SHU Announces Initiative to Expand Performing Arts Programs

News Story: March 1, 2010
 Elements Concert - Combined Choir

Sacred Heart University’s Performing Arts Department hosted its first annual Elements Concert on Sunday, February 28th at the University’s Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts. The concert was a first step in introducing the University community to a number of expanded offerings and opportunities in the performing arts.
The Elements Concert featured performances from the University's choral and band programs. It also introduced SHU’s new Instrumental Chamber Ensemble and the Ladies Only Vocal Ensemble, S.H.U. L.O.V.E.
Sunday’s concert was an exciting, fast-paced performance that featured the respective choral, and band groups in a non-traditional setting with a variety of musical styles, playing throughout the entire theater. New instrumental chamber ensembles such as Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, and String Ensemble made their debut as did several choral groups, including a Women’s Quartet and a new chamber choral ensemble.
Sacred Heart University has a long, celebrated performing arts history that has produced such notables as famed Cheers cast member and voice actor John Ratzenberger who now serves on the University’s Board of Trustees and the late Patricia Hemenway ’72 who starred in the title role of Broadway’s Evita.

4 Heart Harmony

, SHU’s director of bands, said the time is ripe to grow the already successful current band, choral and performing arts programs at Sacred Heart University. “We’re expanding what we already have here, to create a well-rounded program that will offer SHU students even greater musical opportunities,” he said.
“There are wonderfully talented students at Sacred Heart University already, and we hope to bring the community to more events on campus so they can see the high level of talent that we have here,” added Johnston.
Broadening the musical and performing arts at Sacred Heart University will also have positive developments for the University as a whole. Director of the Academic Music program as well as the Choral programs, John Michniewicz, D.M.A., said there are correlations between student musicians, the fine arts and achieving academic success.

Brass Ensemble

“Studies tell us that students involved with music or performing arts, or any kind of artistic activity, possess a certain skill set and discipline that can correlate to academic achievement.  Michniewicz added that student involvement in the performing arts also builds important camaraderie among students:  “students learn to depend on each other, and they develop friendships through performing together that last a lifetime.”

In addition, Sacred Heart University’s new Theatre Arts Program (TAP) will make its mainstage debut next month with a production of the highly-acclaimed Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Rent on April  15 through April 18.
“There is a tremendous interest by SHU students in the performing arts. As the home to the Edgerton Center which has 800 seats and hosts 250 events throughout the year, we think it is very natural to have performances here by our students,” said Jerry Goehring, executive director of the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts.
Goehring also plans to offer workshops and praticums for students that feature instruction and guidance from top professional working actors from nearby New York City. Like the choral and band programs, TAP is open to all Sacred Heart students regardless of major.