Performing Arts

For those interested in performing arts, Gould has classes in music 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. This spring, students took to the stage to perform “Working,” a series of monologue scenes based on interviews by journalist Studs Terkel. The musical numbers were written by a group of composers that include (primarily) Stephen Schwartz (notable for his work in Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, and other Broadway shows), James Taylor, and Lin-Manuel Miranda (wrote In The Heights and Hamilton).

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 the stage!

Performing Arts Courses 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)

Piano and Keyboard Studies

This class is designed to teach piano/keyboard skills for all skill levels including students who are beginners, intermediate, or advanced. Each student, or group of students, will have one lesson each week in class, with practice time built into the rest of the week’s class periods. Students will have the opportunity to learn piano skills in many different styles, from classical to rock, pop, and jazz. Techniques in reading music and ear training will be covered. Keyboards and pianos will be made available to the students. Beginning and intermediate level players will use a text as part of their study. Advance players will work on repertoires, as agreed in collaboration with their teacher. (Course will earn .33 credits for each trimester completed.)

Introduction to Music

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

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.)

History of Jazz: The Early Years

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 1800s. 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.

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.

Heidi Modr

Music Teacher
B.Mus., Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Artist Diploma, The Juilliard School
Masters in Music Ed., Royal Conservatory of the Hague


Heidi Modr has enjoyed a lifetime of involvement in music performance both playing and teaching. She was educated in violin performance with a minor in pedagogy at the Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School where she studied under Dorothy Delay. Heidi has enjoyed an extensive performing career in New York City garnering two favourable New York Times reviews. In addition to solo and chamber music performances, she has played for many years in The Orchestra of St Luke’s, The American Composer’s Orchestra and has repeatedly toured the Far East with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Teaching has always played a major role in her musical life. Heidi earned her teaching diploma at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. She taught at the Concordia Conservatory in New York and has most recently taught at the International School of the Hague where she conducted both the choir and orchestra. Heidi believes in the important role music has in society and has enjoyed seeing the pride of accomplishment that playing an instrument gives in her students. She has seen time and again the benefits music performance can bring to students overall happiness, confidence and discipline. Heidi is an avid tennis player and outdoor sports enthusiast.