Theater and music are still options in college

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — MU is big. With more than 30,000 students and nearly 1,300 acres of campus property to navigate, it can be easy to overlook opportunities a large university can provide.

For students seeking a creative outlet, or just a different way to make friends, here are two places to check out: the School of Music and the Department of Theatre. Both have credit-based courses that allow students to sing, play an instrument or join the cast or crew of a play.


Located at the Fine Arts Building, the MU School of Music is home not only to Marching Mizzou, the largest student organization on campus with more than 300 members, but also a number of other bands and groups. Students can audition for any of the university's various musical groups. Non-majors have plenty of options, including:

  •  The University Band and Choral Union are both single-credit courses that meet once a week at night for two hours, so they fit even the most demanding of schedules. Neither requires an audition.
  • Students interested in honing their crafts can take lessons for credit, or they can use the Community Music Program, which pairs students up with music students who have been approved by their professors. More information can be found on the program's website.
  • Brooke Danielsen, the coordinator of large instrumental ensembles, said in an email that non-music majors are represented in nearly every ensemble. That includes Marching Mizzou, choral ensembles, concert bands, orchestras and jazz bands. All of the ensembles have different audition requirements and dates, so interested students should check the school's website for more information.


The Department of Theatre, headquartered in the Fine Arts Building, offers much of the same to non-theater majors as the music school does. David Crespy, the director of undergraduate studies and a professor in the department, said that because MU is not an invite-only professional-training program, anybody who wants to act, design, construct or work as a technician is free to do so.

In addition to the productions put on by the department, there are also other ways to satisfy a student's inner thespian:

  • Summer Repertory Theater is, according to its website, the most visible cultural event staged at MU during the summer months. Anybody can audition to participate in a rotating series of productions.
  • The World Theatre Workshop is a course that can be contracted for one to three credits. Auditions are open to everyone to perform two works, one of which will be developed in the workshop with a student playwright, according to the workshop's website.
  • The Missouri Playwrights Workshop is another free and open-to-the-public project at MU that meets from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. This workshop, run by Crespy, provides playwrights the opportunity to see and hear their works performed for the first time and is an important part of the development process.

Students who want to get involved in MU's theater program can learn more on its website.

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