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Theatre students looking at one another during a performance

Music, Theatre, and Dance at Taylor

A Peek Backstage

Music, theatre, and dance at Taylor all have a reputation for excellence. Students across campus have opportunities to work with top-of-the-line composition technology in our music lab and gain experience with every aspect of theatre and dance productions, from set construction and lighting design to acting, directing, and stage managing. They work closely on concerts, recitals, tours, and productions with faculty who are talented and experienced musicians, directors, and performers and care for their students in all aspects of life. As you push deeper into God’s purpose for your gifts, the faculty will collaborate with you, offering guidance and mentorship to you and other students who share your performing passions.

Students interested in building careers out of their music, theatre, and dance talents can audition to enter the Music, Theatre & Dance department. Our students will be under the mentorship and discipleship of our professionally performing faculty. Beyond the scope of stage training, the Music, Theatre & Dance programs’ interdisciplinary curriculums round out students’ educations with technical training that will allow them to enter multiple areas of the music and theatre industries.

Hitting the Right Note

Each of the Music, Theatre & Dance majors will broaden their skill sets as well as fine-tune their specialties. Check out our major options to discover which area of study is best-suited to your gifts and passions.

Click on the name of any major below to learn more.

  • Music
    For students wanting a general music education or applied focus on how music relates to marketing, management, or church ministry, a Music major allows you to choose the curriculum that best fits your musical skills and aspirations.
  • Music Composition
    Learn to create music with different instruments and develop your individual composition style through a Music Composition major. You will develop the technical and creative skills to produce original pieces of music.
  • Music Performance
    If you love singing or playing an instrument for others, a Music Performance major will teach you how to master your chosen instrument and share your gifts. Through analyzing and practicing performance techniques and theory, you will develop new skills and sharpen existing musical talent with an instrumental, vocal, or piano emphasis.
  • Music Education
    If you're passionate about teaching music and the ways music can impact the lives of children and teens, consider a Music Education major. This program will provide you with the educational training to teach choral or instrumental music to grades Preschool-12, inspiring the next generation to love and appreciate music through its history, fundamentals, and practice.
  • Musical Theatre
    Students interested in expanding their skills in music, theatre, and dance will take classes focused on all three areas in Musical Theatre. Sharpen your audition and performance techniques and increase your knowledge of musical theatre.
  • Theatre Arts
    A Theatre Arts major focuses on what happens behind the curtain as well as in front. You will learn set design, stage management, play directing, and dramaturgy, as well as performance skills.
  • Worship Arts
    With a Worship Arts major, you will learn to become a church worship leader through taking music lessons that increase your musical skill level and studying methods and materials to apply your talent to a church setting.
  • Applied Music*
    For students interested in improving their music performance skills as a vocalist or instrumentalist, the Applied Music minor is designed to educate you further in the instrument of your choice.
  • Dance*
    Students passionate about careers in dance therapy, dance studio ownership, and dance performance can add a Dance minor to their degrees.
  • Keyboard Pedagogy*
    A minor in Keyboard Pedagogy will prepare you to teach private piano lessons and operate a professional studio. Study proper teaching methods, piano literature, and music theory and competency through our music program.

*Indicates that the program is only a minor.

The World is Your Stage

Develop and serve around the world with your gifts in the universal languages of music, theatre, and dance. Our music ensembles travel both domestically and internationally to places such as South Korea, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Bahamas, Florida, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Theatre groups have also traveled to perform in other countries. You can take an academic or service trip in January or spend a semester abroad through our off-campus study programs. Read more about overseas opportunities.

Semester Programs
  • Australia Studies Centre*: Develop your skills in drama and theatre while integrating into Australian culture through homestays and experiential service learning.
  • Contemporary Music Center*: Spend a semester in Nashville, Tennessee, to learn the art and processes of music content, production, and delivery. You will visit publishing houses and recording studios firsthand to learn the ins and outs of the music industry.
  • Hong Kong Baptist University*: Take foundational music classes in various ensemble levels and music history at one of the top higher educational institutions in Asia.
  • York St. John University*: Experience academics in a new cultural setting by taking core theatre courses at this United Kingdom university.

*Programs are not directly associated with the Music, Theatre & Dance department. Contact the Office of Off-Campus Programs for more information.

