Performing Arts

For musicians, classes in theory, music history, digital music production, various ensembles, and individual voice and instrument lessons through our Distance Partnership with the Manhattan School of Music are just a few of the opportunities that await you.

With 11 Steinway pianos on campus, Gould Academy shares the All-Steinway School designation with schools such as Juilliard and the Yale School of Music.

Performing Arts students can also participate in two dramatic productions each year – a fall play and spring musical – which expose students to different genres of theater. In the fall of 2015, students took to the stage to perform The Laramie Project about the reaction to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming.

Gould’s Chorus Group performs a range of music from across the world during special events in Bingham Auditorium and more intimate concerts in Trustees Auditorium. Students are also provided with the unique opportunity to work with visiting professional musicians from around the world as well as work with regional musicians like during Gould’s recent visit to the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

For more videos and pictures, be sure to check out the Gould Academy Performing Arts Facebook Page for more happenings on and off stage!

Performing Arts Course Classes Include:


This is a vocal performance ensemble for credit. You do not need prior musical experience to sing in the chorus. We will learn and perform various musical arrangements in many different styles.  Also incorporated will be methods in sight singing, breathing techniques, and basic music theory.  Students will be assessed on participation in rehearsals and concerts.  Oral playing tests will be given to measure each student’s practice habits outside of the classroom.


This is an instrumental performance ensemble for credit. You need to have some prior musical experience on an instrument to play in this ensemble. We will learn and perform various musical arrangements in many different styles.  Also incorporated will be methods in sight reading, tone production, breathing techniques and basic music theory. Students will be assessed on participation in rehearsals and concerts. Aural playing tests will be given to measure each student’s practice habits outside of the classroom.

Applied Music Study

Students may receive credit, on a pass/fail basis, for completion of a program of music lessons. Granting of credit is dependent on receiving lessons from a qualified teacher, including but not limited to the Manhattan School of Music instructors, completion of practice hours, and assessment by the Gould Academy music faculty. Public performance may also be a condition for receiving credit, at the discretion of the department chair. (Prerequisite: Departmental approval)

Introduction to Music (Fall, Winter, and Spring)

Introduction to Music is designed for younger students. It is intended to expose students to the many facets of musical study including reading music, music history, music technology, contemporary musical culture, and attending performances. There is no prior musical experience needed. This class is a prerequisite for Music Theory and Music Technology.

Music Technology (Fall, Winter, and Spring)

Music Technology explores the fundamentals of music composition. Student’s work in the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) lab using software for audio editing, multi-track recording, MIDI sequencing, and loop based composition. Students publish their compositions on the internet and have the option of recording CD’s or performing their work. Previous musical experience is not required. (Prerequisite: Intro to Music or departmental approval.)

Introductory Music Theory (Fall)

Introductory Music Theory is a beginning course in the fundamentals of music notation and theory, designed to develop basic music literacy. Through analysis and application of compositional practices of the common-practice period, the course covers rhythm, pitch, notation, scales, intervals, key signatures, tonality, melody, harmony, and ear training. Although no previous knowledge of music theory is required, some musical background will be helpful. (Prerequisite: Intro to Music or departmental approval.)

Intermediate Music Theory (Winter)

This course is for self-motivated students with some music theory training. In this course the student will build on preexisting tools to analyze and understand music as well as compose original music, building on what is learned in Music Theory. (Prerequisite: Intro to Music Theory or departmental approval.)

History of Jazz: The Early Years (Fall and Winter)

Jazz is “America’s classical music.” This class begins by tracing the prehistory of Jazz from the “Ring Shouts” performed by slaves at Congo Square to the brass bands of the late 1800’s. The class then moves on to follow the development of jazz music from Louis Armstrong to the big band era and onto the stride pianists of the Harlem Renaissance and Duke Ellington. Students gain an understanding of the art of improvisation through the lives and works of the great jazz players and composers as well as a sense of the relationship between jazz music and certain events in U.S. History.

History of Western Music (Spring)

This is a survey course that spans from the development of opera to the modern day musical, with an emphasis on Broadway productions. Aspects of the musical including composition, plot, set design, and technology are discussed. Beyond that, the course focuses on the context in which the musical developed, looking at the causes and effects of current events on the theater world. This course culminates in a research paper.

Faculty Bios

James McLaughlin

Performing Arts Program Chair
B.S. Music Education
Plymouth State College
Director of the Distance Learning Program
Fall Play/Spring Musical


Born  and raised in Cincinnati, Mr. McLaughlin moved to New Hampshire in the eighth grade. Graduating  from Plymouth State College in 1988, he won the Granite State Piano Competition that same year. He has been involved in music education for over 25 years as a private piano/theory teacher and clinician, and has spent many years performing as a freelance jazz/rock pianist and vocalist throughout the United States, including New England and New York City. At Gould, Mr. McLaughlin has directed both the band and choral programs, worked as the technical director in Gould’s fall theater productions, and directed the pit band in the spring musicals. He is an advisor and teaches music in the classroom, including classes in Jazz History and Music Technology.  Through a partnership with the Manhattan School of Music, he oversees the distance learning program. Still active as a performer, Mr.McLaughlin  brings his passion for live music to his students. He lives in West Bethel with his two children, Tarin ’16 and Finnian ’20.

Edison Quinatoa

Music Teacher
B.A. Universidad San Fransisco de Quito
M.ed. Bridgewater State University


A former professional musician from Quito, Ecuador, Mr. Quinatoa was a member the Philharmonic Orchestra in Quito. After six years of touring internationally, he began his teaching career as a music teacher and band director at Colegio Menor, a private international school.While there he earned his M.A. in Education and met his wife, Elissa (a Spanish teacher here at Gould). Mr. Quinatoa takes every chance he gets to play his flute, saxophone, and as many other instruments as he can get his hands on. When not in the classroom or band room he is outside on the soccer field, on his bike, or hiking in the woods. He and his wife live on campus.