Awards and News

Unmasked: Celebrated Artist and Musician Aaron Cromie Visited Canterbury Middle School

While masks are often used to conceal identity, Canterbury Middle School theatre students recently employed masks for a much different purpose. Last week, celebrated Philadelphia-based artist and musician Aaron Cromie collaborated with students on mask work in performance, using masks to reveal important elements of themselves, including their thoughts and feelings.

Mr. Cromie created neutral theatre masks specifically for our students and led them through multiple sessions of mask work, focusing on creativity and freedom of expression. Grade 5 students created mini-performances based on five frames and physical poses representing a conflict between two people. These "frames" were shared with the entire middle school on Friday afternoon in a lecture and demonstration.

These special masks are being used again by our Grade 8 students, while they return to the witch scenes in Macbeth.

Canterbury School's next visiting artist is Sphinx Virtuosi, one of the nation's most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. On Thursday, Oct. 25, they will host a strings workshop and special performance for Lower and Middle School students. Later that evening, they will share a public performance of "Music Without Borders" at Canterbury High School, Summers Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at

These artist visits are made possible through the generous donations of Canterbury families at the 2018 Laughing Cavalier event. Donations to the 2018 Laughing Cavalier Special Focus fund are supporting various Fine Arts initiatives and events, which would not have been possible otherwise.

About Aaron Cromie

Aaron Cromie trained at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre and at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has directed productions at the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. He also has collaborated with the Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre, Lantern Theater, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Folger Shakespeare, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and many others.

Mr. Cromie has also taught and designed for several art centers, colleges, and university programs and has received support from The Jim Henson Foundation, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, and The Independence Foundation. He studied with Maestro Antonio Fava and at Ecole Jaques Lecoq. Mr. Cromie is a graduate of the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

Concert in the... Early Childhood Commons!

This morning's cool weather warranted a change of venue: Our Concert in the Garden event was temporarily re-named "Concert in the Early Childhood Commons"! But the children's bright smiles and the musicians' full notes warmed the halls and made for a magnificent concert nonetheless.

This was the second installment of Concert in Lily's Garden, and this year, it was part of National Arts in Education Week. The performance featured Judas Maccabeus by Handel, a Tarantella by Squire, Themes from Symphony 9 by Beethoven, and a double concerto for two Violins by Vivaldi. Bringing music of the highest caliber to our youngest Early Childhood students is a part of our commitment to igniting a passion for the arts in each student.

The performance included Colleen Tan, an orchestra teacher at Canterbury School and a performer with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and her husband, Timothy Tan, a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Their daughters, Melissa (Grade 3) and Maria (Grade 6) also joined. Colleen, Timothy and Melissa played the violin, and Maria played the cello.

Prior to performing with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Colleen performed with the Cincinnati Ballet, the Washington Concert Opera, and the West Virginia Symphony. Colleen earned degrees at Catholic University and Cincinnati Conservatory.

Timothy entered the North Carolina School of the Arts as a 7-year-old violinist and performed a solo concerto tour of North Carolina while a youngster. He continued his education at Boston University and Carnegie Mellon University and became concertmaster of the National Orchestra Institute and other festivals. He performed with the Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Nashville Symphonies before joining the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Together, Colleen and Timothy regularly perform in String Shift and Big Sky Festival, as well as duo appearances. When not in Fort Wayne, the couple comprise half of the Lake String Quartet, the ensemble in residence for Yellowstone National Park.

Maria performs with the Canterbury Middle School and Chamber Orchestras, as well as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony. The youngest Tan, Melissa, has been performing with her sister in gigs for her famous Yellowstone tea parties and was delighted to make her first ensemble appearance at Canterbury School. Both daughters enjoy swimming, hiking, and lots of books.