Music, Theatre & Dance On and Off Campus

From music ensembles to student plays, there is no shortage of activities to develop and apply your musical skills beyond the classroom.

Vocal Ensembles
  • Adoration Chorus (women’s chorus): Adoration is a choral ensemble open by audition to all women at Taylor. This choir uses contemporary and sacred choral arrangements, spirituals, and praise and worship songs to minister. Pursuing vocal excellence, Adoration performs in churches, University functions, schools, and community venues.
  • Taylor University Chorale: The Taylor Chorale is open to all Taylor students by audition. Their repertoire consists of music drawn from the spectrum of sacred choral works. The ensemble's mission is to express the highest divine and human values through choral arts. Performances include domestic and international tours, as well as concerts for conferences and conventions.
  • Taylor Sounds Chamber Ensemble: The Taylor Sounds Chamber Ensemble is a selected group of musicians dedicated to a high standard of chamber choral performance. The group seeks to learn a breadth of music by notable composers, while expressing the highest divine and human values through the choral chamber music art. Performance tours include domestic and overseas venues as well as conferences, conventions, and banquets.
  • Lyric Theatre: Lyric Theatre is open to all students by audition. Performances include a combination of fully-staged productions and semi-staged “scenes” productions. The primary goal of the ensemble is to create live performances demonstrating dramatic confidence, vocal ease, and aesthetic sensibility.
Instrumental Ensembles
  • Wind Ensemble: The Wind Ensemble is open to all wind and percussion players by audition. Performing classic and contemporary wind, sacred, pops, and pep band literature, the Wind Ensemble presents one full concert program each semester as well as annual tours.
  • Jazz Ensemble: The Jazz Ensemble is open to all wind and percussion players by audition. They perform contemporary stage band literature as well as jazz classics. The ensemble performs a concert on campus each semester and tours in local schools and regional jazz festivals.
  • Jazz Combo: The Jazz Combo is a selected ensemble open by audition. The Jazz Combo explores improvisatory styling and performs a concert each semester. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced level instruction is given.
  • Symphony Orchestra: The Symphony Orchestra is open to all string, wind, and percussion players by audition. Each semester, the Symphony Orchestra performs a full concert of selected masterworks from each of the major historical periods written for full orchestra.
  • Taylor Ringers: The Taylor Ringers consists of thirteen members chosen by audition. The Taylor Ringers perform a variety of four- to five-octave literature of a moderate to difficult nature on campus and during tours each year.
  • Handbell Choir: The Handbell Choir is open for students with bell ringing experience as well as to students with no previous experience willing to learn the art of bell ringing. The group performs in chapel as well as in programs on and off campus. No audition required.
Combined Vocal and Instrumental Ensemble
  • The Exploration of Global Music: The Exploration of Global Music ensemble offers a hands-on exploration of traditional musical repertoires from around the world. Students will perform on instruments and sing songs from Asia, Africa, etc. Sometimes these styles are learned aurally/orally or with different kinds of musical notation. No prior experience with western music notation is necessary. All students are welcome to participate. Singers and instrumentalists are welcome! This ensemble can be taken as a one credit or zero credit course and meets general education Fine Arts requirement. Contact Dr. Eva Kwan for more information.
Professional Competitions & Opportunities
  • National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) voice competitions
  • National Association for Music Educators (NAfME)
  • Marion Philharmonic Concerto Aria Competition
  • Indiana Intercollegiate Band
  • Indiana Music Teachers Association
  • Elmhurst Jazz Festival
  • Performance productions: opera, musical theatre, lyric theatre
  • Center for Musical Development (CMD) – teaching community children
  • Marion Philharmonic Orchestra performance collaborations
  • Guest artists
Taylor Touring Company

The Taylor Touring Company takes theatre productions on the road, presenting shows at churches, schools, and businesses throughout the US and internationally. Student actors and crew gain professional experience while learning the ins and outs of touring a small-scale production. In addition to performing, the troupe members also offer specialty theatre workshops to their audiences on tour.

Need more information? Fill out our Music Interest form.

Contact the Music Program

Dr. Christopher Bade
Department of Music, Theatre & Dance Chair

Lisa Royal
Music Program Assistant

Cathy Moore
Concert & Tour Coordinator

Contact the Theatre & Dance Programs

Tracy Manning
Professor of Theatre Arts

Judy Kirkwood
Theatre Program Assistant