Junior K-12 Arts Department

US boys love to create and perform. Our students are singers, dancers, musicians, actors, painters, filmmakers and photographers. There is a certain freedom at an all-boys’ school that allows students to feel comfortable exploring their creative and artistic sides. 
With the visual, musical and dramatic arts playing such a prominent role in our students' lives, the programs at US go well beyond the usual and are recognized as among the best in Northeast Ohio. Today, no boy graduates from US without a two-year exposure to the fine arts. Many students continue this commitment, acting in school plays, participating in the glee club and orchestra, and taking arts electives.

Visual Arts

Visual arts are embedded in the primary curriculum as boys create art relating to themes they study in the classroom. Working in a spacious studio, students create two- and three-dimensional projects with a variety of media. Middle school visual arts includes a large studio project designed to challenge the most artistic students while allowing boys of all abilities to finish a substantial piece and see it displayed in the school community.
The Upper School's visual arts program includes specialized courses in enameling and metal working, screen printing, and airbrush technique. Beginning and advanced classes in drawing and painting, ceramics, sculpture, and photography are available. Video production, three-dimensional computer animation, and computer graphics are also offered. Upper School students frequently receive local, state, and national recognition through their participation in the annual Scholastic Art Competition and the Ohio Governor’s Show.

Musical Arts

In the primary and middle school, boys express themselves through singing, movement, and playing brass, string, or woodwind instruments. In the primary, a junior choir, recorder ensemble, and a drumming group complement a fun and challenging Orff-Schulwerk program. In the middle school, students take a unique Soundscape course that helps them develop a love for music through composition, listening, performing, and project-based research. Two orchestras, a jazz band, a choir, and an a cappella group, all open to fifth through eighth graders, round out the program.
The Upper School offers a diverse music program. The US Orchestra performs a range of pieces appropriate to the technical capabilities of the students. The 1:00 and 2:00 Jazz Ensembles and the Jazz Combo expose students to a variety of jazz styles and the challenges of ensemble playing. The jazz band has traveled to New Orleans and performed throughout the city several times. The US Glee Club is one of the school's oldest organizations dedicated to high quality choral singing and superior musical education for its members. The group performs several concerts each year and has toured throughout North America and Europe. The Upper School Singing Ensemble is known as the US Males. US Males perform contemporary college-level a capella music.

Dramatic Arts

The drama program in the middle school is top-notch and stages two major productions each year. Drama offers a wonderful venue for boys to explore their social and emotional depths. The program focuses on character development, public speaking, and self-expression.
The Upper School drama program, recognized as one of the best in Northeast Ohio, provides students with opportunities to develop as actors and to gain greater self-confidence. The program proudly counts numerous Broadway and Hollywood actors among its alumni. Courses are taught in the creative and technical aspects of theater. Several major productions that go well beyond that of typical high school shows are staged each year and often include girls from area schools.

Middle School Theatre Program Fit for Broadway


Flying Mallets: Viva la Vida


Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, OH 44022
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 870 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence.