University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance

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School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Established 1880
Type Public
Dean Christopher Kendall
Academic staff 150
Students 1,115
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Campus Urban

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance is an undergraduate and graduate institution for the performing arts in the United States. It is part of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The school was founded in 1880 as the Ann Arbor School of Music, and it was later incorporated into the University of Michigan. After integration to the university, the school was called the School of Music until 2006, when this was changed to the current name.[citation needed]

With the exception of the Department of Dance, the School is located on the University of Michigan's North Campus, which is also home to the College of Engineering, the School of Information, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.[1]


The Earl V. Moore Building

The school's facilities are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. On the University of Michigan north campus, these include the Earl V. Moore Building, the Stearns Building, the Walgreen Drama Center, and the Lurie Carillon. Specific north campus facilities include studios in the James and Anne Duderstadt Center, as well as the Arthur Miller Theatre and the Stamps Auditorium (both in the Walgreen Drama Center). The Arthur Miller Theatre is the only theater given permission by the estate of Arthur Miller to bear the playwright's name,[citation needed] while the Walgreen Drama Center also provides performance space to Basement Arts, a club for university students which produces free theater that was the original producer of A Very Potter Musical. On central campus, the school's facilities include Hill Auditorium, Power Center, the Dance Building, and Burton Memorial Tower, which houses the Charles Baird Carillon. The university's south campus is home to William D. Revelli Hall, which houses offices and rehearsal space for the University of Michigan Marching Band.

History of the Moore Building[edit]

The majority of the school's teaching spaces, faculty offices, and music library, are located in the Earl V. Moore Building. This building is named after a previous dean of the school, and was designed in a mid-century modern style by architect Eero Saarinen.[2] Saarinen was commissioned to design the master plan for the University of Michigan’s North Campus, he requested to design the music school building (now the Earl V. Moore Building).[citation needed]

The original scheme called for an L-shaped building and a circular concert hall.[citation needed] Completed in 1964, the result was a five-level pavilion with flanking wings. Saarinen envisioned a building in harmony with nature, and so designed the building to be built into a hill overlooking a pond. The brick-clad concrete structure has narrow vertical windows that contrast with the horizontal brick patterns, thought to represent the alternating colors of piano keys. The brick color is known as “Cranbrook Buff” for its reference to the color of the buildings on the campus of the Cranbrook Education Community.[citation needed] The style of this building has influenced almost all of the later construction on North Campus.

The building contains 2 rehearsal/concert halls, 45 performance teaching studios, 18 classrooms, 40 offices, a large library, 120 practice rooms, including 12 organ practice rooms, and other special facilities for piano, harp, harpsichord and percussion practice. The construction of this building allowed for the first increase in enrollment since 1946.[citation needed]

During construction of the building, Saarinen was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but he was able to watch the progress of the building from his room at University Hospital.[citation needed]


On October 30, 2012, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman announced an $8-million gift from William K. Brehm and Delores S. Brehm, a major contribution toward the $23 million cost of renovating and expanding the Moore Building.[3] Of the total cost, another $14 million is allocated from the university, with the remaining balance to come from additional fundraising, including a gift from Glenn E. Watkins, emeritus professor of musicology. Construction for the project will commence in early 2014 and is expected to take about two years to complete.[4]

Highlights of the renovation include A new rehearsal hall that replicates the footprint of Hill Auditorium, designed to accommodate large instrumental ensembles, including the University Symphony Orchestra and University Symphony Band, renovation of the existing rehearsal hall and McIntosh Theatre, which will enhance the choral and opera programs and public performance opportunities, a lecture hall designed especially for academic lectures, state-of-the-art classroom teaching, and visiting scholar and artist presentations, a welcoming entrance and lobby to accommodate audiences that annually attend hundreds of recitals and performances in Britton Recital Hall, McIntosh Theatre, Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, and, soon, the new spaces within the expansion, a substantial increase in the number of practice rooms and acoustical updates and increased room sizes and improved common space for the practice wing, new classrooms designed with acoustical treatment for academic classes and chamber music rehearsal space, new faculty offices and studios for one-on-one student-teacher interactions, a suite of percussion and jazz percussion practice rooms, teaching studios, and rehearsal spaces with advanced acoustical attributes. [5]


The school was founded in 1880. Previous administrators include Charles Sink, Earl V. Moore, James B. Wallace, Allen Britton, and Paul Boylan. The school was originally independent of the university.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Well known alumni include Arthur Miller, James Earl Jones, David Daniels, Gavin Creel, Darren Criss, Alexander Frey, Michael Fabiano, David Alan Grier, Lucy Liu, Jessye Norman, Starkid Productions, Joey Richter and James Wolk. See also the complete list of list of University of Michigan arts alumni.


Earl V. Moore building, the school's headquarters

Fifteen departments make up the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.[citation needed] They include:

