Talent Unlimited High School
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
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About the teachers
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Programs and Admissions
A four-year rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career. Students take drama, vocal, tap, and musical theater movement classes with specific focus on tuning their physical instruments in preparation for full productions in 11th and 12th grades. Students study musical theater history, ensemble-building, improvisation, and acting through song. In addition, the senior year includes specialized units in college audition readiness, industry exposure, and theater as a business.
A four-year rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career. Students take daily solo voice and ensemble classes, studying classical and contemporary repertoire. Students perform on the main stage all 4 years, including a fully staged opera in the 12th grade. Students study piano, musicianship/theory, and phonetics. Students may complete internships with cultural organizations, perform in special events including NYSSMA adjudication, and graduate with an arts-endorsed diploma.
A four-year rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career. Students take daily ballet and modern dance classes, improvisation, dance composition, pointe, and repertory. Dancers perform during all four years of study. Dance majors study dance history, anatomy, injury prevention, body conditioning and yoga, and workshops with professional companies. Students complete internships with cultural organizations and graduate with both a CTE and arts endorsement.
A four-year rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career. Students take daily drama and movement classes on acting techniques and tuning their physical instruments in preparation for full productions in 11th and 12th grades. Students study theater history, voice and speech, improvisation, and digital filmmaking. Students complete internships with cultural organizations, compete yearly in the National Shakespeare Competition, and graduate with both a CTE and arts endorsement.
A four-year rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career. Students rehearse daily in large ensembles and have diverse performance opportunities throughout all four years. Students study music theory, history, and piano in 9th and 10th grades, and study solo repertory and chamber music in 11th and 12th grades. Students may complete internships with cultural organizations, perform in special events including NYSSMA adjudications, and graduate with an arts endorsement diploma.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature and Composition, AP U.S. History
Boys PSAL teams
Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball
Manhattan NY 10065