Visual Arts

Student Self-Portraits

Art Curriculum 

St. Raphael School’s art program places priority on bringing out each student’s latent ability to draw and create. We often look to other artists and movements in art history for inspiration and understanding of how art transcends verbal language as it communicates ideas to all cultures and civilizations no matter the age or language. We place a strong emphasis on observation as well as creativity so that our students become more confident in their individual ability for visual problem-solving as they develop their artistic self-expression.

  • Grades K-5: The elementary school grades meet weekly, and we gear lessons toward enhancing the process of analysis and synthesis in each student’s visual vocabulary. The scope of our projects varies greatly and includes drawing, painting, and sculpting animals; architecture (including St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Taj Mahal); still life in tonal graphite; wintry landscapes; tessellations; painter Jacob Lawrence; local contemporary folk artist Carol Dyer; artists from La Belle Époque for the third grade Artists’ Tea; portraiture influenced by Modigliani and Picasso; and more.

  • Grades 6-8: The middle school grades meet weekly. We continue to build on the artistic skills and observation established during the earlier grades. Students are taught in several mediums including pastel, charcoal, drawing pencils, watercolor, ceramics, pen and ink, chalk pastel, fiber art and block printing. Our students focus on several artists around the world including, Maori Designs, Northwest Indian Art, Robert Wyland, various American Folk artists, Paul Balmer and African Mask Designs.


Art Club: Extracurricular 

Give your child an opportunity to develop better visual spatial ability with more art activities! We work on drawing, painting, and sculpture in clay. This is a fun activity built around the ability and interest of the students while also providing them with a chance to develop their skills and build their confidence.

Art Club registration

Performing Arts

The cast and crew from "Seussical"
Parent volunteer helping student get ready
Parent volunteers are an integral part of the success of the SRS Performing Arts Program.

Drama Club: Extracurricular

The SRS Performing Arts Program launched in 2013 with its first show, “Annie Jr.” The productions are announced in the fall, and the rehearsals and shows take place in the spring.

Thespians in grades 6-8 are invited to audition, and everyone is included in the production. Students interested in drama but not being on stage are invited to join our stage crew, technical crew, and/or help us build and paint our set.

Musicals presented by the SRS Performing Arts Program:


  • In 2023, Cinderella Youth Edition students inspired us to believe that "It's Possible" for your dreams to come true. 
  • In 2022, Frozen Jr. kept kids and adults singing along with Elsa and Ana as they journeyed through the magical land of Arendelle. 
  • In 2019, Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters—including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and Jojo—collided and cavorted in the unforgettable musical caper "Seussical."

  • In 2018, everyone's favorite ogre was back in the hilarious stage spectacle of "Shrek The Musical Jr.," based on the Oscar-winning smash hit film and outrageous Broadway musical.

  • In 2017, the SRS middle-school cast and crew dazzled audiences with their adaptation of Disney’s Broadway musical “Lion King Jr.” Beloved songs "Circle of Life," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," "Hakuna Matata," and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" help tell the journey of Simba’s development from young lion to proud king.

  • In 2016, the SRS middle-school students performed their interpretation of Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” The musical tells the story of toymaker Geppetto’s bringing to life his wooden puppet and includes such familiar songs as “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings.”

  • In 2015, the SRS Performing Arts program presented “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” a story of transformation and tolerance. Some of the popular songs performed include “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

  • In 2014, it was an aquatic adventure as our middle-schoolers performed "The Little Mermaid Jr." and brought to life such characters as Ariel, Ursula, the Prince, King Triton, and Sebastian.

  • In 2013, the irrepressible comic-strip heroine took center stage in “Annie Jr.,” adapted from one of the world’s best-loved, Tony Award-winning musicals.

Music Program

Music Curriculum 

The SRS Music Program engages students in music appreciation by creating an exciting learning environment with a goal of understanding various types of music and musical cultural differences. We accomplish this goal through performing, creating, and responding to music per the Archdiocese of Washington Standards.

  • Grades K-5: In the elementary school, the emphasis is on performing. Students are encouraged through play, movement, and folk songs and dancing. There are many opportunities for performance throughout the year, including Grandparent’s Day and our annual Christmas pageant. As the students progress, they acquire the skills to read and write music.

  • Grades 6-8: Once our students reach middle school, they build on their previous skills. Students in grades 6th-8th grades study ukulele, with emphasis on self-accompaniment, as well as playing and accompanying as a group. They are encouraged to perform, with the opportunity to participate in our spring musical.

  • Instructor: Talullah Dropkin


Band: Extracurricular 

St. Raphael School, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington Music Program, offers a weekly musical instruction elective for students in grades 4 through 8 from the end of September to May. Classes are organized by instrument and degree of advancement.

  • Instruction is offered during the school day on a variety of instruments, including flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, snare drum, and bells. After a year of instruction, older students can switch to bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, or tuba with the permission of the teacher.

  • The advanced band has an additional rehearsal after school.

  • Band performances for all students are held twice during the school year. The advanced band performs an additional concert in the spring for judges at the band festival.

  • First-year students do not become members of the school band until they reach a prescribed level of advancement.

  • Fee: There is an annual, non-refundable registration fee and tuition charge payable to the ADW for lessons and rehearsals. The ADW Music Program offers families a variety of payment options. Families are responsible for renting and caring for the instrument.

  • Instructor: Chris Raifsnider

Student performing at the Winter Band Concert
Band concerts are held twice a year
Chorus performing at winter concert
Chorus is offered to grades 4-8

Chorus: Extracurricular

St. Raphael School students in grades 4-8 are invited to join our choral group. Repertoire includes classical and modern, secular, and religious songs. Some songs will even be choreographed. There will be something for everyone to enjoy.


Chorus registration