remember him as
P.T. Pickens on the PBS programs "Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose"
and “Music Funfactory”.)
A member of The Webb School faculty since 1992,
Sue V. Wood is the energetic pottery and
ceramics instructor. Passionate about the value of artistic
expression, she is especially interested in fostering the skills and aesthetic
sensibility that students will need for a well-rounded and fully integrated
life. Originally from West Tennessee, Ms. Wood studied art as part of her
university experience and later at the Arrowmont School of Crafts and the
American Academy in Paris. Before joining Webb's faculty, she taught in
Nashville and was awarded a highly competitive grant from "Art in Public
Places." She has served as President of the Tennessee Arts and Crafts
Association, Chair of WDCN-Channel 8 Action Auction, and Chair of Tennessee
Crafts Fair. An experienced traveler, she lived for a number of years in
England. Using Britain as her base, she traveled extensively in Europe and
Africa where she worked with pottery makers, clay artists and fiber/basket
artisans and incorporated their aesthetics and techniques in both her own work
and teaching. Ms. Wood continues to be a potter and exhibits her works in
a number of galleries in the Southeast.