Marylou Marcus | December 18, 2014
As a pre-professional arts boarding school, Walnut Hill School for the Arts is fundamentally different from other schools. All students have an arts major, which occupies afternoon time blocks: dance, music, theater, musical theater, visual arts or writing/media/film (film added as of next year).
Walnut Hill is a powerful combination of Arts and academics. Walnut Hill students must be unwaveringly passionate about their art form and desire an immersive environment in which to purse their art.
Using a semester block schedule, classes run until 6 p.m. Students take a minimum of classes per term with as many as six possible. Rehearsals run after dinner. Walnut hill offers no sports, instead offering programs such as orchestra, chamber music, and classical voice training.
Walnut Hill enjoys a relationship with New England Conservatory allowing musicians can be in Boston for lessons each Saturday.
Walnut Hill features and fosers a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance that elevates everyone’s thinking. I found the student body to have very progressive mindset with gay, and gender transitioning students quite comfortable. It is an engaging community with exceptionally high standards and features a level of maturity not often found among high school students. Walnut Hill students work incredibly hard to achieve their artistic and academic goals. Students collaborate and respect each other’s work providing a foundation to exploration and success for each student; collaboration, teamwork, discipline are emphasized and natural outgrowths of the arts environment.
Applicants must audition or present a portfolio of their work as part of the admission process.
The campus provides a beautiful, serene setting and the dining hall features incredible food.
School head Antonio Viva, not an artist himself, is a compelling presence and a fantastic advocate for arts education.