The Urban Arts Department at Fort Hamilton High School is a combination of the departments of Army Junior ROTC, Business, Fine Arts, Music, Performing Arts, and Technology.
ARMY JUNIOR ROTC
This exciting program may be taken as an elective credit from one to four years. The program is open to both male and female students and, at this time, the enrollment is approximately 50% female and 50% male.
The main focus of this program is to develop and foster leadership, citizenship, and fellowship. Students become experts at group dynamics as well as decision-making and role-modeling. There is a cadet ranking and the table of organization includes a commanding officer, executive officer, all the way down to private, much the way our armed forces is currently structured. Uniforms are worn once-a-week and on special occasions. There are no costs for this program and there is an optional summer camp program. Special activities for this group include parades, drill competitions, honor guard, and community functions. In addition, an annual Military Ball is held.
A broad range of modern business course offerings include: Accounting, Computer Applications, Advanced Computer Applications, Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Microsoft Word, and Virtual Enterprise. These courses may be taken as individual electives.
Special features of this program are: participation in a part-time cooperative program working with local and New York City businesses. Many students learn the operation of modern business practices by participating in our school entrepreneurial class.
International trading in our Virtual Enterprise computer setting is on the cutting edge of business practices. Students work using the computer to trade and do business with other companies throughout New York City and companies abroad such as France, Germany, South America, and Switzerland. Many of these students enter four-year business colleges upon graduation and obtain scholarships. Our firms, Bon Voyage Travel and The Printing Depot have had Citywide and National success for the past two years.
The Academy of Theater Education offers our students the opportunity to take Drama and Broadway Bound classes as well as Directing, Drafting, and Producing, and continues with a Research Techniques and Bibliography course. This concludes with an in-house internship. From these classes, students are able to fulfill requirements in other departments while fulfilling their three-year requirements for the Drama Regents.
After graduation, the students will have the opportunity to be placed professionally in the area of choice in administration, performance, or production as an intern.
There are numerous extra-curricular activities and special events where students will gain practical experience, such as seasonal concert events, the New York City Shakespeare Festival, holiday skit performances, and our Spring musical. Past shows have included totally realized productions of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Pajama Game,” “Anything Goes,” “Guys and Dolls,” “South Pacific,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Pippin,” “Once Upon A Mattress,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and the 2008 production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Elective credits are offered in Art. Regents credit is also available. Students must pass a three-year Comprehensive Art Exam.
Many special course offerings beyond Basic Art are available such as: Calligraphy, Ceramics, Drawing, Fashion Design, Painting, Photography, and Yearbook Publication. In addition Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in Art History, Drawing, and Studio Art.
Art Core is a special class formed by exceptionally talented art students. This course may be taken from one to four years and leads to portfolio development. Many of the students in this program have been accepted into our country’s finest art schools such as Cooper Union and The School for Visual Arts. Special events include Halloween window painting, an evening art gallery showing of student work, and our annual Art Gallery Showing in June.
The Music program at Fort Hamilton High School is a multi-faceted, comprehensive curriculum with many course offerings. Offerings include: Brass, Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Vocal Training, and Woodwinds. Performing groups and classes are numerous and include: Brass Ensemble, Concert Band, Concert Chorus, Jazz Band, Junior Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Woodwind Ensemble and Orchestra..
The most visible ensemble is our marching unit called The Fort Hamilton Marching Regiment. This group participates in many local and civic events such as the Bay Ridge Ragamuffin Day Parade, Columbus Day Parade, the New York City Polaski Day Parade, and the Memorial Day Parade. In addition, they have represented our school and city by traveling to other states to compete in parade competitions. This group has performed at Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida; Williamsburg, Virginia; Hershey, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; and Toronto, Canada. We recently became the only Brooklyn Marching Regiment to ever compete in a Field Show Competition.
A component of our Music program is the “Performing Arts” Academy. Auditions are held in December and January in order to be accepted into an intense, educationally rigorous music program designed for the most talented students in the New York City area.
All of the Bands and Choruses compete annually in the New York State School Music Association Adjudication Festival. In 1999, the Symphonic Band performed for thousands of people at the Fourth of July concert held at the Fort Hamilton Army Base. In 2001, they performed for the “Golden Awards” at Brooklyn College, which was televised.