Canterbury School Celebrates National Arts in Education Week

Canterbury School is celebrating National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 9 – 15! The US House of Representatives designated the second week in September as National Arts in Education Week in 2010, with the intent of showcasing the transformative power of the arts. They explained that the arts "equip students with a creative, competitive edge" and that "attracting and retaining the best teachers is vital and can be achieved by ensuring that schools embrace the arts, becoming havens for creativity and innovation"

To celebrate, Canterbury School students will stretch themselves creatively, explore ways to communicate, and create original content. In addition to regular Fine Arts classes:

  • Students from the Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School and High School divisions will have artwork on display at the Arts United Center, which happily welcomes community members throughout the day.
  • Early Childhood students will experience a special classical music concert in Lily's Garden. Our very own Mr. and Mrs. Tan will perform with members from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
  • High School students will rehearse "Seussical: The Musical" in preparation for their performances on Oct. 26 and 27, which are both open to the public.

The Canterbury School Fine Arts Department has experience continued growth since 1977, when the school's founders recognized the arts as an essential part of a complete education. They believed in maximizing learning in and through the arts and set out to develop students with a lifelong appreciation for drama, visual art and music.

Over time, the Fine Arts Department has expanded from those three original offerings to also include dance, music technology, music theory and film. Collectively, these classes provide even greater opportunities for self-expression, cross-cultural understanding, confidence, creativity and discipline.

Thanks to the vision of these founders and support from current administration, our students have an extremely arts rich experience. Each week, our students study fine arts.

  • Early Childhood students participate in visual art and music
  • Lower School students explore drama, general music and visual art, and the learn strings starting in Grade 3
  • Middle School students take dance, dramatic oratory, drama, visual art and music, and they can choose to pursue electives like speech, film, 3D art, graphic design, band, chess, choir and orchestra.
  • High School students can choose among choir, band, orchestra, visual art, theatre, music technology, film, music theory and speech.

Learn more about the Canterbury School Fine Arts Department online, and help us celebrate National Arts in Education Week!

Students Earn Recognition at 2018 Juried Exhibition of Student Art

On May 6, 2018, three Canterbury Lower School students, and one Canterbury High School student, earned recognition at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, which is part of the 2018 Juried Exhibition of Student Art (JESA) Grand Awards Gala.

Timothy Haist (Grade 4, 2026) was a Grand Award Winner for his piece titled "Theatre Lights". Victoria Kim (Grade 2, 2028), Estelle Pasko (Grade 4, 2026) and Sean Walulik (Grade 11, 2019) were Regional Awards Winners for their artwork.

More than 26,000 students in Grades 1 though 12, and 169 teachers from 58 counties across Indiana, took part in this exciting multi-disciplinary program, designed to integrate the disciplines of the performing literary and visual arts.

Registered art teachers were sent curriculum packets, which provided information about the violin through musical examples, visual art reproductions and language arts references. Students then produced artwork, focusing on the violin.

To determine Regional and Grand Award Winners, the state was divided into five regions, each equally and fairly representing Indiana. Submitted artwork was further divided into six judging levels, and art teachers provided the first level of adjudication, choosing which works would be submitted from each school.

More than 1,000 works were then submitted for regional judging, and 30 winners from each region were submitted to the final judging process. A panel of judges reviewed the 150 artworks on March 21, eventually choosing 30 Grand Award Winners.

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis is the only violin competition of its stature in the United States, and Canterbury School couldn't be prouder of the work our students have done throughout the 2017-18 school year. Their futures are bright, and we hope you'll be watching them.

Much Ado About Nothing

Join us for a minimally designed, but magnificently creative, student-directed performance of Shakespeare's comedy "Much Ado About Nothing"! Performances will be held Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the High School Summers Auditorium.

Five years ago, a group of students who were passionate about Shakespeare as a performance text banded together to produce "Twelfth Night." Using minimal sets, high school students have embraced the challenge with majestic creativity. They choose and edit the text, cast the production, and rehearse under the direction of a high school senior.

Since it's humble beginnings, this Shakespeare Project has presented "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Macbeth," "A Winter's Tale," and now "Much Ado about Nothing." Still humble, still magnificent!