Performing Arts

O’Gorman’s performing arts programs have enjoyed success at the state, regional, and national level. O’Gorman’s oral interpretation and debate programs currently rank in the top 2% nationally, and the school has been named a National School of Excellence for Speech and Debate each of the past three years. O’Gorman students routinely compete and place at the national level in both oral interp and debate. In addition, O’Gorman’s One Act Play has received superior rankings at the State One Act Festival every year for over two decades. O’Gorman students perform throughout the year in a 12 million dollar state-of-the art performing arts center constructed within the past decade.

Band

Band Director: Ben Koch
Email: bkoch@ogknights.org
Office Phone: 605-575-3326

The O’Gorman Band Program provides a variety of opportunities for students to be involved in instrumental music. With two concert bands, two jazz bands, pep band, marching band, brass choir, show choir band, and our musical theater pit orchestra, we have an ensemble to fit every student.
 

Marching Band

All students in a concert band are also a part of our award-winning marching band. This group rehearses in the summer and through the first third of the school year. Performances include home football games, regional competitions, and our annual season-ending Indoor Concert. 
In addition, students may choose to audition for Color Guard. Color Guard is open to all students. Students do not have to be in a concert band to audition for this group. The Color Guard performs and travels as an integral part of the marching band. 
 

Concert Band

The core of the program consists of two bands which meet daily during the school day. Concert Band focuses on building fundamental skills of individual and ensemble playing, while Symphonic Band hones these skills and applies them to more challenging music. These ensembles are open to all students.
 

Show Choir Band

Students in band may choose to audition for Show Choir Band. This group accompanies the O’Gorman Show Choirs in their performances and competitions. This group rehearses once a week on Thursday evenings. 
 

Jazz Bands

Students are also able to participate in Jazz Band, which focuses on playing standard jazz genres (swing, funk, etc.) with traditional big band instrumentation (trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, bass, guitar, drums). Jazz I is an auditioned group with a limited size. Jazz II is open to all students. Students do not need to be in a concert band to participate in either jazz band, though participation is highly encouraged. Jazz bands meet daily for a  short amount of time, with one longer rehearsal per week before school.
 

Brass Choir

The O’Gorman Brass Choir is open to all students who play or wish to learn a brass instrument. This group primarily focuses on holiday music, and performances include various concerts around the city, as well as performances with the concert bands and with the O’Gorman Choral Program. This group rehearses two days a week after school when in season. 
 

Pep Band

Students in a concert band also provide entertainment at winter sporting events, primarily basketball. The Pep Band plays a majority of home games and contributes to the exciting atmosphere by supporting our student-athletes and our home cheering section. 
 

Musical Theatre Pit Orchestra

Students in band may choose to audition for the Pit Orchestra which performs as part of our annual spring musical production. This ensemble is reserved for advanced students. 
 

Choir

Choir Director:  Rachael Kramer
Email: rkramer@ogknights.org
Office Phone: (605)-575-3327


Ovation! Show Choir Director: Lindsey Ussery
Email: lussery@ogknights.org
 

Girls Chorus

Girls Chorus is a full year non-auditioned choir open to girls in grade 9 who demonstrate an interest in the development of singing.  This is the only chorus open to 9th grade girls.  Concerts and special rehearsals are a required part of the curriculum. Students pay a $30 participation fee.
 

Mixed Chorus

Mixed Chorus is a full year course open to all singers in grades 10-12 and 9th grade boys who demonstrate an interest in the development of singing.  This is the only chorus open to freshmen boys.  This is a non-auditioned choir.  Concerts and special rehearsals are a required part of the curriculum. Students pay a $30 participation fee.
 

Concert Choir

Concert Choir is a full year course open by audition only to singers in grades 11 and 12.  Students must demonstrate strong music reading skills, mature tone quality, commitment, teamwork and a desire to work for personal growth.  Private voice instruction is strongly encouraged. Students pay a $30 participation fee.
 

Chamber Choir

Chamber Choir is an auditioned ensemble of 12—16 SATB singers in grades 10—12 that meets daily for 25 minutes opposite their lunch. This group will sing a variety of music including, but not limited to, vocal jazz, madrigals and chamber choir literature.  This group performs extensively in the community especially during the Christmas season. Students purchase their Chamber Choir costume ($40-60).  Students receive 1/4 credit with a pass/fail grade. Students must be a member of a large chorus to participate in chamber choir.   Auditions take place in February/March for participation in the following school year.
 

Ovation! Show Choir

Ovation meets every day opposite the student’s lunch period.  Students receive 1/2 credit for yearly participation with a pass/fail grade. Ovation is actively involved in state & regional competitions during February and March. Students must be a member of a large chorus to participate in show choir.  Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 are eligible to audition.  Auditions take place in March for participation the following year. Members pay a $250 costume rental and prop fee.  There are several fundraising opportunities to help defray costs.

Special Considerations:
In addition to class time, students must attend one three- hour rehearsal each week in the evening from August through March.  Two weekend retreats to learn choreography are also required.  Additionally, students must commit to participation in five major competitions during February and March.
 

