Department of Defense Education Activity

Europe Student Academic Activities - Fine Arts


Normally scheduled the week before Thanksgiving, Creative Connections is a six-day visual and performing arts symposium for talented high school students selected by application and audition. Instructors include experienced DoDEA teachers and contracted art and music specialists. Classes vary from year to year, but often include drama, show choir, strings, dance, costuming, video production, drawing, mixed-media, and watercolor. The week of intensive instruction challenges students to explore new creative avenues and refine their skills to the highest levels. The activity culminates with an exhibition of artwork followed by an evening performance.


All high schools can send a troupe of Thespians to participate in DramaFest, currently hosted in Wiesbaden, Germany in April. Schools hold auditions to send their most promising 6 actors and 2 theater tech students to the event to participate in monologues, duets, and ensemble presentations. Students can both give and receive constructive feedback to improve their skills. Special workshops in theater tech, movement, costuming, and make-up also comprise the program. When possible, the festival includes an excursion to a professional theater production. Schools are also invited to participate in the DramaFest One-Act Play Festival which is a virtual showcase opportunity for school drama programs.


Approximately 60 instrumentalists and 80 vocalists are selected by blind audition for the opportunity to study and perform under the batons of two of America's finest conductors. After several days of intensive rehearsals, where a variety of band and choral literature is rehearsed, students perform an evening concert in the local community. A separate event connected to the Honors Music Festival is the Honors Music Solo & Ensemble Festival which is a virtual Solo & Ensemble competition for all DoDEA students in grades 6 and above. Students submit video recordings of prepared solos or ensembles that are judged by our DoDEA Music Teachers. A virtual showcase of the top performers is presented for public viewing in late spring.


Jazz Festival is a five-day advanced performing arts symposium for 55 motivated and talented high school students. The objectives of the Big Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble are to provide students with advanced instruction in jazz studies. The week of intense work culminates on with a concert as well as a performance in the community. The Festival also contains a workshop component. The objective of the workshop is to increase capacity in jazz skills across DoDEA Europe. Students who do not feel ready to audition for the Big Band or Vocal Jazz Ensemble, but are interested in jazz studies, should apply for the workshop. This event features world-renown jazz clinicians as well as DoDEA music teachers as staff.