School of Performing Arts Learning Opportunities

The MSU Moorhead School of Performing Arts plays a prominent role in the Fargo-Moorhead arts community. You'll benefit from a variety of vocal and instrumental ensemble opportunities such as Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Combos, and private lessons for voice, instruments and composition. You will grow professionally and personally through involvement in the University Theatre Series and the Straw Hat Players, and will be poised for great professional development through on- and off-campus performance opportunities, as well as courses that prepare you to master advanced production techniques in the studio. The immersive, hands-on learning experiences combined with one-on-one mentorship from expert faculty provide an outstanding education for you to excel as a musician in education, production or performance settings.

A musical area of study allows you to focus on an area of great interest, such as guitar studies, percussion studies or jazz studies, among others. Every area of study has distinct strengths and exceptional opportunities that allow you to experience various aspects of being a musician. MSUM offers eight areas of study:

Blackfriars is the theatre student honor society and an MSUM service organization. The club coordinates social activities, banquets and field trips for those interested in theatre. Membership is open to all currently enrolled students, faculty and staff at MSUM.

The MSUM Partnership with Community School for the Arts (CSA) has a Music Lesson Program that is a non-degree program offering private instrument lessons. These lessons are from music students who are pursuing degrees in music education, performance, and commercial music giving students hands-on experience in teaching music.

Each year, students and faculty attend the North Dakota Music Educators Association (NDMEA) and Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) annual conferences. These excellent professional development opportunities discuss the latest choral and instrumental teaching methods, and will prepare you remarkably well for your career.

Join one of our three vocal and nine instrumental ensembles to pursue your love of music performance while attending MSUM. Many ensembles are open to both music and non-music majors and are highly admired in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

The Fargo-Moorhead Opera Company brings high-quality opera experiences to members of our community and region. The season includes three fully-staged opera productions with various other events throughout the year. Fargo-Moorhead is the smallest metro in America to host a full-season professional opera company. Several MSUM faculty and staff members, alumni and students have performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera.

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that performs five pairs of Masterworks concerts, daytime Young People’s Concerts, a summer outdoor concert, and occasional other programs. Several MSUM faculty and staff members, alumni and students are members of the orchestra.

Interested in learning and living with students pursuing the same degree as you? Join the Film, Animation, Music and Entertainment Industries & Technology (FAME) Learning Community to explore career options in your field, collaborate on group projects, attend film screenings and more.

FM Dance Repertory Theatre is an organization that endeavors to increase awareness of dance within the Fargo-Moorhead community. The group seeks to provide a supportive and productive environment for the exploration of choreography and performance through staging productions, holding master classes, hosting social events and attending professional dance performances. FM Dance Repertory Theatre is open to all within the Fargo-Moorhead community who are interested in dance, and is recognized as a Tri-College organization.

Internships allow theatre students to gain practical, hands-on experience and the department encourages students to intern in jobs related to their career choice. Students must complete an application process before the internship begins, a midterm review during the internship, and final review following the internship.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theatre departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents. Through state, regional and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another’s work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theatre artists.

MEISA (Undeclared Records) is a student-run record label operating out of Dragon Studios within MSUM’s Music Department. Students from many disciplines work together to produce and manage student musicians like you. You can work with MEISA from start to finish — from demo to release.

  • MSUM has a chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and students are encouraged to participate. As a member, you’ll have the opportunity to become acquainted with leaders in music education through programs, demonstrations, discussion workshops and performances.
  • The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music education organization that is dedicated to the advancement of choral music.
  • The Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA) assists in the development of band directors and programs in schools, colleges and communities throughout Minnesota.

Through our collaboration with the School of Entertainment Industries and Technology, commercial music students have the opportunity to work annually on a wide variety of live and studio-based projects covering both traditional and contemporary musical genres.

You have the opportunity to perform in pit orchestras and/or on stage as featured performers (through collaboration with our Musical Theater program) as part of our University Theatre Series or our summer theater company, the Straw Hat Players.

Studying abroad is a wonderful way to learn about different cultures and bring exceptional experiences and knowledge back to your classroom. MSU Moorhead has numerous study abroad options that can fit your individual academic and personal goals.

Your courses allow you to be an integral part of the event culture on campus. Opportunities include the Cheryl Nelson Lossett Performing Arts Series, concerts, recitals and more. Each year, hundreds of live production opportunities are available.