Music Theatre

(440) 826-2368,

Victoria Bussert, Director of Music Theatre Department
Scott Plate, Chair of Music Theatre Department
David Pepin, Music Director of Music Theatre Department

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From lead roles on Broadway and London's West End to prime time television, film and more, Baldwin Wallace music theatre alumni have garnered top acclaim for more than 20 years.

As a result, Baldwin Wallace's program has earned accolades from leading agents, casting directors, critics and other industry professionals.

BW students have appeared regionally and nationally while they're in school. Extensive performance experiences provide real-world opportunities. They've earned equity points, made important contacts and gained valuable resume-enhancing experience.

BW produces an annual New York Showcase attended by the industry, resulting in 100 percent of BW students being signed by top agents for the past six years.

You'll learn from award-winning, professionally active faculty with extensive national and international experience in directing, acting, singing and dance. Small classes ensure personalized attention and close faculty mentoring.

Performing Partners

Baldwin Wallace's close proximity to Cleveland and its nationally ranked music and arts organizations offers outstanding learning and performing opportunities. BW students have performed with BW community partners that include:

Groundbreaking Premieres

Over the years, BW has produced six regional premieres in partnership with Playhouse Square and received national attention for academic premieres of Broadway productions. Among its credits, BW produced the first-ever in repertory productions of La Boheme and Rent. Other recent academic premieres have included: Brooklyn: the Musical, [title of show], Passing Strange, Lizzie Borden, Murder Ballad and the new version of Saturday Night Fever. BW is a proud member of the National Alliance for Music Theatre.

Exceptional Learning Experiences

Innovation, excellence, and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music a proven choice for students nationwide. The undergraduate-only Conservatory provides an exceptional learning environment for students to take lead roles in performing, conducting, managing and teaching. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and working with the best orchestras, operas and theatres. Other alumni are employed in rewarding positions in teaching, arts management and music therapy.

Vibrant Facility Engages Students

Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a picturesque four-building complex that houses BW's Conservatory of Music. It's a seamless blend of historic architecture and modern design. The facility houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.


Music theatre majors graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree. 

Your coursework will include eight semesters of Music Theatre Workshop and weekly private voice lessons. You'll also study multiple levels of ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip hop dance forms. Advanced acting classes in the Department of Theatre & Dance are also offered. BW's comprehensive Conservatory of Music curriculum completes your rigorous training.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.

Music Direction Emphasis

Students wishing to pursue a career in music direction can study with a Broadway music director. Arranging, programming and conducting seminars, as well as advanced piano coaching in a broad range of music theatre styles will help gain the skills to be a savvy, ready-to-work musician.

Master Classes

Master classes are an integral part of Baldwin Wallace's music theatre training. Each year, BW brings to campus a minimum of 10 guest industry professionals to teach students. These include agents, casting directors, choreographers and music directors, all of whom help students understand what it means to thrive as professionals in the field.


Extensive music theatre performance opportunities begin freshman year at BW and continue through senior year, culminating in the New York Showcase. Every student is encouraged to audition for all BW productions, including music theatre, traditional theatre and opera. There are no limitations. Baldwin Wallace music theatre offers an impressive array of performance opportunities.

Music Theatre Collaborations

BW Music has outstanding collaborations with regional and national organizations. A few examples include:

  • Annual productions with Playhouse Square and Beck Center for the Arts, as well as opportunities with Great Lakes Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.
  • Fyoo zh en is open to the entire student body. It is a unique collaboration among student choreographers, composers, dancers and designers, culminating in a weekend-long spectacular dance event.
  • Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival is a three-day campus event. It is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. It features lectures, BW performance groups, faculty members and renowned professional soloists and musicians. Baldwin Wallace students consider the unusual opportunity of participating, as colleagues, with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience. The festival is evolving to include year-round events, such as Bach Haus, that explore Bach's influence on a broad spectrum of music, including folk, rock, Broadway and the popular BW Beatles.

Co-Curricular Activities

Opportunities for music theatre majors include:

  • Ars Nova
    Ars Nova is a welcoming music theatre community that fosters the relationship between the professional theatrical community and BW pre-professional students through education provided by guest artists from the professional field.
  • Theatre Arts and Performance
    The purpose of this organization is to support student theatre artists and those interested in theatre on campus, to inform students of events and opportunities in theatre, to maintain an open forum for student ideas and projects, and to raise awareness of theatrical events on and off campus.

