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Performing Arts

From theatre to dance and orchestra to band.

Woodward student violinist


Our Upper School Orchestra program immerses students in daily training, allowing them to advance their skills and fully develop their musical talents. They study under a classically trained program director who performs as a professional musician and previously played for symphonies and opera companies around the United States.

Gina Calloway

Director of Orchestra

Ms. Calloway holds a double bachelor's degree in Music Education and Viola Performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Ms. Calloway has played professionally in the Detroit Symphony, New World Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, Huntsville Symphony, and Columbus Symphony. She is a freelance violinist/violist and has performed with various artists, including Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Wynona Judd, and Roger Daltry. Ms. Calloway is a former student of Masao Kawasaki of the Juilliard School.

Orchestra Programs

Woodward Chamber Orchestra

The chamber orchestra is open to students with prior playing experience who apply previously learned concepts to advanced music in year-long, daily classes. Three public performances are given annually. An audition or permission from the director is required.

The String Machine

This ensemble is an audition-only group of students playing violin, viola, cello, and bass, who have previous experience at an advanced level of playing. The String Machine gives five performances each year, and students must commit to a year of involvement.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available on all string instruments at an additional cost. Lessons are taught by professional musicians from the Atlanta area during the school day.


Our band program is one of the largest and broadest of any independent school in the nation. The Robert W. Woodruff Band is named in honor of the former chairman of The Coca-Cola Company. As its name implies, the band has a storied history, having performed at presidential inaugural parades and in concerts throughout Europe and China. Our band program is one of the reasons that Woodward ranks as one of the best performing arts schools in Georgia.

Woodward student marching band

Ken Beard

Director of Bands

Mr. Beard taught in Georgia public schools for 30 years, including stints with Forest Park High School, Newton County High School, and 26 years in Fayette County. An eight-time recipient of the National Band Association (NBA) Citation of Excellence, Mr. Beard is a member of Who's Who Among American Teachers, and his bands have been selected to perform at Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) State Conventions, Southern Division Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Conventions, the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the Southern Division of the National Band Association Conference, the Lord Mayor of London's New Year's Day Parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Mr. Beard is a member of MENC, NBA, Phi Beta Mu, and GMEA, for which he served as the State Band Chair. He has also served as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Band Chairman. Mr. Beard currently serves as a Board Member of the National Band Association as a High School Representative.

Lauran Hunt

Director of Jazz Studies, Guitar and Music Production

Mr. Hunt has been a member of The Baker-Williams Orchestra, The Dekalb College Jazz Band, The Multifarious Jazz Emissaries, and The Nightflight Band. He has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festivals, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Dogwood Festival, Yellow Daisy Festival, Atlanta Arts Festival, and College Park Arts Festival. Mr. Hunt currently performs as a freelance musician on bass as well as with The Sentimental Journey Orchestra, The Nightwind Trio, and The Tamboo Steel Band. He is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Georgia Association of Jazz Educators, and the International Association for Jazz Education. He has served as the District V Jazz All-State host and organizer and as a clinician for GAJE, for which he currently serves as treasurer.

Band Programs

Marching Band and Dance Team

Marching Band is a co-curricular activity with frequent rehearsals and performances during the fall season. In addition to Woodward football games, the band has performed at many events, including the Lord Mayor of London’s New Year’s Day Parade, and during a tour of China. Students must be enrolled in a music class to join the band.

Concert Bands

Concert band is a class for intermediate level instrumentalists. Students perform in fall and spring concerts and at the annual State Band Festival in mid-winter. Class placement is by audition with the band director.

Symphonic Winds

Symphonic Winds is a class for advanced musicians, with a heavy emphasis on performance. Symphonic Winds performs at many of our school’s ceremonial events, including graduation. Membership encourages private lessons and personal dedication. Class placement is by audition with the band director.

Jazz Bands

Our jazz program is a co-curricular activity offering student musicians opportunities to join ensembles including the 17-piece Woodward Academy Big Band, the Jazz Combo for advanced students, and Lab Bands. All jazz ensembles perform music from the various eras and genres of jazz and popular music.

private lessons

Private lessons are available on all string instruments at an additional cost. Lessons are taught by professional musicians from the Atlanta area during the school day.

Woodward student chorus singing

Choral Music

Students in choral music study secular and sacred repertoire of various time periods, from the Renaissance through contemporary music. Students learn choral techniques, the ability to sing at sight, linguistic skills, and collaborative artistry while gaining practice at performance.

Suzanne Woodruff

Director of Choral Music - Upper and Middle Schools, Performing Arts Department Chair

Before arriving on Main Campus, Mrs. Woodruff taught general music and chorus at the Busey Campus of Woodward Academy (1994-2005). Previously, she taught choral music in Clayton County at Riverdale Junior High School. Her choirs have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Convention, and in January 2015, her Middle School Treble Choir was selected to perform at the GMEA Convention in Savannah. Mrs. Woodruff is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and serves as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Middle School Choirs. She has served as a guest conductor for the Georgia 6th District Honor Chorus and the Fayette County Elementary Honor Chorus. Mrs. Woodruff also is a certified music educator in Orff and Kodaly methods.

