Visual and Performing Arts

The Visual and Performing Arts Department at Father Ryan provides students with a spectrum of opportunities for pursuing their artistic and performing talents. Whether on the stage or in the studio, students receive exceptional training from the school's teaching artists, working professionally on their craft while teaching in the classroom, in addition to outstanding workshops presented by professional performers and touring companies.

Join Father Ryan in celebrating the arts through programs in the visual and performing arts for students who wish to dance, sing, act, paint or play an instrument. Students who participate in the arts have opportunities to perform and compete locally and internationally. Our students have 32 visual and performing arts course offerings to develop their talents during their time at Father Ryan.

Nashville Arts magazine did a feature on the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Father Ryan in their November 2017 issue. The article, written by DeeGee Lester with photography by John Partipilo, can be found here.

Notable Alumni

List of 9 items.

  • Caroline Kole '15

    Caroline Kole ’15 has loved music for as long as she can remember. She got her first guitar at age eight and started songwriting soon after. She landed her first paying gig at age 10, started a band at 11 and has played venues with crowds as large as 30,000 people. 
  • Casey Motley '12

    Casey Motley '12 honed his craft through years of study in Nashville and through the Father Ryan Dance program, Casey followed his passion to LA and is making his dreams come true with credits that expand throughout the entertainment field. 
  • Alyssa Bonagura '06

    Alyssa Bonagura ’06 has written songs with Michelle Branch, Hunter Hayes, JD Souther, and many others. One of her songs, "I Make My Own Sunshine" was featured in a Lowe’s commercial, earning over 50,000 downloads in its first 3 months and over 1 million plays on Spotify. Alyssa is a member of The Sisterhood Band with her friend Ruby Stewart while simultaneously working as a solo artist.
  • Paul Schlacter '01

    Paul Schlacter ’01 is as tech and art-savvy as they come working as a senior visual designer for Google NYC, the world’s leading multi-tech company. He recently completed the design and art direction for the 2017 redesign of Schlacter also worked in Google’s famed Creative Lab. 
  • Courtney Corbin Simon '00

    Courtney Corbin Simon ’00 spun and jumped her way to America’s most heralded dance company at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York, where she performed professionally from 2005 to 2009. In 2015, she founded Blooming Bébé, which offers developmental movement classes for infants and toddlers ages two months to 24 months.
  • Cruz Contreras ‘95

    Cruz Contreras ‘95 and his Americana band The Black Lilies have caught the ear of critics and fans alike. In summer 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine selected them as one of the hottest up-and-coming acts in country music, calling them “buzzworthy” and describing their style as “genre-mashing roots music with an Appalachian anchor.”
  • Erin Davie ’95

    Erin Davie ’95 has appeared on stage throughout the country as well as on television with appearances that include Law and Order: SVU, The Good Wife and Orange is the New Black. Broadway credits include: the revival of Sunday in the Park with George, Grey Gardens, Curtains (with David Hyde Pierce) and A Little Night Music in which she co-starred with Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones.
  • Jim McCann ’92

    Jim McCann ’92 began his career as a writer for TV and film leading him to his current work at Marvel Comics as a writer and illustrator.
  • Keith Alberstadt ’91

    Keith Alberstadt ’91 is a New York City-based stand-up comedian who has appeared onLate Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Seth Myers, been a contestant on 2014 Last Comic Standing and is a writer for SNL’s Weekend Update.

See Yourself Performing Here!

Meet the Staff

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of John Durand

    John Durand 

    Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair | Environmental Awareness Moderator | Immaculata House
    (615) 383-4200 x 1854
  • Photo of Kelli McClendon

    Kelli McClendon 

    Head of Trinity House | Center for the Arts Manager | Director of Theater/Purple Masque Players
  • Photo of Julie Cox

    Julie Cox 

    Visual and Performing Arts Teacher | Choral Director | Music Ministry Coordinator | Emerald House
    (615) 383-4200
  • Photo of Lauri Dismuke

    Lauri Dismuke 

    Visual and Performing Arts Teacher | Dance Director | Trinity House
  • Photo of Jereme Frey

    Jereme Frey 

    Visual and Performing Arts Teacher | Band Director | Norwood House
    (615) 383-4200 x 2273
  • Photo of Andrew Bannan

    Andrew Bannan 

    Associate Director of Bands | Immaculata House
    (615) 383-4200 x 2237
  • Photo of Ellen Dempsey

    Ellen Dempsey 

    Visual Arts Teacher | Art Club Moderator | Oak House
    (615) 383-4200 x 2155
  • Photo of Curtis Prichard

    Curtis Prichard 

    Visual and Performing Arts Teacher | Oak House

List of 5 events.

View All Events