Small Ensemble Group

Ensembles are an extension of the choral program.  To be a member of a small group, you must first be a member of a large choir.  All auditions take place in the spring of the year for membership the following fall.  Most groups rehearses opposite the student’s lunch period each day for 25 minutes.
 

Orchestra

Director: Jessica Perkins
 

The Orchestra program at Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools is designed to teach students the principles of musicianship through the study of and performance on string instruments. Individual and group instruction begins in fourth grade and progresses through high school. Students can expect to learn about ideal concepts of sound and musical literacy by performing both alone and with others. Orchestra students and will also develop self-discipline, self-assessment skills, self-confidence, and build relationships that will serve them well throughout their time in the Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools.

Oral Interpretation/National Speech and Debate Association

Head Coach:  Teresa Fester
Email: tfester@ogknights.org

Oral Interpretation is open to all students. A commitment to after-school practice and attendance at the weekend activities is required.  O’Gorman also offers three levels of class in Oral Interp, but this is not a prerequisite for the activity. The seven state sanctioned categories begin the first week of school, and there are large tournaments held each Saturday beginning the first weekend in October and running until the first weekend in December. 
Special considerations:  After November, Oral Interp enters the second season which is centered around the National Speech and Debate Association. The Informative Speaking, Original Oratory, and Program Oral Interp are added as categories, while Drama, Humor, Duo remain. The national qualifier for the NSDA nationals is held in late February and students qualifying compete at nationals in June. Some school may be missed and overnight travel may be required. Students are expected to wear an appropriate suit for competitions and are responsible for food expenses while traveling with the team.There is a $100 fee for all students competing at local tournaments. Fee covers membership degrees earned for the NSDA and supplies for competition.

Theatre

Fall Play

Director:  Scott Nelson
 
A cast of 10 to 20, depending upon the production, are selected through an audition process. Auditions include improvisation, group activities, prepared readings, and storytelling. Rehearsals are held during the months of September and October. Performance dates are usually mid to late October.
 
Special Considerations:  Weekend practices are possible and schedule conflicts for students in other fall activities may prevent participation. 
 
Additional Involvement:  Students also have the opportunity to be involved with the technical aspect (set construction, lighting, sound, and costuming.)  The Tech Crew consists of 30-40 students.
 

Children's Play

Director:  Scott Nelson
 
Students with little stage experience are encouraged to audition for this larger cast of 20 to 40 students, depending upon the play. Auditions include improvisation, group activities, and storytelling. Auditions take place in late October or early November with performance dates in early December.
 
Special Considerations:  Weekend practices are possible and schedule conflicts for students in other fall activities may prevent participation. 
 
Additional Involvement:  Students also have the opportunity to be involved with the technical aspect (set construction, lighting, sound, and costuming.)  The Tech Crew consists of 30-40 students.
 

One Act

Director:  Teresa Fester
 
Auditions are in December with rehearsals during January. The play is performed at the State Festival in February. The number in the cast varies with the performance. Auditions include improvisation, monologue preparation, dry reading and other performance techniques.  Some music may be required depending on the production.
 
Special Considerations:  Students are responsible for food expenses at the State Festival.

Spring Musical

Directors:  Teresa Fester (Director), Rachael Kramer (Vocal Director), Ben Koch (Orchestra), Kendra Dexter (Costume Director), Kevin Humke (Technical Director) and Scott Nelson (Box Office).
 
This production involves approximately 100-130 students for the cast, tech crew, pit band, and costumers.  All grade levels are encouraged to participate. The audition process, held in  late February or early March, is divided into two parts. Day one is singing, and day two is dry reading and choreography. The show is performed in April.
 
Special considerations:  There is a heavy time commitment for those involved in this play. Rehearsals are daily, including weekends, and run for about six weeks. Conflicts with other activities, coursework and general health should all be considered. 
 

Debate

Head Coach: Bob Stevens
Email: bstevens@ogknights.org

While all students are eligible, team members are generally those in Debate I or Team Debate class. This activity is mainly for advanced students and/or students who have a high aptitude in speech or who have a desire to improve their speaking skills. A commitment to practice time after school is required. Competitions are scheduled from November through March and are mainly on weekends. Most Novice Tournaments are held on Tuesday nights in November and December.

Categories range from Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, International and Domestic Extemp, Policy, World Schools, Big Questions, and Student Congress. Student Congress provides an additional opportunity for students who enjoy politics and debate to practice their public speaking skills. It is open to anyone who is interested in debating and discussing mock legislation. There are several contests in March & April.  The State Congress, also in April, is held in the House & Senate Chambers of the State Capitol in Pierre.

Special considerations:  Some school is missed due to travel and competition times. Considerable time is required to research and prepare topics. Students are responsible for all food expenses while traveling with the team. There is a $100 fee for all students competing at local tournaments. Fee covers membership degrees earned for the NSDA and supplies for competition. Students are responsible for all food expenses.