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BISHOP McNAMARA HIGH SCHOOLA Catholic, Holy Cross, Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Grades 9-12

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department at Bishop McNamara

offers one of the most extensive arts educations

in the Washington, DC area.

Fine Arts Festival including Dance, Band & Orchestra, Choir

Our large musical ensembles, intimate dance classes, theatrical productions, and art studio offer comfortable, rewarding, fun, yet challenging environments for all participating students. We encourage the growth and success of the students. One credit of Fine Arts is required for graduation. Performance based courses may require additional fees and/or fundraising.


Fine Arts Award-winning Band & Orchestra practices during class


Classical Dance
Traditional African Dance & Music
Band & Orchestra
Visual Arts
FADE Program
Guest Artist Series




About Our Faculty

Ms Katheryn Heneghan works with student in Visual Arts program

Bishop McNamara High School Fine Arts Department faculty is comprised of the most talented and dedicated educators of the arts in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area who believe a student's high school education is enriched by their involvement in the arts, influencing all areas of academic study. Committed to the success and experience of each student, these accomplished Fine Arts Faculty members, as well as visiting distinguished performers, artists, and mentors, enrich and foster our students' development in a family community while providing invaluable insights into fine arts-related programs and professions.

Bishop McNamara High School enjoys the reputation as one of the top Fine Arts programs in the region, a distinction due in great part to the professionalism and experience of its outstanding faculty!

Fine Arts Deploma Endorsement (FADE)

The F.A.D.E. Program will serve to refine students' talents and skill, cultivate a community of respect, appreciation and understanding of the arts, and acknowledge students' dedication to the Fine Arts throughout their high school career. Students who graduate with the Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement receive a notation on their transcripts and a special honor certificate at graduation. Students may apply at the beginning of their Sophomore year. See your Fine Arts teacher for the application form and requirements specific to your major arts focus. For more on this program, go to FADE Program.

Placement & Registration

Bishop McNamara requires placement and registration for courses within the Fine Arts Department. Students can be considered for higher placement in all disciplines with the approval of department faculty. For more information, go to Placement & Registration.

Fine Arts Scholarships

Bishop McNamara offers Fine Arts Scholarships for Music, Dance, Theatre, and Visual Arts. These scholarships are awarded to applying 9th grade BMHS applicants but are not available for transfer students. Scholarships are available in Music, Dance, Theatre, and Visual Arts and range in amounts from $500 to $1000+ in either 2 or 4 year increments. Scholarship information is made available at the BMHS Annual Open House, after which the information is available on the BMHS website. Auditions and portfolio dates range from early January to early February. For more specific information, go to Fine Arts Scholarships.

Guest Artist Series

For the past several years we have been hosting a series of guest artists to come and perform for our community. This serves our Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement Program as their series of Colloquia that they need to attend per year. We also do it to provide wonderful arts events for our community. Each evening will consist of a performance or discussion, followed by a question and answer period for our community.

For more information including dates and times, go to Guest Artist Series.

Fine Arts Department FAQs

Who takes Fine Arts Classes at Bishop McNamara?
EVERYONE! All students are required to earn one Fine Arts credit for graduation. A large percentage of BMHS students elect to take several Fine Arts classes throughout their four years. All Fine Arts courses are diverse in race, gender and age. Class levels are determined by ability, so sophomores may be in a class with seniors, depending on an individual's abilities and experience.

My child has experience in the Fine Arts. How will he or she be assessed for placement?
Placement auditions are held after your child has been accepted to BMHS. We offer Honors Level classes in all genres. Some classes have prerequisites for registration.

If my child has no previous experience in Fine Arts, can she or he still register to take a class?
Yes, Bishop McNamara has entry level classes in all genres of the Fine Arts.

How will I know what supplies my student will need in order to participate in the Fine Arts at Bishop McNamara?
Each Fine Arts teacher has a supply list on his or her website/online classroom (Maccess). Most Fine Arts classes have additional fundraising goals to off- set production costs and enrichment opportunities.

What additional Fine Arts opportunities are offered at Bishop McNamara?

  • Bishop McNamara High School offers Omega classes for credit that allow students with full academic schedules to participate in the Fine Arts. (Omega classes are after 3 pm.)

  • Bishop McNamara offers the Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement Program: The F.A.D.E. Program will serve to refine students' talent and skill, cultivate a community of respect, appreciation and understanding of the arts, and acknowledge students' dedication to the Fine Arts throughout their high school career. Students who graduate with the Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement receive a notation on their transcripts and a special honor certificate at graduation.

Dance Program Courses

Dancers in Tap performance during Christmas Festival
Beginner Ballet
Beginner/Intermediate Ballet
Intermediate/Advanced Ballet
Advanced Ballet
Beginner Jazz
Beginner/Intermediate Jazz
Intermediate/Advanced Jazz
Advanced Jazz
Beginner Lyrical
Beginner/Intermediate Lyrical
Intermediate/Advance Lyrical
Advanced Lyrical
Beginner Tap
Beginner/Intermediate Tap
Intermediate/Advanced Tap
Advanced Tap
Traditional African Dance & Music I
Traditional African Dance & Music II
Traditional African Dance & Music III
Traditional African Dance & Music IV
Sankofa Company

Music Program Courses

Concert Choir
Honors Chamber Choir
Honors Madrigal Choir
Music Theory
Show Choir
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Concert Band
Symphonic Band
Wind Ensemble
String Orchestra
Jazz Lab
Jazz Ensemble
Percussion Ensemble

Theatre Program Courses

Students of the Theatre program perform for the community


Introduction to Theatre
Theatre Tech: Sets, Lights
Theatre Tech: Sound, Costumes, Acting
Advanced Acting
Great Stages of Drama
Musical Theatre Production
Dramatic Theatre Production

Visual Arts Program Courses

Advanced Drawing
Graphic Design
Digital Photography
AP Studio Art: 2D Photography
Portfolio Development

Fine Arts Faculty Directory

For more information on Fine Arts at Bishop McNamara High School, go to Fine Arts

For full descriptions of these courses and any prerequisites,  go to