Arts and Music
- Brain Bowl
- Chamber Strings
- Drama Festival
- Film Festival
- High School Band
- Honor Band & Honor Orchestra
- Honor Choir
- Instrumental Solo and Ensemble
- Math Field Day
- Speech Festival
- Symphony Orchestra
- Vocal Ensemble
- Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival
Sacred Heart has coordinated Artscape for the past 31 years. 40 teachers help us create this event that is now in its 35th year and exhibits annually at a major public art venue in central Tokyo. Currently the venue is the Azabu Kids to teens center, Hiroo. Students in 5th through 12th grade from Kanto, Yokohama and American schools are selected by their teachers to participate in Artscape. Over forty nationalities are represented. We hope that art as an international language will truly communicate the world as seen through eyes of Sacred Heart has coordinated Artscape for the past 31 years. 40 teachers help us create this event that is now in its 35th year and exhibits annually at a major public art venue in central Tokyo. Currently the venue is the Azabu Kids to teens center, Hiroo. Students in 5th through 12th grade from Kanto, Yokohama and American schools are selected by their teachers to participate in Artscape. Over forty nationalities are represented. We hope that art as an international language will truly communicate the world as seen through eyes of our young aspiring artists to the visiting public. See much more here.
High School Brain Bowl is a great way for high school students to share their love of learning, and to also possibly reap some rewards from years of dedicated study. Students who participate in the High School Brain Bowl represent and compete for Sacred Heart as a unified team. Typically, 8 core players are selected, along with two substitute players who also attend on the day of Brain Bowl. Competition for the 10 places is typically fierce. The selection process is rigorous and will take place early in the school year.
High School Brain Bowl is held in October at a different school each year. On the competition day, students from many schools across the Kanto Plain will answer questions on topics spanning English language and literature, Science, History, Geography, Japanese Studies, Music and Arts, and Current Events. The game play format is similar to that found on the BBC television programme "University Challenge".
Sacred Heart has frequently placed at least one participant in the top 10 individual scorer rankings. High School Brain Bowl is a fun, rewarding, and intellectually challenging extracurricular activity for those who can think fast and are fast on the buzzer. Please contact the High School Brain Bowl sponsor, Mr. Sharp if you have further questions.
The Chamber Strings ensemble is composed of students from the Middle and High School who demonstrate a high level of ability and experience on their instrument. Typically, these students have been playing from an early age and have made string playing an important part of their life. This group is selected by audition and rehearses at the same time as the Symphony Orchestra, but performs as a separate entity on concert programs. Past repertoire includes Grieg’s Suite in Olden Style, Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite and Holst’s Brook Green Suite. Members of the Chamber Strings are strongly encouraged to audition for the KPASS Honor Orchestra in March.
Every year, as part of their extracurricular activities, approximately 70 students participate in the premier ensemble of Sacred Heart, the High School Choir. The group performs selections of all genres and from all over the world. The High School Choir gives numerous concerts throughout the year, and selects its repertoire accordingly. Although the Christmas Concert and the Spring Concerts held in the Sacred Heart Campus Chapel attract a mass-audience, the choir, primarily, looks forward to the February Show. Here, students dance to and sing selections from Broadway, choreographed and accompanied by professionals. In addition to singing as a large group, the High School Choir provides a chance for its students to audition for Vocal Ensemble -a prestigious group of 13~15 girls- and the Kanto Plain Honor Choir. It is an honour to be part of the transformative experience that the Sacred Heart High School Choir gives.
The Sacred Heart Debate Team competes in four practice debates during the winter season. The practice debates prepare students for either the Junior Varsity (JV) or the Varsity Tournament which is held at the end of the season. In teams of three, students argue either affirmative or negative on a designated topic. The challenge of debate is not only to research and prepare a justifiable and logical case in a week. It is also to be prepared to rebut the opposition and convince the judge that your team’s argument is stronger within the rules of debate.
The Kanto Plain has held a Drama Festival for many years. In the last few years we have worked with a central theme to create a “Play in a Day”. Students from several different schools come together and work in groups with professional teachers, actors and directors to create an original piece of theater presented at the end of the day.
For the last two years we have worked with a group called The Pembroke Players from the U.K. who run workshops based on a Shakespeare play that they have been touring with.
Sacred Heart brings ten students to this festival first semester every school year. Feedback on this event has always been very positive.
Kanto Plain Film Festival
Grade 5 - 12
The film festival is a showcase of students' films. Students can submit their films to the festival’s website at any stage up until the end of April.
Films can be of any genre and can be of any duration. All films must include credits and use only original or copyright free music.
There is a film festival ceremony in May where students from Kanto Plain international schools receive awards and recognition for their efforts.
For information about this year’s festival, or to submit a film, go to the Film Festival website
High School Band meets for rehearsal at the same time as choir. Sacred Heart has a full recording studio and band rehearsal room where members select their own contemporary material from rock to rap, covers or originals. The High School Band prepares for many in- school and public shows and also performs in band events at other schools and Tokyo music locations. The line up includes all the usual instruments with the addition of a V.J. and student sound engineer and there are opportunities to meet and work with professionals from the music industry. The band has a one day workshop scheduled each year in which they make a music video of an original song.
