Performing Arts

A composite image of Wheeler students participating in various performing arts disciplines such as vocal, music, and dance.


From our Lower to Upper School, Wheeler’s performing arts program offers extraordinary opportunities in dance, vocal and instrumental music, and theatre. Whether you are an experienced performer or trying something for the first time, the curriculum and many extra-curricular opportunities at Wheeler open doors for you to explore, appreciate, and develop your skills in the performing arts.

At Wheeler, we believe the performing arts help to build more expressive, empathetic, thoughtful, articulate, and confident human beings. We do this in our performing arts curriculum by:

  • valuing each student for who they are and what they bring to the space
  • developing skills and technique 
  • experimenting, playing, and improvising
  • exercising collaboration and communication skills 
  • building confidence and self-esteem through performing and sharing artistic achievement
  • looking at the work from broad global and historical perspectives 
  • learning critical analysis and developing a discerning eye and ear for performance

A composite image of Wheeler students participating in various performing arts disciplines such as theatre, music, and dance.

Our faculty and programs

At Wheeler, every performing arts educator is also an artist who is passionate about their discipline, and driven to spread that passion to students. There is collaboration among the teachers and students of different disciplines, fostering an environment of shared creativity and discovery.  Our singers, instrumentalists, and dancers not only perform for the Wheeler community, but also regularly travel out into the greater community and beyond to festivals and various events. Jazz students played recently in Portugal. The theatre program has performed numerous times at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. All Wheeler concerts and productions are recorded by the Wheeler School Broadcasting network and are available for viewing.

A composite image of Wheeler students participating in theatre and dance.

Our facilities — The Gilder Center for the Arts

The Gilder Center for the Arts is comprised of two connected buildings, Wheeler Memorial Hall and the Gilder Center for the Arts, each with three levels of teaching and performance spaces. 

Wheeler Memorial Hall

Theatre productions for all divisions are presented in this lovely brick building constructed to memorialize the School’s founder after her death in 1920. The “black box” flexible seating theatre can seat 170 people depending on the configuration. It is equipped with state-of-the-art lighting. On the top floor is a digital photo lab, art studios and ceramics studio. On the ground floor there is a theatre and tech theatre classroom/green room with “video sight” of the stage above and a costume and set shop.  

Gilder Center for the Arts

Dedicated in October of 2014, this building houses a 400 seat multi-use auditorium for musical performances, films, lectures, and community gatherings. The top floor has three performing arts classrooms, four practice rooms and a student lounge. The ground floor has a Jazz Ensemble room, Middle School Music classroom, and a recording studio. A separate dance studio is located on the top floor of the Health and Physical Education Center.

Contact Andrew Hall ’89, Performing Arts Department Head.