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BW adds music industry, music theatre direction majors

Helping students gain the skills to become masterminds of music - whether in music theatre or in the music industry - is the goal of two new majors being offered by the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.

The bachelor of arts in music industry immerses students in the exciting and rapidly evolving business of music and entertainment. The bachelor of music in music theatre direction is a new major that integrates keyboard and music instruction with extensive hands-on learning opportunities to prepare students for a career as a music theatre music director.

Emphasis in experiential learning

photo of alyssa kay thompson"We've always had students graduate from BW and go on to careers in the music industry and music theatre music direction," said Bryan Bowser, the department chair of interdisciplinary studies at the BW Conservatory of Music, where both programs are housed. "But we felt it was time to have dedicated majors that focus their coursework and practical learning experiences directly on these professions."

Music industry students will take courses in BW's Conservatory of Music and School of Business. The comprehensive program, which includes three required internships, prepares students for a career in music streaming, artist management, concert venue management, record labels, music production and promotion.

BW's music theatre direction major is a highly selective program. It will admit only a few students each year in order to provide outstanding mentoring and hands-on learning experiences. Students in the program will work alongside award-winning faculty and students in BW's nationally acclaimed music theatre program, which tops the list of Onstage's Top College Musical Theatre Programs for 2019-20, and faculty in the Conservatory's keyboard department. Students will gain skills in a wide variety of musical styles.

From BW to Broadway

photo of a photo with Ryan Fielding

One BW alumna who is finding success in the music director profession is Alyssa Kay Thompson '17, a New York-based music director, pianist and conductor with an impressive list of Broadway, off-Broadway and touring credits that include "Waitress," "The Donna Summer Musical" and "Jersey Boys."

Also in the national spotlight as a music director is Ryan Fielding Garrett '12, whose most recent role was in the Broadway and first national tour of "Kinky Boots." Garrett attributes the tenacity required to perform the show for over five years to the discipline and strong work ethic he gained at BW.

Connecting to Cleveland's music scene

Photo of Lydia PucciniLydia Puccini '12 did all the right things to land a job as a sales coordinator at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The broadcasting and mass communication major was a DJ for WBWC for four years and interned at Entercom (CBS Radio), where she regularly connected with industry professionals.

"There is never a dull moment working in the music industry," noted Puccini. "Music is my passion. I couldn't have picked a more exciting place to work. I have been a music lover since I was old enough to talk, so I absolutely wanted to direct my energy to a field that involved music and entertainment."

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