Performing Arts Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Will acceptance into the PAE qualify my student for bus transportation?

A: If your student meets the district guidelines as they pertain to distance, then yes, acceptance into the PAE qualifies your student for transportation.  Choosing to exit the PAE or failing to meet the PAE requirements will result in expulsion from the PAE program, rendering your student ineligible for transportation if the reason they are receiving transportation is a result of their participation in the PAE.

Q:  How will we know if our student understands what is required to complete the PAE?

A:  Please note that one or more notices requesting a personal visit with the PAE Coordinator are sent yearly to each and every PAE candidate.  An attendance record is kept, and during these visits reminders of the requirements are made and questions they or the coordinator may have are discussed.  If your student fails to attend these meetings it could result in a lack of understanding and a potential failure to meet the requirements, making a decision to drop your student from the PAE necessary.

Please be advised that all PAE Music candidates will be required to complete 7 of the 8 All-Region and Solo/Ensemble requirements to stay in the PAE. All-Region occurs every fall and Solo/Ensemble every spring. (Piano candidates do not have All-Region, therefore additional and equivalent requirements will be given to the individual Piano candidates.)

Candidates in the area of Theatre must participate in 11 of the 12 productions required throughout the four years to stay in the PAE.

Please note these requirements are in addition to passing (for the year) all required coursework and attending the required number of Professional Performances, as outlined on our website.

Professional Performances

(These are events your student attends, not events in which they perform.)

Q:  What is a professional performance?

A:   Any performance outside of/above the high school level:

      1) Civic groups (Garland, Richardson, Mesquite, etc., orchestra, band, choir, theatre; children’s/youth organization presentations)

      2) Community college, university performances

      3) Meyerson, Casa Manana, etc. performances

      4) Some church presentations (check with the department head to confirm eligibility.)                                  

      5) A performance may be musical, theatrical, or dance.

Q:  How many must they attend?

A:  They are required to attend an average of three a year, for a total of twelve before they graduate.  Proof of attendance is a program to be turned into the PAE Coordinator.

PAE Electives

Q:  What are the PAE electives?

A:  Dance, Drill Team, Film, Theatre, Guitar, Piano, Instrumental Ensemble, Jazz Band, Color Guard, Chamber Singers and Celebrations. 


Q:  What is a jury?

A:  A jury is a performance of two pieces before a panel of three judges consisting of GHS faculty members. Participation is required their junior year.

Q:  What is required of seniors?

A:  A 30-40 minute public recital to be completed before May 1.  Please see the PAE Coordinator for details.  

UIL-TMEA/All Region

Q:  Must my student participate in UIL and TMEA/All Region?  (Please see the "Required Courses and Activities” for further detail.)

A:  All music students must participate in UIL and TMEA/All Region every year. Piano and guitar students do not participate in TMEA/All Region.  Theatre students have yearly adjudicated and open show performance requirements.


Q:  Does participation in the PAE limit me in any way from participation in other activities?

A:  The PAE is a required selection of classes that are specifically designed as a “high school major in Fine Arts.”  Because many classes and activities are offered in high school, students must understand that they must narrow their selection of electives.

Q:  If I am interested in both choir and band, for example, do I have to declare a category of specialization for my PAE participation?

A:  Yes.  By doing so teachers and counselors are able to guide you in the most appropriate class selections.  But, it is possible to participate in more than one area of the Fine Arts.

Q:  Do students have enough room in their schedules for the electives?

A:  Students have to be careful with their schedules and choose selectively.  On some occasions, very active students have to take summer school and/or courses by correspondence.

Q:  Will I be able to change my category of specialization?

A:  Yes, but it should be done before the end of your freshman year.

Q:  What extra time outside of school is required for PAE participation?

A:  Students are asked to attend a total of 12 professional concerts or plays.  They are asked to show proof of concert attendance to the PAE Coordinator.

Q:  Will colleges recognize my participation in the PAE?

A:  Yes. Before this program was begun university Deans of Schools of Music were asked if they would recognize this endorsement as a special training in fine arts.  Their answers were astoundingly in favor of such a program.

Q:  Is the PAE part of the IB program?

A:  No, but some of the IB classes, such as Theatre and Music Theory, count toward the PAE.

Q:  If the PAE isn’t for me, what then?

A:  You may still take fine arts classes.  Just understand that once your participation in the program has ended, time will most likely not allow you to re-enter the program.

Q:  Are there any weekly or monthly meetings to attend?

A:  No, but when you are asked to attend a meeting, please do so.

Q:  Are there any special requirements for my parents?

A:  No.  There is no cost to enroll in the program.

Q:  When should I schedule Music Theory?

A:  To provide students with the preparation necessary for college audition and placement exams, it is suggested that they follow the “Recommended Course Sequence” as listed in the PAE Planning Guide.

Q:  Does my audition solo need an accompanist?

A:  While an accompanied solo provides a more formal and musical setting, it is not a requirement that you have an accompanist when you prepare your audition.

Q:  May I audition in more than area?

A:  You may audition for one or more of the eight PAE tracks.

Q:  What does the PAE do for me?

A:  Besides offering the opportunity to concentrate on the  Performing Arts, this endorsement may be of benefit in seeking scholarship opportunities and advanced placement in music-related college courses.


Q:  What is the difference between enrollment in an IB theatre course and the IB program?  

A:  IB Theatre classes count toward an IB diploma for those students enrolled in the IB program; but only those who have applied for and been approved by the IB coordinator are enrolled in the IB program and are eligible for transportation.  Being enrolled in IB Theatre or IB Music Theory classes is not equivalent to being enrolled in the IB program and does not qualify one for bus transportation.  However, acceptance into the PAE does qualify one for transportation.

Q: What are the benefits of the PAE in theatre?

A:  First and foremost it goes on a resume.  The PAE is a curriculum that has the student become well rounded in the area of performance.  This includes theatre as well as music.  Because the endorsement is challenging, the student will benefit long-term in college and work.  The hurdles are high, but the finish line is worth the trip.

Q:  Can IB and the PAE be done at the same time?

A:  Yes.  It is a difficult challenge, but it is achievable.

Q:  Of what does a professional production consist?

A:  A professional production is a production outside of high school put on by a community theatre, a traveling Broadway company or a repertory theatre. 

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