Fine and Performing Arts


At Cascia Hall, our music curriculum strives not just to teach students musicianship skills, but to help them find a place for music in their lives. Cascia students learn a wide variety of music for performance, but they also learn how that music functions in society. They even use music to give back, making one of their annual concerts a benefit concert serving a local non-profit organization.

Our middle school music program introduces students to various facets of music, including singing, guitar, handbells, Orff, and music appreciation.

Our upper school vocal offerings include a general chorus and a select vocal ensemble group. Our general chorus serves more than 120 students each semester and is open to every upper school student, regardless of experience. Our select vocal ensemble group, called Command Performance, is audition only, with auditions occurring each spring for the following school year. Both general chorus and the select ensemble perform in two Cascia concerts each semester featuring a wide variety of music. In addition, the select ensemble takes part in other performance activities both within Cascia and in the outside community. Students are also encouraged to meet with choral director Candy Coonfield for individualized lessons and training before or after school if they are interested in pursuing music further.

Our upper school guitar offerings include both beginning and intermediate guitar, with the school providing a class set of guitars to use each day during class. For those interested in beginning guitar, no prior experience is needed.

Additional music offerings such as music theory are offered for those students wishing to pursue music in the future.

Many Cascia students go on to receive college scholarships in voice; thousands of dollars have been awarded in scholarship money during the last five years.


List of 5 items.

  • Beginning Guitar

    This course is an introduction to guitar playing. No experience in either guitar or note-reading is necessary. Students learn notes in first position on all six strings and learn to play simple songs using these notes. Rhythmic reading will be used. Students learn the chords in open position (G, D7, C, E minor, A, D, A minor, D minor, E and F). Basic strum techniques will be learned as well as an introduction to fingerpicking playing. Power chords will be introduced.
  • General Chorus

    Requirement: Concert Attire
    This course is offered to students in grades 9-12 and can be taken as either a year-long or semester-long course and can be repeated throughout high school for credit.  A large variety of music is studied each semester as part of a larger four-year comprehensive approach to choral literature. The music studied is typically written in standard four-part harmony (SATB), but additional split harmonies, all-male (TTBB), and all-female (SSA) works are also included.  Focus is placed on learning a variety of musical and vocal styles, including modern pop, popular music through the ages, classical secular, classical religious, gospel, musical theater (modern and traditional), folk, jazz, country, movie scores, and ethnic music. Vocal techniques studied include appropriate vocal style for each music type, breathing, pronunciation (English, Latin, Swahili, German, Yiddish, Spanish, Chinese, other tribal languages), vowel placement, vocal support, pitch, tone, and use of consonants.  There are two formal concerts each semester and proper concert attire is required.
  • Intermediate Guitar

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
    This course assumes student have mastered the basic fundamentals of the guitar:  correct posture, chords in the open position, note-reading, flat picking, accompanying songs using chords, and strumming techniques. Intermediate Guitar includes further development in note-reading skills, playing in fifth position, alternate picking, scales (G, D, C), pentatonic scales, modes, and improvisation.  Chord theory is introduced. Students will become aware of musical styles and composers. Tablature notation is used when this notation makes difficult passages more accessible; however, standard notation will be used primarily. Performance in ensembles is a major portion of the second half of this class.
  • Music Theory

    (offered in alternating years)
    This year-long academic course provides students with a firm foundation in music theory.  The students begin with basic note and rhythm reading skills, then quickly progress through interval and chord study to figured bass.  Standard four-part harmony is mastered as students are required to both analyze and compose while following standard part-writing rules.  A variety of advanced musical analysis is also taught, with students learning harmonic analysis, form analysis, non-chord tones, figured bass, basic blues, and standard rock patterns.  Students finish the course with two short compositions of their own in specified styles.
  • Performance Ensemble

    Prerequisite: Grades 9-12 by Audition
    Requirement: Concert Attire
    This year-long choral ensemble course focuses more intensely on performing.  Selected by audition only, the students in this 16-member ensemble learn a large quantity of music in a variety of styles, with an emphasis on pop, jazz, musical theater, and classical.  Complex harmonies, vocal syllabic work, complicated rhythms, and advanced tone/ensemble blend are all studied. Vocal technique, both as an ensemble and as a soloist, is emphasized as well as the development of improved performance technique.  Numerous performances, both at Cascia and around the Tulsa area are required. Specific performance attire is required and chosen at the beginning of each school year. Auditions are held each spring for the following school term.


List of 3 items.

  • Music 6

    Music 6 - (3 Day Rotation in 15 Day Cycle) The goal of music in sixth grade is to provide for the learner the fundamental basic skills of beginning guitar, vocal development/choral music, and Orff instruments. Students learn the parts of the guitar and proper position and posture. They learn the notes and melodies on the first three strings (E, B, and G) and they learn chords in the open position and how to accompany singing using these chords. Students develop their singing ability and learn basic vocal technique (breathing and breath support, sound production, enunciation, placement and beginning part-singing. By using the Orff instruments (xylophone-type instruments), students develop ensemble playing skills and improve basic note-reading skills. One performance per year is required.
  • Music 7

    Music 7 - 3 Day Rotation in a 15 Day Cycle
  • Music 8

    This year-long course is an exploration of various expressions of music, instrumentally and vocally. Students learn all guitar notes of the first position on all six strings; ensemble playing is introduced. Students continue to develop skills in vocal production and simple part singing (unison and two-part). Students use note-reading and rhythm-reading skills in playing four-octave hand bell music. Orff Instruments and various percussion instruments are used to reinforce music reading skills and to further enhance ensemble playing, culminating in students composing original pieces for performance in class.  An additional unit on musicals will also be studied, introducing students to the various composers and works of American musical theater. Using some of all of these various units, students are required to perform in a spring concert.