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.

  • 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 culminating project of the Commercial Music degree program is a recording project that exhibits your skill on your instrument and as an arranger/composer along with your knowledge and expertise in the studio and with marketing your “product.” Most often, this will take the form of a CD-type recording project but could also be such projects as a website with musical examples, a film score (done in collaboration with our film department), a YouTube channel or any of a number of other possibilities.

    Join one of our four vocal and seven 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 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.

    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.

    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.

    If you want to live in an educational environment surrounded by others with your same passion, the Music & Theatre Learning Community is for you. This community will foster your creativity and build important connections with students in related majors.

    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:

    • 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.

    The Straw Hat Players is a regionally acclaimed summer theatre company committed to providing emerging theatre artists with opportunities to perform in conditions similar to those experienced by professional actors and technicians, and to foster the growth and accessibility of live theatre as a necessary and enlightening element of the region's cultural life.

    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.

    The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a place to network, exchange ideas and grow. USITT has been serving professions and pre-professionals in design, production and technology for performning arts since 1960. USITT provides benefits, learning opportunitites and networking for more than 3,700 members worldwide. MSUM Theatre Arts is highly connected to the regional and national USITT conference held annually.

    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.

    The MSUM University Theatre Series includes several mainstage productions, two annual dance concerts and many student-directed and/or created pieces each year. The mainstage productions involve students from across campus who participate as performers and technicians.

  • Andrew Stermer
    Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
    Hear the MSUM School of the Performing Arts students prospective.