The mission of the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Choral Program is to educate and inspire students in the performing arts disciplines, equip them to serve the body of Christ.
Middle school students participate in the appropriate performing arts classes where they can specialize and develop specific skills for their performing art. Students are given the opportunity in high school to develop a mastery of their specific performing art which will prepare them to take the next steps at the university level and continue to serve the body of Christ as adults through the performing arts.
Choral classes are geared towards ensemble performance. Relevant music theory, music history, and aspects of vocal pedagogy are also taught. The choral ensemble experience enables students to receive a well-rounded music education in performance, theory, music history, culture, and God centered worldview. It also helps students to develop a mastery of singing skills that can be used to serve the body of Christ in choirs, praise teams, or praise bands. For those students wishing to pursue music in college, or simply advance their vocal skills, training to be part of the All State Chorus, and to prepare for vocal scholarship auditions is also offered.
UPPER SCHOOL CHORAL MUSIC
ELCA has a robust offering of performing arts disciplines.
Throughout the year students perform musical theater productions, dramatic plays, orchestra and band concerts, choral concerts, and more. It is our desire that students will grow in their skills and love of their art and serve the Lord with their talents.
Middle School Visual Art: (Grades 5-8) – Middle school art is a further exploration of the visual arts using knowledge previously introduced to students in elementary school art. Middle school students will learn more about the elements and principles of art and will create many works of art using a much more expansive variety of media. Students are graded on a combination of classwork, sketchbook assignments, art projects, and daily participation.
High School Visual Art: (Grades 9-12): High school art students study the visual arts in much more detail and comprehensive art classes are designed to prep students to study art at university. The courses include Comprehensive Art 1, Comprehensive Art 2, and Selected Studio Art.
Advanced Placement Art: Advanced Placement classes are for the serious art student who is eager to begin working at the college level immediately. These students MUST be self-motivated because much work will have to be done outside of class. Assignments are given to students in the spring before they leave for the summer. Student’s complete their AP Art year with a student show of their pieces. Portfolios are judged by the Advanced Placement Institute and students may earn college credit if they score well on their portfolio.
NATIONAL ART HONOR SOCIETY
The middle school students at ELCA are eligible to be a part of the National Junior Art Honor Society. This program cultivates interest in art programs to inspire, encourage, and recognize the younger art student. When a student completes junior membership, they are encouraged to begin anew with a membership in the National Art Honor Society. The NAHS strives to aid members in working toward the attainment of the highest standards in art areas, and to bring art education to the attention of the school and community. For students to achieve high standards, art programs must maintain a substantive focus by choosing art content that includes complex problem solving and higher order thinking skills, and serious alignment of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development that results in student learning. Participation in these programs is a mark of accomplishment in the school and community and is well recognized by institutions when your students apply for entry into colleges or universities.
UPPER SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS
HS Drama Instructor/Director of Theater
Chuck Ekstedt oversees both the K-12 Performance Arts Education and K-12 Visual Arts Education at ELCA; where students can get a premiere education in vocal music, instrumental music, musical theater, music technology, dance, and all of the the visual arts. Mr. Ekstedt also oversees the home-school component at ELCA which gives "At Home" learners the opportunity to come on campus and enroll in our amazing large format Fine Arts classes, and attend these courses right alongside of the full-time students. He also serves as our high school drama teacher where over the years he has directed and produced many great shows such as Sound of Music, Oliver, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, A Few Good Men, Steel Magnolias, The Crucible, The Lion King, Addams Family, Into the Woods and many more. Chuck has been working at ELCA since 2008 and has a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education from Eastern Montana College in Billings, MT.
UPPER SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER STAFF
Eagle's Landing Christian Academy's award-winning theatre program provides students in both Middle School and High School with a creative and multi-faceted learning program in the theatrical arts. This program not only provides a high quality level of standardized theatrical classroom instruction, but also provides many opportunities for live stage performances both at home in our state of the art 1,800-seat theater facility and in a series of annual shows performed on the road. ELCA also has a High School Theatre Honor Society, sponsored by and developed through a relationship with the International Thespian Society (ITS). ELCA theater students can earn eligibility to join these honor societies through active participation in ELCA live theatrical performances and by joining our very active ITS Troupe. Students that successfully complete this course of study will be prepared to continue their theatrical performing arts career or any education related goals they may have in theater. The graduated theater student will have excellent work habits and time management skills. They will also have mastered the ability to speak and perform comfortably in front of large groups of people. Ultimately, they will be better prepared to succeed in any field of endeavor they may choose. Above all however, it is our ultimate desire to train young people to glorify God through excellence in the performing arts. We believe that the arts, especially the performing arts, are at the epicenter of influence in our culture today. Now more than ever, Christians need to be leading the way in setting the standards for performing arts and demanding a high level of quality, creativity, and excellence.