Learning Resources

At Baldwin Wallace, student learning experiences are enhanced by exceptional resources that include:

  • BW Music Theatre has an extensive collection of Broadway scores in digital and bound form, as well as access to new work in development through its membership with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.
  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute
    The institute houses rare items related to J.S. Bach and his circle, as well as historical reference materials, scores and a collection of classic recordings. It has one of the nation's most impressive holdings of Baroque manuscripts and first editions. It attracts scholars from around the world.
  • Ferne Patterson Jones Memorial Music Library
    A valuable campus resource, the library offers 18,000 scores, 7,000 books, and more than 10,000 sound and video recordings. Online resources to which the library subscribes include over one million tracks of streaming audio and video. Help with research is available by appointment, on a walk-in basis or through email.


BW's music theatre program has achieved renowned success. Today, its alumni can be found in leading roles on Broadway, in national tours, and on television and film.

BW music theatre credits include:

Kyle Jean-Baptiste '15
Les Misèrables, Broadway

Zach Adkins, '15
Kinky Boots, national tour

Caitlin Houlahan '14
Peter Pan Live, NBC; Parade, Lincoln Center

Chris McCarrell '13
Les Misèrables; Peter Pan Live, NBC

Ciara Renee '13
Hawkgirl in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, CW; Pippin, Big Fish, Broadway

Ryan Fielding Garrett, '12
Music Director, Kinky Boots, national tour

Shannon O'Boyle '12
Once, Broadway

Sainty Nelsen '11
Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, FX
Emmy Award winner (producer), The Bay

Rod Lawrence '11
The Lion King, national tour

Jillian Kates, '11
Wicked, national tour

Corey Mach '10
Hands on a Hard Body; Godspell, Broadway; Wicked, national tour

Jennifer Noble '10
Ghost, Broadway; Kinky Boots, We Will Rock You, national tours

JR Bruno '09
West Side Story, Broadway; Book of Mormon, national tour

Hillary Elk '09
Memphis, Broadway and West End London

Hannah Del Monte '08
Fiddler on the Roof, Broadway

David Gregory '08
Constantine, NBC; Deception, NBC; Gossip Girl, CW; One Life to Live, ABC

Cassie Okenka '08
Bonnie & Clyde, Broadway; Wicked, national tour

Libby Servais '08
Wicked, Broadway and national tour; Lysistrata Jones, Broadway

Patty Lohr '08
Kinky Boots, national tour

Steel Burkhardt '07
Aladdin, Broadway; Hair, Broadway and West End London

Kate Rockwell '06
Rock of Ages, Bring It On, Hair, Legally Blonde, Broadway

Kyle Post '06
Kinky Boots, Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, Rent, Broadway

Stephen Trafton '06
Les Misèrables, Broadway

Lauren Marshall '04
Jersey Boys, national tour

Dominic Roberts '04
Mary Poppins, Broadway

Kristopher Thompson-Bolden '04
The Color Purple, Anything Goes, Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon, national tours

Joelle Graham '02
Mamma Mia, Broadway

Erin Greiner '02
All Shook Up, national tour

Trista Moldovan '02
Phantom of the Opera, Broadway and national tour

Thomasina Gross '02
Mamma Mia, Broadway and national tour

Jill Paice '02
An American in Paris, Matilda,The 39 Steps, Curtains, Broadway; The Woman in White, Broadway and West End London; Gone With The Wind, West End London

Kevin David Thomas '02
Les Misèrables; A Little Night Music, Broadway

Derrick Cobey '01
The Scottsboro Boys, Broadway

Somer Graham '99
Jesus Christ Superstar; Mamma Mia, Broadway


Victoria Bussert
Director of the Music Theatre Department

Scott Plate
Department Chair 

David Pepin
Music Director


Gregory Daniels, Assistant Professor of Dance
Sara Whale, Instructor of Dance
Rebecca Nicklos, Adjunct Instructor of Dance
Rachel Palermo, Adjunct Instructor of Dance
Heidi Glynias, Hip-Hop


Adam Heffernan, Chair of Theatre & Dance
Jack Winget, Professor of Theatre
Anjanette Hall, Adjunct Instructor of Theatre


Nanette Canfield, Assistant Professor of Voice & Associate Director of the Conservatory
Benjamin Czarnota, Lecturer in Voice
JR Fralick, Professor of Voice
Tracy Grady, Lecturer in Voice
Gregory Harrell, Associate Professor of Voice
Alexander Hurd, Lecturer in Voice
Nancy Maultsby, Associate Professor of Voice
James Mismas, Lecturer in Voice
Cynthia O'Connell, Lecturer in Voice
Joanne Uniatowski, Associate Professor of Voice
Marc Weagraff, Department Chair of Voice