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Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department at First Baptist School aims to produce artistically literate students who are educated in mind, body, and spirit. The arts programs guide students through the artistic process; integrate the Christian faith and the arts; and meet the National Core Art standards of creating, performing/presenting/producing, responding, and connecting.


Fine & Performing Arts

While at First Baptist School, every student is encouraged to engage in the arts through classes, clubs, and performance opportunities. All lower school students participate in classroom music and visual arts. Increased offerings with age mean that many students can choose from elective classes in photography, visual art, band, choir, and dance, all of which are taught by an accomplished faculty with years of experience. Additionally, students on both campuses are invited to participate in our musical theatre program. Other performances include chapel presentations, semesterly music concerts, and annual dance performances.

First Baptist School is proud to provide a strong arts program, and we invite every student to engage in the arts through a myriad of classes and performance opportunities. 

Fine & Performing Arts
Fine Arts Offerings

Grades K2 -12th

Our art classes expose students to a variety of mediums, artistic styles, and age-appropriate art projects. As students progress through the program, they are taught the basic principles of drawing with an array of mediums. Art students regularly have the opportunity to enter SCISA and local art competitions.


Grades 3rd - 12th 

The Choir program at First Baptist School is aligned to the National Standards for Music Education, which focus on students learning to sing, create, read, and listen to music. Choir students also have the opportunity to collaborate with guest musicians, perform for local radio programs, and attend a yearly chorale festival.


Grades K2 - 5th

Classroom music is offered to every student in grades K2 to fifth. Students are exposed to a wide variety of instruments and learn basic musical skills like matching tempo, singing, and identifying patterns. The classroom music program is also designed to reinforce academic curriculum for grades K2 to K5 and to provide students with a foundation in music basics in grades first through fifth. Students who enjoy the classroom music program may elect to continue music education through band or choir. 


Grades 1st - 12th

The Theatre program at First Baptist School is aligned to the National Standards for Theatre Education, with a focus on students learning to create, refine, and present a piece of work for performance. Students are invited to participate in at least one musical theatre production each year.


Grades 4th - 12th

The band program at First Baptist gives students the opportunity to learn a new instrument and participate in concert band. Students meet during the school day and actively work on the National Standards for Music Education, including learning to create, read, perform, and actively listen to music. Band students also have the opportunity to collaborate with the Charleston Symphony and work with guest musicians from across the country. 


Grades K3 - 12th

The dance program includes improvisation and choreography projects for all ages, as well as technical instruction in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and jazz.  Older students have the opportunity to work with guest artists from around the country and are invited to attend “Project Dance” in New York as seniors.


Grades 9th - 12th 

Beginners in the photography program learn to become visual problem solvers and to create artistic and iconic images by using light, composition, and subject. Students begin shooting in automatic mode and then progress to aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode. Students have the opportunity to explore Charleston and James Island as they learn photography basics, and their work is frequently featured and printed in The Post and Courier.


Grades 9th - 12th 

Using Josten’s Yearbook Avenue program, students collaborate with one another in this student-led elective. This class emphasizes creating design spreads, choosing a yearly theme, and formatting photographs for First Baptist School’s yearbook. Students also craft and edit the yearbook’s content.

Fine Arts Events
  • Lessons & Carols
    Lessons & Carols
    Sun, Dec 03
    First Baptist Church Sanctuary
    Dec 03, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    First Baptist Church Sanctuary, 61 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
    Dec 03, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    First Baptist Church Sanctuary, 61 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
    Join us for our annual Lessons & Carols service on December 3, 2023.
  • FBS Fine Arts Presents: Peter Pan
    FBS Fine Arts Presents: Peter Pan
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, Mar 14
    Location is TBD
    Mar 14, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Mar 14, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Join us for our spring performance of Peter Pan!

Susan Cram-Smith


Susan Cram-Smith joined our faculty in 2009 and serves as our Fine Arts Director, Founding Director of the FBS Dance Program, and Yearbook Advisor. Before moving to Charleston, she established a performing arts studio in east Tennessee and also coached The Carson Newman University Dance Team to the program's first ever Nationals appearance. Mrs. Cram-Smith studied Dance Performance and Dance Education at Winthrop University, where she received the Producers Circle Scholarship in Dance. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carson Newman University, is a member of the National Dance Education Organization, and is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) instructor for all levels. An award winning choreographer, Susan has worked with dance programs at the highschool, college, and studio level for over 20 years. While some of her students have gone on to pursue dance in college programs and even professionally, she enjoys helping students of all levels and abilities to discover a life-long love and appreciation of dance, especially through our Arts Literacy elective and Elementary Dance Enrichment classes. In addition to her roles at FBS, Susan Cram-Smith is on faculty at Dance Conservatory of Charleston, where she serves as a teacher and rehearsal director.

Fine Arts Faculty

James Cannon



Kelsey Nelson



Debbie Bowers

Lower School Art


Reagan Lethco

Classroom Music, Choir


Holly Rodelsperger

Photography, HS Art

Fine Arts Faculty
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