Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, the Anderson University School of Music will be known as the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Along with this name change, a new major in musical theatre will also be introduced.
“Since our performing arts overlap in several different ways with facilities, equipment, and especially students, it has called for coordination among departments,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wright, dean of the College of the Arts and co-chair of the School of Music. “It has become a natural evolution of relationships, and the arts need to be housed together under one name.”
With the school’s new name and new major, the relationships between the programs will continue to grow stronger.
“The idea of launching a musical theatre major has been discussed for quite some time,” said Wright. “We already have a music program, dance program, and theatre program. It makes sense to bring all those programs together in one package.”
The new major will give prospective students, especially those who are not sure if they should do music, theatre, or dance, another option to consider. Now, they have the choice of studying all three in a single major.
“This addition will help grow the student body,” said Laurel Goetzinger, associate professor of music. “AU will be able to offer students and prospective students what they have requested.”
With the recent changes, AU continues to advance with other schools around the nation.
“A number of other colleges are moving into the direction of combining their performing arts,” said Wright. “It is good if we keep pace with what other schools are doing so we can prepare and offer students what they need for success.”
The 80-hour major has been carefully planned by several faculty members from all three programs and by Provost Dr. Marie Morris. The major was recently approved by the full university faculty and will be officially introduced into the curriculum this fall.
“This major and name change suits what we have in place,” said Goetzinger. “When prospective students ask about a musical theatre major, we finally get to say yes.”
The 18-month process of introducing a name change and an additional major is a sign of growth for AU.
“This has been a stressful time but a fun time as well,” said Wright. “It is a healthy sign that AU is exploring new possibilities for majors and new possibilities to structure the performing arts.”
— Kayla Meid is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and theatre arts. Meid is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.