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Fine and Performing Arts



Daphne Shululu
Director of Fine and Performing Arts


Fine and Performing Arts recognizes that the study of music, art, and theatre inspires learning, critical thinking, identity development, and strong communities. We celebrate the authentic selves of all students and work to cultivate loving relationships through anti-racist, inclusive, culturally responsive practices. Students explore their artistic voices and hone their skills in music, art, and theatre through authentic performance opportunities in school and in the community.


Check out some of the amazing artwork from our students
Family sitting around a table of food black and white photo of a girl painting
Drawing of a girl with newspaper clippings around her
Wooden arched sculpture
Colorful cutout of magazine clippings
Colorful graphic design Wooden sculpture Black and white drawing of a girl in a bathtub, filled with ocean water

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Announcements  |  Pathways for Studying
Course Details |


Mural Celebration at Northeast Elementary School's Outdoor Amphitheater 
Join us on Sunday, October 2 from 12:30 - 1 PM to celebrate the completion of the new mural at Northeast Elementary School. Meet muralists from the 411 Collective and watch them paint! Come say hi to Principal Samantha Little and Associate Principal Julie Humble. Cookies to be provided by Ithaca Murals. 
ICSD Music Students Accepted to the 2022 NYSSMA All-State Performing Ensemble(s)
Congratulations to the following ICSD Music Students for being accepted to the 2022 NYSSMA All-State Performing Ensemble(s) in Rochester, NY on December 1 through December 4, 2022. Thousands of students auditioned for this honor last spring at solo and ensemble festivals throughout the State.  

We are proud of you! 

Ananya Prasaad
Anya Packard
Sam DeLisa
Anna Cummings
Claire Russell
Laura Mead
Juliet Crane
Keith McGill
Jacob Merrill
Emily Bellman

Ezri Rubenstein-Miller 
Stephen Yang 
Emily Bellman 
Crosby Woods 
Lei Cao
Aliza Proulx 
Athena Nie 
Crosby Woods 
Rosemary Mead 
Lyndon Hess 

Alice Burke Selected as Member of the 2022 NAfME All-National Symphony Orchestra, Violin 2 
The 2022 All-National Honor Ensembles program will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland outside Washington, DC, November 3–6, 2022.

IHS Seniors Selected for NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles
Congratulations to Ithaca High School senior Will Shanton (bass trombone), who has been selected to participate in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Symphonic Band, as well as to senior Jacob Merrill (alto saxophone), who was selected as an alternate for the Jazz Ensemble! The selected students will perform in November at the NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) event.

Andrew (Knox) Travis named Lee Strebel Memorial Award Winner
Andrew (Knox) Travis was named as the recipient of the 2022 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts. The Ithaca High School (IHS) Underclass Awardees were announced at the June 9th award ceremony at the Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an IHS student who has not only participated in performing arts at the high school level but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit.   

The award is given in loving memory of Lee Strebel, an IHS student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February 2006. In his short time at the high school, Lee became a standout in the drama department after playing the leading role of George Gibbs in Our Town. “Lee was a promising young actor to be sure, but what made him so well-loved was his constant smile, great work ethic, support for his peers and an unshakeable positive mental attitude. It is hoped that the recipient of this award will continue to demonstrate many of the same attributes and recognize that although skills may be handed out in various amounts, our attitude and effort are completely under our control,” notes the Strebel family.

Ithaca High School teacher Lorraine Tino praised Knox, “Knox is enthusiasm personified. He always gives 110% and that level of pure energy and commitment uplifts all who work with him!  Knox is a joy!” 

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), works with the high school drama staff and the Strebel family to present this award.  The award is made possible due to a grant from the Strebel Fund for Community Enrichment.  Since 2006, past Lee Strebel Memorial awardees include Emily Morse, Maddie Carroll, Ian Statema, James Slusar, Emily Scarpula, Sarah Skrovan, Laura McEnerney, Elias Spector-Zabusky, Haley Evanoski, Kasia Sendek, Jameelia Ricks, Leah Slattery, Raia Gutman, Nikolay Fontanez-Vargas and Tatiana Byrd.

IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). Founded in 1996, IPEI is committed to connecting school and community through collaboration, engagement, gifts and grants. For more information, see or contact 256-IPEI (4734) or  

FABG works in partnership with the ICSD to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. For more information about the boosters and IPEI, visit and

Boynton Orchestra Earns Gold With Distinction at NYSSMA Major Organization Festival
Congratulations to the Boynton Middle School 7th-8th Orchestra students who performed at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Major Organization Festival. The orchestra, under the direction of Mark Lewis, earned the highest possible rating - Gold With Distinction.

ICSD Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for 10th Consecutive Year
The Ithaca City School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the tenth consecutive year that the ICSD has received this designation! More >>

Pathways for Studying Music, Art, and Theatre

Visual Art
Music Instruction K-7 Art Instruction K-7
Choir 6-12 Media Arts 7-12
Band 4-12 Ceramic Arts 9-12
Orchestra 3-12 Digital Photography 9-12
Music Production 9-12 Studio Art 6-12
Music Production
Middle School Play Music Production 9-12
Middle School Musical Applied Music Production 9-12
Middle School Variety Show  
HS Drama & Student-Directed One-Acts  
HS Musical Technical Theater Club  

Course Details

Music and Art Instruction (K-12)
Expressive art and music instruction K-7 allow students to further their understanding of core concepts through the arts while also deepening students' identities as artists through creating, performing, responding, and connecting to art and music.
Students creating mural at BJM
Instrumental Music: Band & Orchestra (3-12)
The band and orchestra programs begin in elementary school and provide students opportunities to further their musical identities through studying a band or strings instrument. In addition to weekly lessons, students rehearse, play, and perform with their peers in small and large ensembles with authentic field performance experiences.
Saxophone students gather in hallway
Theatre (6-12)
Opportunities to study theater, both drama and musicals, cultivate student voice, agency, and the craft of theatrical storytelling. Student leadership opportunities in assembling the theatrical productions from theatrical design to the production crew.
IHS students perform Legally Blonde The Musical
Visual and Media Art (8-12)
Students may further their identities as visual artists through studying studio arts, media arts, ceramic arts, and photography.
Wooden ceramic artwork