Stephen Rotz

Chorus & Music Theory Instructor, Director of Festival Singers, Camerata, and MS Men's Choir - Upper and Middle Schools

Prior to Woodward, Mr. Rotz was a charter faculty member at Creekland Middle School in Cherokee County, Ga., and his choirs there were recognized for their excellence. He has been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and is currently the director of the chamber choir Sounds of Faith at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Buckhead. Active as a soloist, Mr. Rotz was featured by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in their American Music Concert in July 2013. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, serving on the board of directors for its Georgia chapter, as well as a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, for which he recently completed a term as chair of the standing committee for LGPE repertoire. Mr. Rotz pioneered GMEA' s transition to the use of public domain literature for the first All-State Chorus audition, effectively reducing the cost of the audition for thousands of students throughout Georgia. Under his leadership, Woodward Academy's Camerata was accepted to perform at the GMEA In-Service Conferences in 2009 and 2014 as well as the Southern Division ACDA conference in 2012. Two of his arrangements performed by Woodward choirs have been published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing.

Choral Program


Choraliers is a choral instruction and performance class for beginning through advanced-level students. Enrollment requires audition, and students who participate in Jazz Choir or Camerata may receive Honors credit.


Camerata is an advanced chamber choir consisting of 20-24 auditioned voices. Although the group performs music of all eras, it maintains a tradition of specializing in music of the Renaissance era. This ensemble represents Woodward Academy at performances for the Georgia Music Educators Association as well as the American Choral Directors Association.

Festival Singers

Festival Singers is a choral instruction and performance class for advanced musicians in grades 11 and 12. Students are strongly encouraged to take regular private lessons in voice or piano during the term. Enrollment requires audition, and students may receive Honors credit.

Jazz Choir

Jazz Choir is an auditioned group of Upper School students. This group, specializing in pop and jazz music, incorporates choreography in their presentations.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available on all string instruments at an additional cost. Lessons are taught by professional musicians from the Atlanta area during the school day.

Private Piano Lessons Policies & Application Private Voice Lessons Policies & Application

AP Music Theory

This course for students in grades 11 and 12 provides continued development for students who are preparing for a career in music, with concentration on the study of harmony as well as ear training, terminology, and music notation. Enrollment requires the recommendation of a faculty member and permission of the instructor, and students must be active in a choral, strings, or instrumental program.
Woodward students dance performance


The Upper School dance program is based on a fundamental belief in the intrinsic artistic capacity of human nature and the value of expression through creative arts. Our goals are to develop the body, stimulate the imagination, challenge the mind, cultivate an appreciation for beauty, deepen and refine emotional responses, and support the pursuit of dance as a future career or continuing component of a life well-lived.

Dance Program

Beginning Level Dance

Beginning dance is open to all students in grades 9-12. The year-long course builds a strong foundation in techniques of ballet and modern dance and introduces improvisation, composition, and dance history. Students perform in a spring dance concert.

Intermediate Level Dance

In intermediate dance, students learn more advanced techniques in ballet, jazz, and modern dance and continue their study of improvisation, composition, and dance history. Students perform in a spring dance concert, and seniors are required to complete an independent study project.

Advanced Dance: Woodward Dance Ensemble

The Dance Ensemble class teaches a limited number of dedicated students an advanced level of technique. This course is designed for students who have demonstrated a serious commitment to striving for a professional level of dance technique and knowledge.

Jenny Gould

Director of Upper School Dance

Ms. Jenny Gould earned her B.F.A in dance from the State University of New York at Purchase and her Master's Degree in Education from Lesley University. She won a merit scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School and furthered her training in New York City. Her professional credits include Broadway productions: Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera (San Francisco Cast); Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem/Variations; National tour of Brigadoon; Fleur in the Yeston/Kopit Phantom; Cinderella and Brigadoon at Lincoln Center for the New York City Opera; Pearl Fishers, The Marriage of Figaro, Eugene Onegin and Turandot, with the Atlanta Opera. She has taught at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and continues to choreograph here in Atlanta. She taught dance at the Governor's Honors Program at Valdosta State University for 4 consecutive summers.


Upper School students develop their creative skills while learning the technical aspects of theatre in three main-stage productions during every school year—two fall productions and a spring musical. Our instructors of dramatic arts have many years of experience on stage, in the roles of actor, director, and playwright, in addition to years of experience teaching theatre arts.

Tickets & Performance Information

Woodward students theatrical performance

Erin Greenway

Director of Theatre

Erin Greenway is a graduate from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC with a B.A. in Theatre Studies and Dance, and has studied acting and dance in the states and abroad. She has been working for the past 14 years in Atlanta as an arts educator, theatre and film actress, choreographer, and photographer. While abroad, Erin worked with the English National Ballet taking classes, and working with the Community Education program exposing elementary schools, elderly groups, and children's hospitals to the world of ballet. After moving back to the states, she helped to set up Greensboro, North Carolina's first Arts Advocacy Council. Erin has worked with over 20 theatre companies regionally, and is currently the Artistic Director for Ouroboros Theatre.

