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Music and the Arts

Why are people moved by music? Is there such a thing as a great work of art? Do people see a thing differently if they draw it? Is the rhythm of poetry the rhythm of music? At St. John’s students sing Palestrina in the Great Hall, sketch plants, study how text and music work together in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and derive the equation for a vibrating string. Students can also paint the landscape, join the orchestra, dance in the studio, play in a jazz band, and visit the art gallery. Whether students have been long dedicated to an artistic practice or are new to fine arts, conversations about their place in a worthy human life are an important part of a liberal education.

NOTE

Music and the arts are a few of the many subjects studied in the college’s integrated great books curriculum. There are no majors at St. John’s. Instead, students explore all these subjects over the course of all four years. Learn more about St. John’s classes.

Books and More

Johann Sebastian Bach St. Matthew Passion

Ludwig van Beethoven Third Symphony

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Theory of Color

Joseph Haydn Quartets

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Lectures on Fine Art

Johannes Kepler Epitome IV, Inventions

Claudio Monteverdi L’Orfeo

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni, Operas

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Missa Papae Marcelli

Franz Schubert Songs

Igor Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Richard Wagner Tristan and Isolde

Leonardo da Vinci

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Marriage of Figaro

Rainer Maria Rilke New Poems and Letters on Cézanne

Franz Schubert Winterreise (Winter Journey)

The Films of Akira Kurosawa

The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky

The Music of Igor Stravinsky

Schopenhauer, Wagner and Nietzsche

Visual Arts: Thinking About the Experience of Learning How to Draw

What is a (Modernist) Painting?

Architecture

Art

Film

A More Beautiful World

The information presented is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect the current reading list and preceptorial and study group offerings. Works listed are studied at one or both campuses, although not always in their entirety.

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Forest Woods Media Productions

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Working for Art and Education

Alumni

Alumnus Max Dakin (A16) works at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Senior Essay

Seeing and Feeling in Painting

Senior Essay

Suffering in Art: The Alienation of Passion in “Musée des Beaux Arts”

Meow Wolf: Johnnies and the Art of Collaborative Inquiry

Alumni | Johnnies

Several St. John’s College alumni are working at Meow Wolf, an art collective in Santa Fe.

Pottery

Student Group

Senior Essay

The Labyrinthine Self: The Experience of Self in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker

Contemplating Cosmic Harmonies

Tutor

Peter Pesic has been the musician-in-residence at St. John’s College in Santa Fe since 1984 and has put on more than 200 concerts on campus.

Meow Wolf: A Growing Artistic Enterprise

Alumni | Johnnies

Meow Wolf, a creative company staffed by a number of St. John’s alumni, is working to expand the arts in northern New Mexico and elsewhere.

Senior Essay

When the Music is Over—An Exploration into the Purpose of Art and Music

St. John’s Chorus

Student Group

Small Chorus

Student Group

Baltimore Theatre Project

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

How to Find Resolution in Death: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Death and Desire in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

Senior Essay

The Receding Figure: Sublime Moments in Three Landscapes by Caspar David Friedrich

Senior Essay

The God Who Dies to Conquer Death: Exploring the Meaning Behind the Music and Text of the Passion Chorale in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion

Senior Essay

Ambiguity of Reality in the Translation of Worlds: Asking Van Gogh through His Paintings and Letters Why We Read

Dancing like Mr. Darcy

News

Sage Assembly, a Southwestern English Ball, brought students and community members together in the Great Hall at St. John’s College in Santa Fe.

Senior Essay

Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen: Bach’s St. Matthew Passionas an Invitation to Complex, Varied Lamentation

Senior Essay

The Music of Philosophy: An Inquiry with Plato’s Phaedo

Lecture

Music and the Idea of a World: on Plato and Schopenhauer

This lecture explores the differences between two perspectives on music: one ancient, one modern.

Shedding Light on Austin’s Art Scene

Alumni

St. John’s College graduate Jennifer Chenoweth (SF95) created the XYZ Atlas public art project in Austin, Texas.

Prized Pieces of Art

Johnnies

Journie Kirdain (A17) is the winner of the 2017 Charles Vernon Moran Prize for her work in the Mitchell Gallery’s Community Art Exhibition.

Senior Essay

Agape in the Form of Art: An Analysis of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and McBride Gallery

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

Sleeping Disciples, Sleeping Sins, and the Final Rest in Death: A Textual and Musical Thread in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion

Senior Essay

The Observer, Observed or: On the Possibility of Impossible Love in Chaplin’s City Lights

Music in the Humanities

Johnnies

While St. John’s College is known for the study of the great books, music also plays a prominent role in campus life.

Lecture

Going for Gold: Sergio Leone Reads Plato in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Linda Wiener

SITE Santa Fe

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Film Club

Student Group

A Man for All Seasons

News

President Mark Roosevelt donated four lithographs of Frederick Douglass to St. John’s College in Santa Fe.

Lecture

Towards “A New Birth of Freedom”—Tragedy and Comedy, 1786 Schiller’s Don Carlos and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

Senior Essay

Reading the List: On Love and Revenge in Don Giovanni

Contemporary Choir

Student Group

Annapolis Shakespeare Company 

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Primum Mobile (renaissance / classical / a cappella)

Student Group

Blue Bear Films

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Equant (pop a cappella)

Student Group

Senior Essay

Finding Home: Man’s Journey in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Senior Essay

The Mechanics of Grace: A Schenkerian Approach to the Live Content of Bach’s First Prelude in C

Hainan Don-po Academy of Calligraphy and Painting

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

Squire, Disenchanter, Governor: An Examination of Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza in Three Parts 

Darkroom

Student Group

A darkroom on campus allows students to develop film and learn the fundamentals of photography.

A World-Class Artist’s Gift

News

Janet Lippincott’s time at the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College still continues today, 10 years after her death.

Art Society

Student Group

Senior Essay

The Power of the Nonverbal in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Photo Club

Student Group

Film Society

Student Group