Cast from Little Women

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Performance

The focus of a conservatory, the depth of a university

The BFA in Musical Performance program provides an intensive, professional-level training ground for performers in opera, musical theatre and concert performance, with available studies in composing and education. An integrated curriculum of individual instruction, classes, workshops and performance requirements prepares the qualified student for the realities of a career in the performing arts.

The faculty and visiting master teachers are established professionals, with performance and directing credits on stages from Broadway to New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall. This outstanding faculty of accomplished individuals works as a unified team, coordinating our work in the various disciplines, with the common goal of mentoring and providing the best possible training to the next generations of performing artists.

Performance opportunities throughout the year include opera and musical theatre productions, concerts, cabarets and recitals by students, faculty and visiting artists. A single season’s productions will range from performances of Chicago and RENT to The Marriage of Figaro and Dialogues of the Carmelites. New works by professional and student composers are encouraged, workshopped and presented under the guidance of faculty composers and directors.

The NDNU BFA programs are integrated into professional performance companies through partnerships with San Francisco’s Pocket Opera and affiliations with Bay Area musical theatre and concert organizations. These affiliations provide apprenticeship and performing opportunities for qualified students as performers, coach-accompanists and performance staff in a professional environment.

The intensive summer Music Theatre Conservatory offers students a six-week course of study in performance and audition skills for the lyric theatre in the company of participants accepted by audition from across the country.

NDNU and Music Theatre Conservatory alumni are performing on Broadway, national tours and international opera festivals; winning awards as musical and stage directors of musicals for Bay Area theatres, and directing award-winning music and musical theatre programs for Bay Area schools.

See the NDNU General Catalog for program requirements and course descriptions.

Emerging Artist Scholarship in Musical Performance

The Department of Music and Vocal Arts offers several Emerging Artist Scholarships to qualified undergraduates annually. Potential students should contact the Music and Vocal Arts Office for an audition application. Auditions take place in January of each year for entry the following fall. In cases where it is not possible for students to audition in person, a video audition is acceptable. Additional endowed scholarships are available to students qualifying by audition. All scholarship recipients are required to participate in Music and Vocal Arts productions and ensembles as assigned, and are expected to meet academic requirements throughout their university experience.

Requirements: Music majors should prepare two contrasting works from the standard repertoire. Musical Theatre majors should prepare two contrasting songs (classical or musical theater repertoire), and a 1-2 minute monologue. An accompanist will be provided (CD accompaniment is not accepted). Students may also audition by audio or videotape.

Admission Requirements

NDNU admits students for fall and spring semesters. Please visit Admissions for complete admission requirements. Each area of study requires an audition before acceptance into the major, in addition to the university’s standard application and acceptance process. Prospective students should contact the Department of Music and Vocal Arts for audition and interview requirements and schedules.


NDNU Admissions

Debra Lambert
Chair, Department of Music and Vocal Arts

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