  • Department of Conducting - A graduate-only program. Faculty include Jerry O. Blackstone, Scott Boerma, Rodney Dorsey, Michael Haithcock, Kenneth Kiesler, Susan Walton, Eugene Rogers, and John Pasquale.
  • Department of Dance - Faculty include Bill DeYoung, Melissa Beck, Amy Chavasse, Mary Cole, Sandra Torijano DeYoung, Jessica Fogel, Beth Genné, Linda D. Goodrich-Weng, Christian Matjias Mecca, Judy Rice, Stephen J. Rush, Peter Sparling, Robin Wilson, and Jean-Claude Biza.
  • Department of Jazz and Improvisation Studies - Faculty include Edward W. Sarath, Geri Allen, Michael Gould, Robert Hurst, Ellen H. Rowe, Andrew Bishop, Dennis Wilson, Marion Hayden, Mark Kirschenmann, William Lucas, and Martha Travers.
  • Department of Music Education - Faculty include Colleen M. Conway, Kate Fitzpatrick, Michael Hopkins, Marie McCarthy, Carlos Rodriguez, and Julie Skadsem.
  • Department of Music Theory - Faculty include Walter T. Everett, Patricia Hall, Aine Heneghan, Aleksandra Vojcic, Karen Fournier, Marion A. Guck, Kevin E. Korsyn, Wayne C. Petty, Mukherji Somangshu, and Ramon Satyendra.
  • Department of Musical Theatre - Faculty include Brent Wagner, Gerald DePuit, Linda D. Goodrich-Weng, Cynthia Kortman Westphal, Mark Madama, Melody Racine, Joan Morris, and Elizabeth Schmidt.
  • Department of Musicology - Faculty include Christi-Anne Castro, Joseph S. C. Lam, Lester P. Monts, Amy K. Stillman (affiliate), William P. Malm (emeritus), Judith Becker (emerita), James M. Borders, Gabriela Cruz, Meilu Ho, Mark Clague, Charles Garrett, Jason Geary, Stefano Mengozzi, Louise K. Stein, Glenn Watkins (emeritus), and Steven M. Whiting.
  • Department of Performing Arts Technology - Faculty include Jason Corey, Andrew Kirshner, Stephen Rush, Erik Santos, Alicyn Warren, Michael Gurevich, and Sile O'Modhrain.
  • Department of Piano - Faculty include Martin Katz, Arthur Greene, Christopher Harding, Logan Skelton, Louis Nagel, John Ellis, Katherine Collier.
  • Department of Strings - Faculty include Joan R. Holland, Richard Aaron, Anthony Elliott, Yehonatan Berick, Aaron Berofsky, Diana Gannett (Chair), Andrew Jennings, Yizhak Schotten and Stephen Shipps. Associated Faculty includes, Caroline Coade, Robert Culver and Stephen Molina.
  • Department of Theatre and Drama - Faculty include Priscilla Lindsay, John Neville-Andrews, Malcolm Tulip, Vincent Mountain, Robert Murphy III, Christianne Myers, Jessica Hahn, Gary Decker, Leigh Woods, Mbala Nkanga, E.J. Westlake, Janet Maylie, and OyamO. *The BFA in Interarts Performance, which requires joint enrollment in the Department of Theatre and Drama and the Stamps School of Art and Design, allows students to work with Holly Hughes, one of the controversial performance artists known as the NEA Four.
  • Department of Voice- Faculty include Freda Herseth, George Shirley, Martha Sheil, Carmen Pelton, Stephen Lusmann, Melody Racine, Rico Serbo, Daniel Washington, Stephen West, Caroline Helton, Scott Piper, Stanford Olsen, Timothy Cheek and Joshua Major.
  • Department of Winds and Percussion - Faculty include Nancy Ambrose King, Amy Porter, Dan Gilbert, Chad Burrow, William Campbell , David Jackson, Fritz Kaenzig, Jeffrey Lyman, Joseph Gramley, Jonathan Ovalle, Ian Ding, Brian Jones, Cary Kocher, Adam Unsworth, and Donald Sinta.

Notable Projects[edit]

Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop

  • In 2011, musical theatre students Ashley Park and Laura Reed founded the Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop, or MPOW. The group coordinates a one day event every semester which brings in students from Detroit Public Schools for a day of arts performances and lessons. All of the activities and performances are given and led by U of M students from a variety of disciplines, including singers, dancers, musicians and actors. The event is provided free of charge and includes lunch for DPS students, and is dedicated to providing youth who have limited creative outlets with exposure to as many aspects of the performing arts as possible.[citation needed]

The Gershwin Initiative

  • The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance has entered into a long-term partnership with the Gershwin family to undertake a two-part initiative that will bring the music of George and Ira Gershwin to students, scholars, performers and audiences across campus and worldwide. The Gershwin Initiative includes 1) a new scholarly edition of George and Ira’s creative work, plus 2) educational opportunities for U-M students to perform and learn about the Gershwins’ art.[citation needed]

University of Michigan Javanese Gamelan

  • Since the 1960s, the school has been home to one of the longest-established Javanese gamelan ensembles in the United States. This group of instruments, known formally as Kyai Telaga Madu (Venerable Lake of Honey), has been at the university since 1966, when its purchase was negotiated and organized by Bill Malm.[6] From 1968 until 2002, the ensemble was under the direction of faculty ethnomusicologist Judith Becker. The ensemble has actively given performances in Ann Arbor since 1967,[7] and has benefitted from many guest artist instructors from Java who have been in residence at the university to teach Indonesian performance styles such as wayang.[8][9] The gamelan is housed in a special room built at the school with support from a bequest from Rosannah Steinhoff, who with her husband Bill, was a loyal member of the gamelan in the 1980s, and it is supported with a special endowment fund at the university.[8] The gamelan instruments are part of the Stearns Collection of Music Instruments.[10]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ About North Campus, Go North. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  2. ^ Carlin, Marilou (2013). "Moore Power". University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Brehm gift launches building expansion at U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance". Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Javanese Gamelan at the University of Michigan, University of Michigan Gamelan Education Project". Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michgan. 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Flaig, Vera. "University of Michigan Gamelan Ensemble Concert Performances, 1967-2005". Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Gamelan". University of Michigan, Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ensembles". University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Gamelan". University of Michigan, Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Retrieved 17 March 2014.