I think that Blackburn offers solid programs for students who want to perform, either in theatre or music. The programs are well rounded, so you get a good mix of both music and theatre experiences, all of which are designed to help make you a better performer. And, I love my professors and friends in the PA department!
Adrienne Stockley , Senior
Blackburn College offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts with a music track and a theatre track. The Performing Arts major is an interdisciplinary major in which students learn about both music and theatre and then focus their studies in one area. The music track is designed for singers and pianists and the theatre track is designed for students interested in all aspects of theatre including performance (acting, directing, musical theatre), design-tech, and history. Blackburn also offers minors in music and theatre and areas of concentration for Elementary Education majors in both theatre arts and music.
All students, regardless of major, may participate in a variety of classes and performance ensembles for academic credit or just for fun. Areas of study include music theory, voice, guitar, piano, organ, music history, theatre history, musical theatre, stagecraft, and theatrical production.
Through Blackburn’s famous Work Program, the Performing Arts Department offers excellent opportunities for work experience in all areas of theatre and music, providing students with practical linkages between work and academic study. The hands-on theatre management and design process includes work on set construction, set design, light and sound design and technology, stage management, record keeping and production management. Arts administration work ranges from box office management, public relations, and tour planning to budget keeping and choral archiving.
Faculty assistants work with faculty members proctoring and grading quizzes and exams, running copies and fulfilling general office responsibilities. There are also opportunities for qualified students to accompany ensembles and voice lessons or to tutor other students in their Performing Arts studies.
You'll have many exciting opportunities to perform at Blackburn! All students are encouraged to participate in Performing Arts Department productions and ensembles, regardless of major.
Blackburn is home to three faculty-directed music ensembles: the Blackburn College Choir, Blackburn Voices and the Blackburn College Band. The College Choir is open to the entire campus and performs a variety of repertoire on campus and beyond. Blackburn Voices is a chamber ensemble drawn from the College Choir and performs at the annual Madrigal Dinners and other concerts throughout the year. The College Band, a concert band open to Blackburn students and local community members, performs in Bothwell Auditorium at the end of each semester.
Students have a variety of opportunities to perform in theatre productions. A faculty-directed non-musical play is staged each fall. Recent performances include The Taming of the Shrew, The Curious Savage and Unspoken for Time. Numerous student-directed one-act plays are offered both semesters. Student-directed full-length non-musical plays
are held each spring.
Our annual spring musical is directed by Dr. David Sollish with musical direction by Dr. Elizabeth Zobel. Recent performances include You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!, The Fantasticks, Godspell, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The Performing Arts Department’s annual Madrigal Dinners are a Blackburn and Carlinville-area Christmas tradition. Each November the Madrigal Dinners ring in the holiday season with a generous offering of good food, light-hearted theatrics provided by student-directed skits, and Renaissance madrigals and Christmas music sung by Blackburn Voices.
Performing Arts Department Links