Ithaca College will combine its School of Music and Department of Theatre Arts into the newly formed School of Music, Theatre, and Dance as of July 1, collecting the institution's performing arts training programs under one entity for the first time.
"In bringing these programs together we highlight and celebrate the performing arts at Ithaca College,” says Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Melanie Stein. "This new school will serve current and future students by allowing for more cross-disciplinary training and exposure, better preparing them for real-world multidisciplinary artistic careers in the 21st century."
The college's focus on performing arts harkens back to the institution's beginnings, in 1892 as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. The new school will also be the college's first since the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance was established in 1988.
"The beauty of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is that it speaks to our strategic plan goal of structurally supporting and valuing collaboration, interdisciplinarity, curricular flexibility, and shared governance,” adds Interim President La Jerne Terry Cornish. "I am incredibly appreciative of the conversations and collaborations that transpired among music and theatre faculty to create something new that honors our roots in theory, practice, and performance in service to our students."
A transition committee was co-chaired by School of Music Dean Ivy Walz and Department of Theatre Arts Chair Steve TenEyck, which determined that a unified school would "best position both disciplines for deeper future collaboration and possible synergies," according to TenEyck.
The move will not affect any of the academy programs currently housed in either school, all of which will continue to be offered under the new school. Divisions of music and of theatre and dance will each be led by an associate dean. The search for an inaugural dean of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is already underway.
Ithaca College's prestigious musical theatre training program, formerly part of the Department of Theatre Arts, regularly delivers talent to Broadway. In 2018, the college received an honorable mention on the list of colleges and universities with the most alumni performing on Broadway. The institution's long list of alumni includes actors Kerry Butler, Jeremy Jordan, Matt Cavenaugh, Sean Grandillo, Ilene Graff, and Aaron Tveit.