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Imagination. Creativity. Expression. Problem solving. These are all qualities developed through Spartanburg Day School's visual and performing arts program.

Students develop skills such as sketching, drawing and painting; singing and playing instruments; and speaking and performing in front of others. Our Mildred Harrison Dent Art Gallery provides a welcoming setting for art exhibits, visiting artists as well as concerts and plays.

Program Highlights


Whether as a participant or an audience member, students are taught that knowledge and appreciation of theater is an enriching life experience. Upper School students have the opportunity to join the drama team and/or take a course in theatre arts. The course is designed to provide an overview of theatre as an art form: its elements, genres, styles and techniques. The drama team introduces students to a variety of theatre exercises and workshops, and puts on two productions each year.


From percussive clapping in preschool to AP music theory in Upper School, music courses are thoughtfully designed for students of all ages as they build their skills and a lifelong appreciation for music. Throughout the comprehensive curriculum, choral, instrumental, music history and theory are addressed at the appropriate level. Students are involved in performances throughout the year, including off-campus competitions, festivals and events that extend SDS’s impact to the greater community. The intrinsic value of collaboratively using sound to create beauty can be experienced and valued by all our students.


Middle and Upper School students can choose to participate in award-winning concert bands, jazz bands and smaller chamber groups. These ensembles perform at local, state, and regional festivals and competitions where they have consistently been awarded excellent and superior ratings.

Students are exposed to instrumental music as early as fifth grade when they begin learning fundamentals on recorders before choosing from a variety of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Students who play orchestral instruments are invited to play in the concert band. Once a week, orchestra students step out of band class to meet with a strings teacher in a strings-only chamber ensemble.

The discipline and creativity of engaging in the study of music is a joyful quest that gives students lifelong skills.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts classes engage students in all aspects of visual expression: creation, art history, aesthetics and art criticism.

We seek to convince all students of their creative potential as intelligent viewers, perceptive critics and sensitive interpreters of the arts in addition to providing students a nurturing environment in which to produce art. It is our view that all areas of study profit from lively, creative vision and imagination. Giving our students age appropriate lessons with art materials, tools, techniques and experiences with creative explorations allows students to develop this valuable part of becoming productive human beings.

Visual arts instruction begins in 3K, progresses through Middle School and continues as an elective through grade 12. AP studio art and AP art history are offered for our students seeking a challenge.

Private Instruction

SDS contracts with professional, accomplished musicians for on-campus private lessons in strings, voice, piano, brass and woodwinds.