Music Theatre

Conservatory of Music

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(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


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.

Music Theatre Students Performing at Playhouse Square

View recent productions of the BW music theatre program.

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.


BW = Broadway Worthy

"Baldwin Wallace = Broadway Worthy; when Victoria Bussert's students hit New York, they don't just show up, they stand out" — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Plain Dealer's theatre critic has chronicled the exceptional success of BW Music Theatre program in a series of articles that delved into the secrets of BW's nationally acclaimed "star factory," and followed seniors on their journey to Senior Showcase in New York.

Senior Showcase

"There's not an agent or casting director in town that misses that showcase — period," said Chris Nichols, who represents actors and dancers on Broadway for New York's the Krasny Office. "And that's not the case for all of them. Some of the showcases are attended by 10 people."

~ see 2015 Senior Showcase

National Acclaim

Nichols also told the newspaper, "For my money, Vicky Bussert is running the finest musical theater program in the country."

Alumni Reviews

The Cleveland newspaper and other media have also produced poignant stories on the scores of successful BW grads appearing on Broadway, like Jill Paice, Ciara Renee and Chris McCarrell and offered high praise in reviews of productions on and off campus.

~ see more Alumni Success


BW's comprehensive curriculum gives you the skills you need to excel. You train in a state-of-the-art Conservatory of Music housed within a liberal arts-focused university. Through the program, you'll earn a Bachelor of Music degree as well as acquire professional insights and skills.

Music – Conservatory of Music

  • Applied Voice Study – all four years
  • Music Theory/Sight Singing
  • Music Theatre History
  • Piano
  • Vocal ensemble

Music Theatre – Conservatory of Music

  • MT Workshop 1 – Core Acting Skills
  • MT Workshop 2 – Scene to Song; Freshman Showcase
  • MT Workshop 3 – Intermediate Acting; Intro to Acting for the Camera
  • MT Workshop 4 – Audition Technique
  • MT Workshop 5 – Current Trends in Music Theatre
  • MT Workshop 6 – Advanced Acting; Advanced Acting for the Camera
  • MT Workshop 7 – Music Theatre in Performance
  • MT Workshop 8 – Music Theatre Showcase

Theatre - Department of Theatre & Dance

  • Acting 1, 2
  • Script Analysis
  • Theatre History
  • Stagecraft for the Actor
  • Makeup for the Stage

Dance – Department of Theatre & Dance

  • Ballet Bootcamp
  • Ballet 1-4
  • Jazz – 1-4
  • Modern 1-2
  • Tap 1-4
  • Hip Hop 1-2
  • Dance Choice – each student may choose from the following: Improv and Choreography, Dance in America, Dance Production & Performance, Injury Prevention & Health.
  • Also available as electives: Pointe 1-2 and Modern 3-4.

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.


Course Descriptions

A more extensive listing of course descriptions requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Music Theatre

Victoria Bussert
Director, Music Theatre Department
Professor of Theatre
M.F.A., M.A., Northwestern University

Scott Plate
Chair, Music Theatre Department
Assistant Professor of Theatre
M.F.A., The Florida State University 

David Pepin
Music Director
Associate Professor of Theatre


Gregory Daniels
Assistant Professor of Dance
A.A.S., Onondaga Community College

Heidi Glynias
Lecturer in Dance

Rebecca Leuszler
Lecturer in Dance
B.F.A. Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts

Rachel Palermo
Lecturer in Dance
M.A., New York University

Sara Whale
Lecturer in Dance
B.F.A., Pacific Northwest College of Art


Adam Heffernan
Chair, Theatre and Dance Department
Assistant Professor of Theatre
M.F.A., The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Jack Winget
Professor of Theatre
Ph. D., Kent State University

Anjanette Hall
Lecturer in Theatre
M.F.A., Rutgers University-Mason Gross School of the Arts


Nanette Canfield
Associate Director, Conservatory
Assistant Professor of Voice
M.M., Indiana University

JR Fralick
Professor of Voice
D.M.A., The Ohio State University

Gregory Harrell
Associate Professor of Voice
M.M., University of Idaho, Lionel Hampton School of Music

Nancy Maultsby
Associate Professor of Voice
B.M. Westminster Choir College

Joanne Uniatowski
Chair, Voice Department
Associate Professor of Voice
D.M.A., The Cleveland Institute of Music

Marc Weagraff
Associate Professor of Voice
D.M.A., The University of Michigan

Benjamin Czarnota
Lecturer in Voice
M.M., Indiana University

Tracy Grady
Lecturer in Voice
M.M., Ohio University

Alexander Hurd
Lecturer in Voice
D.M.A., University of Cincinnati

James Mismas
Lecturer in Voice
M.M., University of Akron

Cynthia O'Connell
Lecturer in Voice
M.M., West Chester University, Pennsylvania