UPPER SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER
Director of Choral Programs
Tracey Fuller is an educator who works with singers and choirs from preschool age and up. She serves at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church as the Choir Director, leads in the Saturate children's program, and also plays keys and sings in the worship services. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Music Education with an emphasis in piano and voice. Her passion is helping people develop their talents to serve God. During her 25 years of teaching music, many of her students have made All State Chorus, received scholarships, and served on worship teams. She has also collaborated with Will Turpin of Collective Soul by directing the children's choir for his production of Rock the Cradle. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.
Pre-K thru 12th grade Choral Music Teaching Assistant and Piano Accompanist
Beverly Hedges has have been with the Eagles Landing Christian Academy School of Fine Arts since 2010. As a student of music she received private piano instruction for more than a decade and studied music at Tennessee Temple University. Her experience as a pianist has included almost 40 years playing and accompanying in bands, orchestras and choral groups. Beverly’s role at ELCA includes assisting Lower Level Music classes, accompanying Upper Level Choral Music and being Assistant to the Fine Arts Director. During the week Beverly also offers private piano instruction. She and her husband TJ have been married 38 years and have three daughters and three grandchildren.
UPPER SCHOOL CHORAL MUSIC STAFF
To provide quality musical education in a Christ-Centered environment.
To glorify God through the playing of instruments.
To recruit and retain hardworking, well-behaved students.
To have students participate in GMEA sanctioned events.
To teach musical skills in line with the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum and the National Standards for Arts Education.
To provide performance opportunities beyond the school day.
To prepare students for advanced music and academic study.
PRINCIPLES OF THE BANDS AT ELCA
High School Art Instructor
Rachel Williams, a Savannah College of Art and Design Alumni, is Eagle's Landing Christian Academy’s High School art teacher. She has an extensive background teaching and working with students of all ages in Christian education and aspires to instill the Holy Spirit of Christ through her God given talents in the field of Visual Arts. Prior to working at ELCA, Rachel also spent several years as a working professional sculptor, managing her foundry and studio located at The Hood Street Art Center in McDonough. She has produced many public and privately commissioned figurative works throughout the southeast and Atlanta area. In addition to her background in education and sculpture, Ms. Williams has completed several artist residency programs at prestigious facilities such as Sloss Furnaces, Sculpture Trails, and Studio by the Tracks. Here, she instructed various three dimensional workshops as well as worked with special needs students with ADHD, Asperger’s and Autism. No matter the circumstance, level, or prior experience a child enters the ELCA Visual Arts Program, Ms. Williams is capable of introducing each student to a variety of mediums, techniques, and historical references to enhance each individual’s skill set and biblical world view in the visual arts.
Middle Grades Art Instructor
Mrs. Sarah Blackaby is our Middle Grades Art Instructor here at ELCA and she teaches 4th through 8th grade. She is a graduate of The Art Institute of Vancouver, Canada with a major in Fashion Marketing and Management. She worked in graphic design for a non-profit Christian ministry and taught painting classes to adults prior to her time at ELCA. She and her husband, Daniel, have twin boys, Logan & Emerson, enrolled here at ELCA. Art is Mrs. Blackaby’s passion and has been creating since she knew how to hold a paint brush. She is excited to teach the younger generation all she can about art and how they can use their gifts to serve God in amazing ways!
UPPER SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS STAFF
Mr. Derek Rock is a graduate from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Originally from Pennsylvania, Mr. Rock found Campbell University, a private Christian University, to be the perfect place to further his education. In his four years there, he served on the Campbell University Band Staff, co-conducted two years of the University Football Band, guest conducted multiple times with the University Wind Ensemble, and sat principal chair saxophone in the Wind Symphony. In his time as an educator, he has helped many students to achieve goals of reaching the District Honor Band as well as seeing one student become a member of the All-State Jazz Band. Outside of school, Mr. Rock spends as much time as he can with his wife, Mrs. Hannah Rock. Mr. and Mrs. Rock attend First Baptist Church Jonesboro. Mr. Rock participates as a member of the Orchestra and Praise Team, and Mrs. Rock is a member of the Choir and Praise Team.
Director of Bands
The middle and high school praise bands are student based worship groups that lead the worship portions of the weekly chapel services. These praise teams give students a chance to both practice and perform their musical talents while leading their fellow students in worship. HS praise band meets at 7:00 a.m. on Monday and Friday. MS praise band meets at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.
I'm excited to get you started on your musical journey. I've been a musician for over 30 years and played in a variety of bands for 20+ years. I'm currently Director of Guitars and Praise Bands here at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy. Also, I'm a private Guitar Instructor and teach 30 students per week. As a musician, I still perform at several churches in the area. Music is a wonderful gift from God and my prayer is that you'll do your best every day and see how God can use you.