By Kevin M. Cabano ’12, Andrew J. Barnes ’12 & Brett A. Mejia ’13
When Mrs. Debbie Cronin arrived on Brophy’s campus in 1999, Brophy’s Fine Arts program was composed of a drawing and photo class along with plays and informal music classes.
“When I arrived we had four fine arts classes and two teachers,” Mrs. Cronin said. “And look at the expansion that has occurred both in personnel and offerings.”
The largest change has been the addition of the Eller Fine Arts building, which has allowed for more classes to be offered.
Classes such as AP Studio Art have allowed students to take their art interest to the next level.
“More is expected of you in AP. When you’re in AP you kind of feel challenged to try your hardest,” said Rene Sanchez ’12.
Looking forward, Mrs. Cronin would like to see honors classes made available for the visual arts so students can prepare for the AP classes.
“We offer a wide range of subjects so that kids can take things that they wouldn’t normally get to experience like print making and oil paintings and ceramics,” Mrs. Cronin said.
There are more than fifteen fine arts classes offered at Brophy.
As Brophy’s Fine Arts program was building up in the visual aspect, it was still lacking in the musical aspect.
On Monday, Sept. 15, 2003 Mr. Paul Olson began his career at Brophy as a music teacher with the task of bringing a level of organization and discipline to the music program.
“When the Eller building was built and the curriculum was redesigned, it made the fine arts a big emphasis,” Mr. Olson said. “It allowed men’s choir to come into the regular schedule.”
For example, the choir was only 15 students, and that was the first year that choir was actually in the daily schedule as a for-credit class.
However, prior to that it had been a club that had met a couple times a week at 7:30 in the morning.
“When a bunch of guys experience success, they get a little taste of excellence and they get a little taste of what they can accomplish if they work hard enough,” Mr. Olson said. “The human spirit wants more. They began to share that excitement to an extent with their classmates and the other guys on campus.”
Brophy now offers a large variety of music classes taught by Mr. Olson and Mrs. Julie Thibodeaux.
These include a string orchestra, jazz band, concert band, choirs, beginning piano and keyboard, music theory, music appreciation, percussionists ensemble, and guitar classes.