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Academy of Visual and Performing Arts


Welcome to the Academy of VPA

Red Bank Regional is conveniently located in Little Silver, central Monmouth County, and accepts both in-district students, (Little Silver, Shrewsbury and Red Bank) and tuition students from out-of-district that are accepted into one of the Career and Technical Education Programs, namely: the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA), Academy of Information Technology (AOIT), Academy of Engineering (AOE) or Academy of Finance (AOF). In addition to the three constituent districts, the VPA Academy has had as many as twenty-one other school districts represented in past years. Red Bank Regional High School is recognized as one of the top 75 schools in NJ (ranking 3rd in Monmouth County) by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, and one of the top high schools in America by Newsweek Magazine 2010 & 2011.  Red Bank Regional High School has been designated by the state of New Jersey as a Model School of the Arts. Since we are a comprehensive High School we also offer extensive extra-curricular opportunities as well as a full complement of interscholastic athletics.
The Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School has been in existence for twenty-seven years, and it offers thirteen majors: Studio Art, Commercial Photography, Creative Writing (Performance Art), Dance, Drama, Interactive Media, Instrumental – Brass, Instrumental-Percussion, Instrumental-Woodwind, Instrumental-Strings, Harp, Piano, and Vocal Music.

The mission of the VPA Academy is to provide a four-year career focused learning experience for serious emerging artists who possess proven advanced aptitude and interest in the visual and performing arts with the ultimate goal of inspiring all students to pursue careers and/or admission to competitive colleges/conservatories of fine arts.

Classes are taught by highly qualified and state-certified teachers who augment their programs with specialized workshops and master classes led by professional artists. The curriculum is aligned with the NJ Visual and Performing Arts Core Curriculum Content Standards and emphasizes interdisciplinary activities, cultural and historical relationships, career opportunities and college preparation in the arts.

VPA programs offer a minimum of 82 minutes of instruction daily, for each of the four high school years, as well as additional performance and exhibition requirements. VPA Majors are required to participate in the arts experiences that extend beyond the regular school day in the form of rehearsals, performances, and exhibit openings both in school and out of school.

As a well constructed career education program, students exhibit their work and/or perform on a regular basis under the guidance of their teachers. Performance majors are required to give a senior recital or participate in a major school production. Senior visual arts majors are required to exhibit their work in a senior show. Creative writing majors must participate in an annual “Voices” presentation. Senior dance majors are required to choreograph works to be performed in the annual dance concert. VPA majors must perform in and/or attend concerts, productions, and exhibit openings during the year, which are reflected in their grades. The program is also highlighted by special performance opportunities both in-house and throughout the county and state. VPA students regularly submit their work or compete in regional, state and national competitions. Some of our groups have performed internationally.

As per state Career and Technical Education requirements, successful completion of the program consists of written and performance tests, portfolio, and successful placement into a related career or acceptance into a school for continuing education in their field. Several majors include AP classes or IB credit as course requirements.

All programs are college preparatory as well as career based. Students completing our program have been accepted into prestigious colleges and conservatories, such as:
Boston Conservatory of Music                            Pace University
California Institute of the Arts                              Princeton University
Chicago Institute of Arts                                      Rider University (Westminster Choir College)
The College of New Jersey        Rutgers University (including Mason Gross School of the Arts)
Drexel University                                                 Savannah College of Art and Design
Fashion Institute of Technology                          Shenandoah UniversitySchool of Visual Arts
Harvard University                                              State University of NewPaltz                             
Johns Hopkins University (Peabody Conservatory)   State University of NY at Purchase          
Julliard School                                                             Syracuse University        
Manhattan School of Music                                         Temple University       
Montclair State University                                            University of the Arts       
Moore College                                               University of Rochester (Eastman School of Music)
New England Conservatory of Music        
New School (Mannes School of Music)                       Yale University
New York University (Tisch, Steinhardt, Clive Davis)
 (This is a partial list of schools to which our graduates have attended)
Alumni of the VPA Academy have distinguished themselves with successful careers in the arts, such as: Brian Gaskil (Actor), Gena Shaw (Actor), Lauriana Mae (R&B Singer), Abigail Sparling (Opera Singer), Raphael Fusco (Composer), Kurt Thum (Jazz musician), Chelsea Palermo (Jazz Singer), Jason Baeri (Lighting Designer), Michael Jacoby (Theater Technician), Francis Haskins (Theater Technician), Kevin Pampel (Theater Technician), as well as a list of arts educators too numerous to mention.

Admission to the Visual & Performing Arts Academy is based on audition, portfolio, interview, NJASK test scores, (or comparable test such as the Terra Nova Grade 8 Survey), academic performance, attendance, and other criteria related to the specific area of study. Each year well over one hundred-fifty students audition for approximately seventy-five to ninety openings. Presently there are two-hundred eighty-one Visual and Performing Arts Majors in grades 9-12. Currently, VPA majors account for approximately twenty-five per cent of the student body (1,111).

Further information regarding the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School, application information, and tuition, is available on this website or if you would like to schedule a visit, please call (732) 842-8000, extension 262.

Peter Grandinetti
Director, Visual & Performing Arts Academy