FRCS Arts Program
The art department is blessed to have Mrs. Tamara Coffman, professional artist, as its lead teacher.
With more than 25 years professional experience, including owning her own pottery workshop where she taught classes in painting, Coffman works with students from preschool through the high school in various mediums.
Coffman also utilizes her creative gifts to direct the annual FRCS musical.
Mr. Johnny Lamirande supports the art department as a professional illustrator. Students deemed to have a gift in illustration are giving the opportunity to work directly with Lamirande in a one-on-one mentoring environment.
Art students are given the opportunity to display their work at an annual coffeehouse/art show as well as throughout the school and at special FRCS events.
Elementary students have music weekly under the direction of Mr. Lamirande. Elementary students learn beginning music theory, voice, rhythm, and presentation skills. Third grade begins instrumental performance with learning to play the recorder. Second grade through fifth grade also learn ukulele.
Mrs. Morrison oversees the elementary and middle school choirs as well, which are included in the FRCS music program and a part of the student’s weekly schedule. Students learn voice and stage presentation, as well as perform in two annual concerts and other events throughout the year.
Lamirande works with the individual student’s interests to identify the instrument best suited for the student and then begins training and teaching the student how to play. He oversees a band of more than 12 ukeleles that performs at various school programs and events.
Lamirande also uses his gifts to work with students through a therapeutic music program that he is developing, addressing physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of vulnerable learners.
This includes creating, singing, moving, and/or listening to music. Music can provide avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
Chapel Band allows students interested in vocal and/or instrument to grow their experience on stage performing for the weekly Chapel services. Currently students sing, play keyboards, bass, and drums. The band is always looking for new participants!
Students showcase their musical talents by performing throughout the year at special events and school concerts.
Media and Design Arts
High school students gain skills in both digital and print design, photography, journalistic writing, and publication production in the media and design arts program. Through producing the school yearbook, annual creative writing journal, weekly e-newsletter, weekly “FRCS in 10” video news program, podcasts, and more, students learn writing, design, and production skills familiar to the publishing and media industries.
Students also learn how manage social media platforms and gain responsibility for producing content for the FRCS Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
Students gain useful, real world skills in time management, marketing, teamwork, and design principles. FRCS high school students have the opportunity to serve as content or photo editors, business managers, and project coordinators to build their skills in project management that they can later apply to their future college and career plans.
This course is taught by Mary Anna Ouakil and Carrie Hill. Ouakil utilizes her 15 years as a magazine writer and editor and marketing director to help students develop their journalistic gifts. Hill provides her experience in corporate marketing, project management, and yearbook production to support students in developing their organization and productivity skills. Additional experts in the field are invited to expose students to career opportunities, internships, and increased knowledge of applications.
Illustrator and Published Author
Lamirande is a published author and illustrator of children’s books. His talent can be found in My Nephew Is an Alien, The Lost Island, and his latest book, Once Upon a Bedtime. Lamirande explains his work in one word, “busy.” He goes on to explain, “I love to pack my illustrations with detail and I try to ensure there is always something new to discover in them.”
Lamirande typically works with ink and colored pencil, but occasionally delves into using acrylic paint. Some of the artists who have inspired his work include Polish painter Jacek Yerka and Japanese author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda.
Lamirande works with several students onsite who have been recognized as gifted in illustration. The advanced illustration course provides students with one-on-one training and mentoring from a published illustrator!
Students are excited to have Lamirande as a secondary science instructor. He uses his artistic talents to daily support his lectures with illustrations of systems and processes that support the focus of the lesson. Imagine learning about the pulmonary system while having an artist depict the flow of blood through the heart while illustrating each detail of the process and explaining it at the same time!
Front Royal Christian School is honored to have on staff retired Army Master Sgt. John Lamirande, and previous member of the U. S. Army Field Band’s Six String Solders. After 31 years with the U.S. Army, where he served as an audio engineer for the U.S. Army Field Band, Lamirande has joined FRCS to mentor young musicians from preschool to high school.
Lamirande, who plays the electric bass, guitar, piano, and drums, joined the Army as a musician in 1986, following his high school graduation. The following year he graduated from the Little Creek Naval School of Music.
Through his involvement with Six String Soldiers, Lamirande and the band had songs performed on Facebook and YouTube with more than 8.5 million hits. The four-member group specialized in Americana, folk, bluegrass, and Irish music. Dan Fogerty invited the group to open for him at one of his shows in Las Vegas. They also performed on Good Morning America.
For Lamirande, his music is about sharing his talents to make people happy. One day Lamirande stopped by a music store to pick up some equipment for a student musician and was playing a ukulele while waiting. A young girl with Down syndrome started singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with him. “It was a very emotional moment for all of us.”
This gift continues to give at FRCS not just with teaching music to classes but with developing a therapeutic music program here to work with students with learning challenges, Downs, Cerebral Palsy, and other vulnerabilities. FRCS is blessed to have Lamirande sharing his talents with FRCS. He is definitely fulfilling his goal of making people happy.