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Program Spotlight: Nazareth College

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

Nazareth College's production of The Drowsy Chaperone photo by Ron Heerkens Jr

How long has your BFA program been around?

Nazareth’s BFA Musical Theatre program has been around for about 8 years.

How many students, in general, does your program accept every year?

Our program has recently changed how many students we accept each year as we’ve had in increase in applications, but try to keep the incoming class to similar numbers. On average, our acceptance rate has been about 48% to the program. Our hopes are to have incoming cohorts from 22-28.

How many students, in total, are in your program? Currently, we have 90 students in our program.

What's unique about your program?

There is a lot that stands out with our program! Some highlights include a summer program (soon a semester offering) abroad studying musical theatre in London, a partnership with our “parent” theatre The Rev, options to spend a semester in NYC through the Tepper program, and various on campus networking from credited artists who create masterclasses, workshops, and direct shows on Nazareth’s campus. We bring NYC to campus, but also bring our students to NYC for their senior showcase. To sum it up- there are lots of opportunities through our program on a variety of levels and our students have the opportunity to perform every year!

Tell us a little bit about the musical theatre faculty at your school.

Our theatre faculty themselves are a highlight of our program. Nazareth is a small school, so overall we pride ourselves on our faculty and student interaction. In addition to working with each student professionally and personally, they have their own credits and professional backgrounds.

Corinne Aquilina is the program director and has been at Nazareth for about 5 years. New York and tour credits include Broadway pit of The Boys from Oz, Annie, Five Guys Named Moe, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Arranger/orchestrator for Menopause, The Musical. Musical director for the North American premiere of From Here to Eternity (which she also brought to Honolulu while working with Sir Tim Rice) and Theatrical Rights Worldwide’s Saturday Night Fever. Original works include music/lyrics for Treasure Island, A New Musical and various others. In addition to being a connected artist, Corinne has a very close family which she welcomes Nazareth students to join.

Paige Cummings is the Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Dance. Paige has performed and taught both nationally and internationally. She lived and worked in NYC for almost 2 decades and traveled throughout Europe teaching and performing. Paige has taught at Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam in NYC and has held a Faculty position at the Hudson Valley Conservatory of Fine Arts. In addition to her performance and choreography experience, Paige is a licensed Creative Arts Therapist in the state of New York. She has been a member of the American Dance Therapy Association since 1998 and has been a Board-Certified Dance Movement Therapist since 2001. She has built Dance/Movement Therapy programs in the NYC Healthcare system where dance and movement are used in healing the mind and body.

Nicolette Hart serves as a Lecturer and vocal coach at Nazareth. As a lecturer she also has been certified to teach Rock the Audition courses by Sheri Sanders. She has various credits including BROADWAY-RENT, Wedding Singer, Legally Blonde, Million Dollar Quartet. Off Broadway/Tours Include-Cabaret, Chix 6, RENT, The Civil War, and Grease. TV/film credits include “Prescient”, “Nurse Jackie”, “L&O”, “Lipstick Jungle”, and “Cherry Crush”. In 2013, Nicolette opened NicoletteHartStudios, a private vocal/acting studio. She has also been touring the world with Bette Midler as one of her Harlettes on and off since 2003. SAG-AFTRA/AEA.

Other faculty on campus that teach Musical Theatre students include our Theatre & Dance Chair Yuanting Zhao, Lecturers Bill Daugherty, Brett Smock, Sarah Wilheim, and Julie Covach, and Collaborative Pianist Anthony Bisbano. We also have faculty that work with students in Acting, Dance, and Technical/Design.

Are there any recent productions you're particularly proud of?

We are proud of so many productions! We ended spring 2020 working a production of Chaplin using the 3rd ever working script. Last season, we were particularly proud of our production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

What is your program's "best-kept secret"?

Well if we told you, it wouldn’t be a secret! The best thing about our program is that we bring the professionals to campus. You get a traditional college experience while still having professional training right in Rochester, NY.

To learn more about Nazareth's Musical Theatre program, visit: Nazareth College website

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