SHU to Launch Major Concentration in Performing Arts

News Story: January 2, 2014

Sacred Heart University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies will begin offering a concentration in performing arts beginning in the fall of 2014. The new concentration is linked to the media arts major.

“Fairfield and the surrounding area is a major hub for the performing arts, and the interests of our students reflects that passion,” says Lori Bindig, assistant professor of Communication and Media Studies. “That also means there is a plethora of opportunities for students inside and outside the classroom, from Fairfield right down the arts corridor into New York City.”

The University currently offers a minor degree in performing arts but has seen demand for a more comprehensive program. In the new major concentration, students will have opportunities to focus their studies on the disciplines of theater, dance and music. Coursework will cover options as varied as acting, dance history and American music. In addition, private lessons will be available for focusing on voice or specific musical instruments.

“The concentration in performing arts will allow students to develop their own natural talents and gifts in music, dance or theater,” Bindig says, “It will also place those disciplines in the context of the wider media world, so students will graduate with a holistic understanding of how the industry works, whether it’s on stage, behind the stage or in the production offices.”

In addition to coursework, students in the concentration will be able to earn credits by participating in the university choir, band, theater productions and dance ensemble.

“This program will provide the opportunity to combine a love of performance with the knowledge of critical and analytical skills that will result in performances with more depth and intention,” says Debbie Danowski, associate professor and chair of the department of Communication and Media Studies. “Having a solid foundation in media arts will also allow for richer scenes and movements that will result in striking presentations with strong messages that will enrich the lives of those witnessing these performances.”

The new major concentration will join the other concentrations in the media arts major — journalism & film and television & media. Danowski notes that the wide range of studies in the department will allow performing arts majors to gain a valuable background in ancillary skill sets.

“There will be exciting opportunities to combine arts presentations with video and photography skills to add more outlets for performances,” Danowski says. “As a department, we share a deep commitment to the liberal arts, and we’ll encourage the students in various disciplines to push the envelope in combing their interests and expertise.”