The Honor Band & Honor Orchestra are both auditioned groups featuring the top instrumentalists from Tokyo's KPASS schools. Students submit a recorded audition which is then sent to a panel of judges for review. Successful candidates come together for a total of three days of rehearsals and a final performance in the evening of the third day. Each ensemble is directed by an eminent conductor, chosen for their musical accomplishments and for their particular enthusiasm and skill in working with students of high school age. Participation in the Honor Band or Honor Orchestra is indeed an achievement that our students can be proud of - Sacred Heart has supplied the concertmaster position three times in the past 10 years, and formed over a quarter of the orchestra's membership last year. Orchestra (strings) students must be in grades 7-12 and band (woodwind/brass/percussion) students must be in grades 9-12 .
The Honor Choir is an auditioned choir of the best singers from the KPASS schools. Each singer auditions with several vocalises and a short section of a song, and submits a tape to be reviewed by the choir directors of the KPASS schools. An esteemed clinician is invited to direct the Honor Choir. The mass all-day rehearsal is held every year at Sacred Heart. The Honor Choir performs twice: at the KPASS Choral Festival and at the Honor Choir Concert. The singers in the Honor Choir get to perform with other passionate singers, and get to experience the creation of music with high musicality and skill. It is also one of the rare opportunities for Sacred Heart students to sing in a mixed choir.
The Kanto Plain Instrumental Solo and Ensemble Festival is a co-curricular opportunity that provides solo and small ensemble experiences for student musicians in a serious and professional, yet supportive environment. Student performances are critiqued in a manner that gives them speciﬁc direction for growth and encourages their continued participation in music. Ratings are given and comments made according to how well the student performed on a particular piece, regardless of the level of difficulty. All Sacred Heart students taking part also perform for the student body at a special assembly held the day before the festival. They should treat this as a "dress rehearsal" for their critiqued performance the next day.
Math Field Day is a competition open to grades 7 to 12 which usually takes place during April each year. It is split into two parts. In the morning there are individual competitions for the different grade levels. There is also a Rapid Computation category which is open to grade 7 and 8 students and a Calculus category open to students in grades 11 and 12. The afternoon event is a team competition. It is split by age into Junior and Senior events. Students are allocated to teams made up of students from different schools and different age groups. The students work together to solve a variety of problems and race against the other teams to be the first to hand in a full set of correct answers. Each school is allowed to take a maximum of 30 students to the event. Selection takes place early in Semester 2. Mathematics teachers look for interested students in the enriched groups in Grades 7 to 12. There will then be a selection process and students who are taking part in the competition will know by the end of March.
The Kanto Speech Contest is open to students in grades 7 through 12 who enjoy public speaking or who would like to improve their speaking skills. Students have many categories from which to choose. Students may audition to compete in areas including poetry interpretation, extemporaneous speaking and original informative. Preparation for other categories, like humorous, dramatic duo and multiple-reading, are open to students who join the Drama Options class. As many as 30 Sacred Heart students participate in the Kanto Speech Contest, which is held in the autumn of each school year.
The Sacred Heart Symphony Orchestra is open to students in grades 5-12 who play string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Rehearsals are held every Thursday from 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. and every Monday at lunchtime in the Duchesne Room. Regular performances include the Fall Band/Orchestra Festival, Christmas Carols Concert, Family Festival, Spring Concert and the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony.
The orchestra performs music from the Western classical and popular traditions as well as arrangements of music from around the world. Rehearsals involve scales and chorale warm-ups, full-orchestra rehearsal of concert pieces and smaller sectional work where necessary. Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year to determine part assignments and seating arrangement. Most orchestra members take weekly private lessons and many take advantage of extra performance opportunities, such as the Instrumental Solo & Ensemble Festival and the prestigious Kanto Plain Honor Band and Orchestra Festival (both held in early March).
The Vocal Ensemble is Sacred Heart's auditioned vocal group that consists of 12 to 14 girls each year. The Vocal Ensemble sings both challenging A capella pieces arranged by the world-renowned Kirby Shaw, to fun pieces performed originally on Broadway. The Vocal Ensemble performs numerous times throughout the year, both in and out of school. Since the Vocal Ensemble isn’t as large as the High School Choir, all of the girls are very good friends, and it is a wonderful way to meet girls who have the same passion as you do. This past year, they competed in the Budapest Choral Competition and Festival and got to connect with different types of choirs from all over the world through music and singing. Being a part of the Vocal Ensemble is a life changing experience that you would cherish forever.
The Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival takes place in the first two weeks of November and is held at a Kanto Plain area school. Members of the High School Choir are encouraged to sign up to perform individually or as a small ensemble. Although students mostly prepare in their own time, the choir director is more than willing to assist them in finding music and in learning the selected piece(s). On the Friday before the contest, participants perform in front of their peers at a special assembly. On the actual day, students present their repertoire in front of adjudicators, some from universities in Japan and others from abroad. Participants received either a gold, silver, bronze or participant award and are recognized for their achievements at a morning assembly. The Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival is a great opportunity for singers to explore their voice as well as their musical interests and to build confidence and poise as performers.