Kathleen McManus

Associate Director of Theatre

A Suzi Bass award-winning actor, Ms. McManus has been active in Atlanta's theater community as a performer, director, and teaching artist since 1979. She was Education Director of Georgia Shakespeare in its prime from 1996 to 2004 and received an Abby award for her excellence in arts programming from Atlanta's Chamber of Commerce. She is an associate artist at Theatrical Outfit, one of the oldest theater companies in the city and vice chair of the board of directors at Aris Theatre, Atlanta's stage for Celtic culture presenting the plays, poetry, and music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.

Joel Williams

Technical Theatre Director

Mr. Williams has more than 10 years of experience as an educator in the theatre. Teaching at the collegiate level for most of his career, he has been the technical director, scenic designer, and/or lighting designer for more than 50 theatrical productions. Many of his students have gone on to work in regional, academic, and professional theatres across the United States.

Theatre Program

Theatre Appreciation

This survey course on all aspects of theatrical development covers terminology, drama and its analysis, elements of design, and principles of performance theory.

Intermediate Acting

This course focuses on the critical development of the actor through contemporary performance literature and scene challenges.

Advanced Acting

Offered each semester to eligible students, this scene study course introduces the student to playwrights and genres not covered in Intermediate Acting and prepares students for dramatic competition.

Performance Ensemble

This course for eligible juniors and seniors hones the skills of student performing artists through development of projects showcased in the Black Box Theatre.

Shakespeare at Woodward

Visiting artists from The Atlanta Shakespeare Company are in residence every few years to cast and produce one of Shakespeare’s famous works entirely with Woodward Upper School students.
Woodward students conducting interview


WALive TV is the Academy’s multi-camera, closed-circuit television station. Students write, produce, and host segments broadcast to the Upper School, learning video production through hands-on experience and cultivating their talents in directing, script-writing, editing, and producing.

Trevon Broad

Director of WA Live, Instructor
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."
Mr. Broad holds a degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta. He has taught at Woodward since 1993, instructing students in our video classes and serving as director of WALive, our live video streaming program.

Video Program

Beginning Video I

This course introduces video as an art form. Students learn to use video cameras, microphones, editing, and production skills while experiencing a variety of location shooting. Some students produce documentary or feature pieces as well as interviews.

Advanced Video 2

Advanced Video provides opportunities to apply technical, expressive, and compositional principles to video production, with emphasis on hands-on studio production. Students are responsible for every aspect of producing taped and live broadcast shows over closed-circuit television.

Independent Video Studies

This course is designed for serious video production students who have taken previous video courses. Student and teacher will devise independent study assignments using a variety of equipment. Emphasis is on editing techniques and principles as well as problem-solving and risk-taking.
Student in film studies

Film Studies

Students interested in the film industry can take classes in film history, scriptwriting and production. Film history explores major technological, aesthetic, and cultural changes and trends in the film industry. Students hear from industry speakers and have opportunities to visit some of the film industry sites in the Atlanta area. Students interested in scriptwriting and production delve deeper into storytelling by learning about film history and all of the most important innovations in the medium. Students will create scripts and see them realized as fully produced short films.

Nicholas Widener

Director of Film Studies

Mr. Nicholas Widener, Class of 2009, majored in mass communication, studying broadcast journalism, photography, and news journalism at Georgia College. He also served as the news editor and film critic for the student newspaper, The Colonnade. In 2019, Mr. Widener completed his MFA in photography from SCAD. Mr. Widener has entered his work into several film competitions including AthFest and the Atlanta 48 Hour Film Project.

Film Studies Program

Film History (EP) Grades 9-12

This course exposes students to the history of film as both an art form and as a profitable industry. Students will learn about how film emerged in the late 1800s and quickly developed into a global phenomenon. Film aesthetics, genres, and techniques will be discussed as students will learn how the social aspects of each time period helped film evolve into what we know it as today.

Intro to Storytelling (HP) Grades 9-12

In this Intermediate Film Class students will learn the basics of screenwriting through reading scripts and watching films. Students will then translate their written scripts to the screen. Production and Post-Production elements will also be taught, as students will immerse themselves in crafting visual stories.

Woodward student playing violin

Music Production

The Electronic Music Lab class introduces students to fundamental aspects of using synthesizers, digital samplers, computers, and other electronic instruments to create music. Students learn fundamentals of music structure, form, rhythm, and melodic composition. The course is open to all Upper School students and requires no previous music experience or knowledge, and it teaches technical skills useful in other types of multimedia presentation, from instructional films to boardroom presentations.


Students can learn the basics of the world’s most popular instrument. Classical and electric guitars are provided, so students are not required to bring instruments. The Guitar I course provides a general background in note-reading, chord forms, and basic guitar literature while teaching a combination of classical and popular techniques. In Guitar II, students explore techniques more deeply and delve further into the classical repertoire. Advanced classes are available for students wishing to continue studying guitar.

Upper School students playing guitar