Thomas More Prep’s Fine Arts Department is focused on exploring, developing
and nurturing the artistic gifts of each student in the disciplines of theater, music and the visual arts. Through the study of fine arts, students acquire skills that are vehicles for self-expression and communication now and in the future. A wide array of courses and activities are offered through the fine arts department to give students the opportunities to explore various mediums during their time at Thomas More Prep. The arts offer an extraordinary complement to the core academic curriculum for students. Students learn teamwork, project management and responsibility. They learn to conquer fear, and most importantly, they learn how to express themselves. Many of the lessons in fine arts and music relate to the individual student and the passion they are trying to share with others. It takes another artist and a skilled teacher to help. Take a minute and meet some of the people of the fine arts and music department.
TMP-Marian offers several visual arts courses. At the high school level, students may take classes in Intro to Art, Basic 2 & 3-D, Advanced 2 & 3-D, and Intro/Advanced Digital Art. High school students also have the opportunity to participate in Art Club and other art-based events throughout the school year. Junior high students are enrolled in a basic art class each year.
TMP-Marian’s drama department offers students wonderful opportunities to shine on the stage. The fall play and spring musical create diverse skill building for the students, such as stage acting and singing or playing instruments in the pit orchestra, makeup/hair, behind the scenes work building sets or painting design, and technology advancement in our state of the art sound and light booth. Dramatic arts builds character and community as students and adults work together to bring the written page to life.
Concert Band is offered both semesters and includes one concert each semester.
There is opportunity in high school for KMEA District Honor Band, KMEA State Honor Band, ensemble playing, and regional and state music festival. Junior high students may audition for Junior High/Middle School district band and participate in league and local festivals throughout the school year.
Marching Band is offered in the fall semester and provides an opportunity for parade marching for TMP and FHSU homecoming celebrations for band students in grades 7-12. The marching band also provides pep band music for all home football games and takes a performing trip (High School only) every two years.
Pep Band is offered both semesters. Students enrolled provide pep band music for all home basketball games and travel (High School only) with basketball teams to some post season tournaments.
TMP Singers is a select show choir group which is active throughout the school year. Members are selected by audition only. A main annual performance event is the dinner theater. The group also sings and dances for many community events and takes a trip every two years.
Choral Music at TMP-Marian
Thomas More Prep-Marian has a deep and rich tradition that runs to the very core and heart of the Hays Catholic community. The choral music program at TMP-Marian echoes that great tradition by involving students in learning and performing music that is representative of true Catholic practice and heritage. As music ministers of their faith and representatives of God’s school, students involve themselves and patrons of the community in praying through song, proliferating Catholicism through sacred music.
Schola Cantorum is a select, non-curricular a cappella ensemble made up of no more than 10 voices that prepares and performs four to eight –part motets and songs from the 16th Century and beyond. This ensemble performs for various occasions alone and with the concert choirs. Admission into Schola Cantorum is based on audition and/or selection by the director.
Cantores Primores is the high school concert choir. This ensemble presents Fall Vespers, The Rosary in Song, a Festival of Lessons and Carols (Advent), Stations of the Cross (Lent), and an Easter Concert in the spring. In addition to ensemble participation, students may audition for District and State Honor Choir, as well as regional and state music festival.
Cantores Minores is the junior high concert choir. This ensemble presents Fall Vespers, a Festival of Lessons and Carols (Advent), Stations of the Cross (Lent), and an Easter Concert in the spring along with the high school ensemble. These students also have the opportunity to participate in district honor choir and may audition for KMEA All-State Middle Level Honor Choir. There are various opportunities as well for league and local festival participation.
Mr. Travis Grizzell has been on staff at TMP since 2007 and Drama Director since 2009. The TMP Drama Department produces two stage shows each school year, a Fall Musical and a Spring Play. These shows give students the invaluable experience of crafting a show from script to performance while creating memories they will cherish long after their days at TMP. Students can be involved as actors, musicians, artists, stage crew, technical designers, costumers and more, ensuring a place for everyone and a need for the diverse talents of our student body. The TMP Drama shows take place in the Dreiling Theatre and are open to the general public.
Angie Pahls currently teaches Intro to Art, Basic 2 & 3-D, Advanced 2 & 3-D, Intro/Advanced Digital Art, and 7th & 8th grade art. She enjoys bringing new thoughts, creativity and understanding to the students of TMP-M. She graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. Each day brings a new sense of creativity to an already exciting life. Her goal as an art teacher is to enhance a student’s life with a new beauty found through the fine arts.
Mrs. Kathy Dreiling-Amrein currently teaches junior high and high school band at Thomas More Prep High School in Hays, Kansas. In addition she is the Director of the select choir, The TMP Singers a group of 20. Mrs. Amrein received a Bachelor of Science degree in music from Fort Hays State University in 1980. She holds graduate hours from various universities. Mrs. Amrein has taught music in all classifications of schools from 1A thru 6A. At each school, the music enrollment increased under her leadership. Her objective in teaching music is to have all students take with them a love of music that will last throughout their lives. One of her proudest accomplishments is the music program at TMP, having built the band from 18 members fourteen years ago to 72 members last year. Her bands have received I ratings at the state festival for the past twelve years. The TMP band also received three trophies last year at the Winter Park Music Festival, one being the Grand Champion Honor. Besides being an active member in KMEA where she holds the office of Northwest District Past President, she has served as a middle school choral chair and middle school band chair. Kathy originally comes from Victoria, Kansas. She is the organist as well as directs the church choir at the Basilica of St. Fidelis Catholic Church which is also known as “The Cathedral of the Plains” in Victoria, a position she has held for 20+ years. As a community member, Mrs. Amrein is a regular church organist and cantor at a number of churches in the Hays area as well as a soloist for many weddings and funerals. She performs regularly with her sister Kay Werth and the Werth Family Trio. Mrs. Amrein resides in Hays with her husband Allan Amrein, also a teacher in the Hays. Mrs. Amrein credits her love of music to her many teachers, including her father Benny Schulte, a music teacher and a lifelong musician. She also credits her college mentors Lyle Dilley and Vic Sisk for instilling in her a love of music education.
Mr. Michael Brandel has been teaching music since 1995. He has taught beginning band, elementary music, and choral music at the Junior High and High School level. In addition to his teaching experience in the musical arts, Mr. Brandel has also taught speech and drama at the secondary and collegiate levels, has directed myriad plays and musicals, and even enjoyed a short stint in a fourth grade classroom while serving as a long-term substitute teacher in Ohio. A classical singer by trade, he continues to teach private voice lessons in the city of Hays. Mr. Brandel graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1995 earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Performance as a vocal music major. From 1999-2000, he earned a bachelor’s equivalency in Communication Disorders at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he also pursued graduate work in voice science. Mr. Brandel resides in Hays with his wife, Jayne, and their six children, all of whom attend Hays Catholic Schools. He is currently the choir director at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hays and serves various roles within the parish. Mr. Brandel enjoys time with his family hunting, fishing, hiking, running, attending loud concerts and other performances, playing chess, and watching movies at home.