Music & Drama
Bethany High is reputed and cherished by patrons as a School that promotes performing arts like no other! Even though the popular trend is to choose competitive exam-oriented subjects, there are students who apply to Bethany, specifically attracted to the performing arts opportunities that make up the DNA of the School. It is no secret now, that Colleges across the world look for more than just scores – performing art certificates carry a lot of weight in today’s selection process for higher education and holistic development.
The Music & Drama Department helps curate Daily Assemblies, elaborate Prize Days, meaningful Founders Day, Valedictory & Baccalaureate Ceremonies, the bi-annual Musical theatre productions, a Senior & Junior Choir, after school music classes and more. Worship music is also a part of Bethany’s culture, which is another path the Department pursues. The Music Department function across 7 Bethany Institutions and also run the 2 school auditoriums in Bethany Koramangala & Bethany Sarjapur.
Music & Drama
Bethany High has staged 9 Musicals till date and it is definitely why some critics call Bethany as the ‘best-kept secret in Bangalore’! Starting from 2003, the production standards, talent exposure and pursuit of excellence in theatre and music has only grown in quantum leaps. The final performance is at the best public hired out auditoriums in the City, with 3 days of performances for public audiences. Considered one of the best-staged productions in Bangalore, (some critics even bill it as a landmark event in India!) remember that this production is entirely put together by Bethany children and teachers – and we are a regular School, not a ‘performing arts school’.
The Cast comprising of Actors, Dancers & Choir go through 4 rounds of auditions. The selected children go through 3 months of rehearsals as the School Auditorium is converted into a practice stage with the exact measurements of the hired auditorium. The final performance features the very best in pro-Sound & lights, elaborate stage Sets crafted by world-renowned professionals, LED walls, Costumes & Make-up that evokes awe and magically transports the audience into the world of the play. All the stops are pulled-out for these Musicals and all for a good cause of raising funds and awareness for the Bethany Special School, the Bethany High Staff and Students’ Welfare Fund and The Helpers’ Fund.
The December 2019 production was the winner of 4 Tony’s & Grammy Award-winning musical ‘IN THE HEIGHTS’ with a cast of 157 students. There were many groundbreaking achievements in this Bethany Musical; the first-ever Lin-Manuel Miranda Musical in India (the creator of Hamilton), the first-ever Bethany Musical with a live-band of 8-members with 4 Alumnus & 4 Music Teachers, the Spanish language and hip- hop/Rap genre, an additional Wednesday evening invitee show and a multi-level Stage- Set which housed the choir & live band, adding to the world-class spectacle! The show took the Bethany Musicals, to even greater heights! Every Musical also has a take-home message or a theme so to speak, which becomes the tag-line for the cast, teachers, parents and finally the audience. The quality of life of everyone involved, are never the same after a Bethany Musical!
The Bethany High Senior choir which is the backbone of almost every Bethany program has also carved out a reputation for itself. In 2018, selected members from the Senior choir, were shortlisted to participate at the Singapore International Choral Festival (SICF) which was a courageous jump into the international world of competitive choral music. The Choir was the only Senior Choir from India, and bagged a Silver Diploma Rating of 75.33% from an international panel of adjudicators from Latvia, Finland, Venezuela, Singapore, Indonesia and the US. The Choir received invitations back to SICF as well as other Choral events in Indonesia & Poland, were privileged to have a dedicated Choral clinic with Maria Guinard, Venezuela.
The competition was at world-class venues like the Yong Siew Tow Conservatory and the Esplanade Concert Hall. There are in total 64 choirs from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, Poland, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Senior Choir from Bethany Koramangala & Bethany Sarjapur, also get regular invitations from Choral events in Bangalore like the ‘Magnificat’ at Christ University Campuses and was one of the few School Choirs invited for the ‘Festival of Festive Music 2016’ at the Nationals Center for Performing Arts, Mumbai.
Drama & Western Music – 3rd Elective, ICSE Std X
Bethany is one of the few ICSE schools that offers Drama and Western Music in the IX – X STD. The Subjects lead up ICSE Board Exam papers with weightage given to practical work also. The Drama syllabus explores theatre starting from Greek history, Actor- Audience relationships, Directorship, technical aspects and everything in between taking a story from the ‘page to the stage’. For the practical exam, the students have to rise up to higher levels of excellence and self-discovery as they choose between, an acting assignment (complete with costumes, make-up and props) or to handcraft a table-sized, stage model of a scene, and present it before an external examiner. This experience gives the child oodles of confidence and self-worth, giving them a one-of-a-kindn exposure in preparation for the future.
The Western Music Syllabus covers an in-depth study of the families of instruments, Classical Music composers and Analysis, Jazz to other modern genres, their composers and even a section on Electronic Music used by DJ’s and Studio environments. For the practical exam, the student needs to complete a Grade 4 certification, from either the Royal School of Music, London or Trinity College, London or London College of Music, in any instrument or voice discipline. Along with the international Grade 4 exam, internal observations & recitals, a Western Music student emerges confident and uniquely skilled to face creative challenges in the future. These Courses give Bethany the coveted status of being one of the few schools that provide so many choices of subjects to opt from, thereby catering to every kind of student type, in today’s world where the options and job requirements are largely varied.