Talent Unlimited High School
Manhattan NY 10065
Strong performing arts program
Communication is a work-in-progress
Talent Unlimited combines a strong performing arts program with engaging academics, preparing students either to go to a liberal arts college or on to conservatory training in musical theater, voice, instrumental music, drama or dance.
Housed in a wing of the Julia Richman Educational Complex on the Upper East Side, Talent Unlimited has its own entrance. It shares facilities such as a library and cafeteria with other schools in the building. The corridors could use some fresh paint and brighter lighting, but the classrooms are sunny.
Music classes are on the same floor as math classes; dance is on the same floor as science, and drama is on the same floor as English and social studies. This arrangement encourages teachers to integrate academics and art and to take advantage of students' artistic talents to make academics more accessible.
Students read Shakespeare in English classand act out scenes in drama. A math teacher gives a lesson on wavelengths, and the musicians learn about intervals and frequency. A science teacher makes a connection between radioactive decay and the rhythms that dancers understand. Students taking an introduction to engineering make props and sets for a school play.
While seniors at many New York City schools have a very light course load, Talent Unlimited encourages students to take four years of math and four years of science and about one-third of them do. The school offers a few Advanced Placement courses.
Principal Yeou Jey Vasconcelos joined the staff in 2016, replacing retiring principal Linda Hamil. Vasconcelos is a strong communicator who sends bi-monthly emails and letters home, according to parent-teacher association secretary, Lois Vigilante. In recent years, communication and strong family-community ties have gotten lower marks on otherwise strong school surveys.
Vasconcelos is a pianist who previously organized the music department at Eleanor Roosevelt and taught all instruments there. She studied science before moving into the performing arts and education. Vigilante said the principal "has a strong personality, is organized, addresses problems, looks for solutions." (There were no school surveys on her leadership from teachers and students at the time of this posting.)
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: A few students have won POSSE scholarships to the University of Southern California and Wheaton College in Massachusetts. One dance student was admitted to Juilliard.
ADMISSIONS: Students may audition in dance, drama, voice, instrumental or musical theater. Applicants should score level 2-4 on standardized exams and have an 80 average or above in academic classes. There are weekly tours from September to December. (Clara Hemphill, 2012: updated by phone, Lydie Raschka, 2017)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve students with disabilities?
Programs and Admissions
Students are transformed into triple threat performers who learn to sing, dance and act in a variety of venues; emphasis on vocal technique, scene study, movement, ensemble and solo performance.
Students study music theory, vocal technique, and music history; opportunity to perform in a variety of vocal ensembles.
Students study modern and ballet technique, choreography, repertory, pointe, pilates, anatomy and dance history; comprehensive program that includes junior and senior internships and performances at all grade levels.
Students study movement for actors, voice and speech, theatre history, scene and monologue study, communication skills, stage production and performance repertory; opportunity to perform in a variety of venues.
Students study music theory and history and have the opportunity to perform in a variety of ensembles, including concert band, string ensemble, jazz band and orchestra.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP English, AP US History
Boys PSAL teams
Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball