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 Mann Middle School offers a range of elective offerings within the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) to ensure that students have exposure to the arts and are well-rounded. These programs have quality and rigor that is comparable if not superior to the best programs in San Diego Unified including the Arts magnet schools.

Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA)


  • Art

  • Theatre

  • Music/Band/Guitar

Horace Mann Performing Arts Program and Electives:

Horace Mann Music Program:

Band and Orchestra director, John Krylow, began building the Horace Mann Music Program eight years ago and reached the ultimate success in 2014 when the Mann Orchestra team beat every other school with less than 1000 student enrollment at the Music in the Parks Competition at Disneyland to capture first place. His teams have routinely finished in the top 3 since they began competing.  

  1. Beginning and Intermediate Band --  Horace Mann has a full collection of instruments which it rents to students for free to learn a musical instrument.  Sixth grade students can begin with their instruments on “B” days to get orientation.  Seventh and eighth grade students have both beginning and intermediate options to explore their musical talents. Students raise money to perform at the annual Music in the Parks competition at Disneyland.

  1. Beginning and Intermediate Orchestra -- In addition to Band, Horace Mann also features a full orchestra offering both beginning and intermediate options.  Violas, cellos and violins are all available free for students.  Students develop technique and musicality with personalized guidance.  Music students develop strong work habits, mathematical reasoning skills, and collaboration skills as they work in harmony with other classmates to develop their music expression.

Horace Mann Theatre Program:

Theatre program director, Teri Ang, has developed the Horace Mann Theatre and Drama Program over her past five years at Mann. Ms. Ang previously directed the Theatre program at Valencia Park Performing Arts Magnet for over 20 years. Ms. Ang is active in the local theatre community and directs performances at San Diego Junior Theatre and has partnerships with local costume guilds.  Students can participate in Theatre in two ways at Mann.

  1. Theatre elective -- All seventh and eighth grade students can take Theatre as their elective course offering.  Ms. Ang takes students through a range of acting exercises and explorations including improv, mime, tableau and technical theatre.  Students learn self-confidence, verbal articulation and annunciation skills, collaboration and communication skills, as well as critical reading and nonverbal expressive skills.  All while having great time learning and strengthen friendships.

  1. Drama Club -- Any Mann student 6th -8th grade may participate in the after school Theatre program. Students can perform on-stage but can also participate in off-stage roles such as stage manager, lighting, costuming, or sound effects. Students operate theatre equipment such as an IPad to run a full production sound board with 14 channels, wireless microphones and spot lights. Typically, the Drama Club puts on three full performances a year:

    1. Fall Performance - Students develop and memorize a full-production play.

    2. Talent Show - Students direct, do the production work and serve as master of ceremonies for the popular talent show

    3. Spring Musical - Students take it to another level by putting on a full musical production incorporating music, singing, and acting.

Horace Mann Arts

Art program director, Travis Smith, delivers a diverse and engaging art curriculum to students of all ability levels. Art students learn in-depth techniques for drawing, painting, sculpting, and mixed-media. Students learn how to use iPads to create digital media projects such as graphic design,photo manipulation, and self-portraits. Students also design sets for school plays and create advertisements and decorations for school events. Under the direction of Mr. Smith, Horace Mann’s Art students have received numerous awards and have had their work displayed at museums and galleries throughout San Diego County. All seventh and eighth grade students are eligible for the Art elective.


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