Mar 01, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of the Arts

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Location: Fine Arts Center 253
Telephone: 859-572-5648
Email Address:
Web Address:
Director: Matthew Albritton
Other Key Personnel:

Associate Director: Ronald Shaw
Budget and Programs Manager: Sandy Davis
Operations and Administrative Coordinator: Ashley Coates
Publicity and Fine Arts Manager: Rick Endres
Box Office Manager: Spenser Smith
Programs Assistant: Scott Slucher

About the School of the Arts: The School of the Arts combines Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts to bring unparalleled artistic opportunities to current and future students. Our minors come from every college on campus from Nursing to Mathematics, Political Science to Construction Management. SOTA’s Prep programs, including the nationally recognized String Project, engage 900 students from children to adults annually.

Music Program

Location: Fine Arts Center 312
Telephone: 859-572-5421
Fax: 859-572-6076
Email Address:
Web Address:
Program Head: Kimberly Lazzeri
Other Key Personnel:

Academic Advisor: Joan Brummer
Greaves Concert Hall Coordinator: Jonathan Eaton
Director of Preparatory Division: Holly Attar

Full-Time Faculty: Holly Attar, Katie Barton, Meghan Bennett, Joy Burdette, George Carpten IV, Amy Gillingham Culligan, William Herzog, Kimberly Lazzeri, William Hogg, Brant Karrick, Kurt Sander, Louis Setzer, Ashley Shepherd, E. Danielle Todd, Richard Van Dyke, Jason Vest, Leanne Wood, John Zappa

Thinking about the discipline: Students with degrees in music have a wide range of opportunities available in the workforce as public or private school teachers, independent studio educators, liturgical music directors, composers, producers, conductors, and performers. Other opportunities also exist in arts administration, marketing, or promotion. Some students opt to continue their studies at the graduate level for careers as university professors, researchers, and nonprofit administrators.

Special opportunities for our students: Music students are offered a variety of special opportunities tied to groups and opportunities beyond the campus borders.

National Association for Music Education: The mission of the National Association for Music Education is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. Students can join NAfME to acquire a connection to the professional world of music education and to gain an increased understanding of the role of NAfME in the field of music teaching.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia: The primary purpose of this fraternity is to encourage and promote the highest standards of creativity, performance, education, and research in music in America. Membership is open to any male student in good academic standing or faculty/staff member at NKU who works to advance the cause of music in America.

Sigma Alpha Iota: Sigma Alpha Iota is an international fraternity for women in music. Members include undergraduates and graduates in music, alumnae, professional musicians, and outstanding music patrons. In addition to personal encouragement and support, members may receive scholarships, loans, and awards in many areas and at all levels of music-related study.

Tonality - a cappella: Students come together to create a cappella covers of popular songs. They create the music, practice parts, and prepare to perform around campus and in the community. This is a unique opportunity for those who have a passion for singing and music. This group is open to all students but is  audition-based. This is perfect for students who come from a singing background and are looking for a way to continue singing in college, even if they are not music majors.

ASTA (American String Teachers Association): To promote a greater interest and participation in string and orchestra playing at the elementary, middle, high school and collegiate levels. To promote the highest standards in string and orchestra playing, teaching and string and orchestra teacher education. To provide additional opportunities for community involvement in string and orchestra playing.

CNAFME (National Association for Music Education-Collegiate Chapter): We are an organization devoted to the professional development of students who are pursuing music education degrees. We are affiliated with the national organization NAfME, which is the most renowned organization of music educators across the nation. We attend conferences throughout the school year, including KMEA (Kentucky Music Educators Association) and/or OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association).

Special admission requirements: Any student wishing to declare a major or minor in music must complete a successful entrance audition in  their major applied area to be accepted into the Music Program.

Entering freshmen and transfer students are required to take placement examinations in music theory and piano. Transfer students must also take a music history examination if deemed appropriate by the program head.

Information regarding auditions and placement tests may be found on the web (

You should also know:

Academic standards: Candidates for degrees in music are required to receive a grade of C (not C-) or better in all music courses applied toward the major or minor and to maintain a GPA of 2.50 in music courses.

Applied music requirements:  Individual instruction for qualified students is available. Music Majors are required to take a one hour weekly lesson (2 credits). Private lessons are provided weekly for a half-hour or one hour. Students studying privately may earn 1 or 2 credit hours. The number of credit hours is determined by the length of the lesson (one-half hour = 1 semester hour; one hour = 2 credit hours). Students may be assigned to applied lesson instructors by  area coordinator or program head. Students who have not passed their Sophomore Comprehensive Jury may not register for 300- or 400-level applied courses. Requests for a specific instructor will be honored when possible.

Applied music instruction: Individual instruction for qualified students is available. Music Majors are required to take a one hour weekly lesson (2 credits). Private lessons are provided weekly for a half-hour or one hour. Students studying privately may earn 1 or 2 credit hours. The number of credit hours is determined by the length of the lesson (one-half hour = 1 semester hour; one hour = 2 credit hours). Students may be assigned to applied lesson instructors by area coordinator or program head. Students who have not passed their Sophomore Comprehensive Jury may not register for 300- or 400-level applied courses. Requests for a specific instructor will be honored when possible.

Per-semester fees: For applied music and composition, the semester fee is $186 for a half-hour lesson per week and $373 for a one-hour lesson per week. A $55 accompanying fee is also assessed for all students to help cover program expenses including staff accompanists, instrument maintenance, and other costs associated with applied lessons.

Performance organizations: Membership in performance organizations is open to all qualified NKU students. Ensembles include Northern Chorale, Chamber Choir, University Concert Band, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, NKU Philharmonic, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Drum Band, Women’s Ensemble, and Low Voice Choir. Opportunities for performance in chamber ensembles and the opera workshop are also available. Interested students should call the music office to arrange an audition. Large-ensemble requirements pertaining to curricula for music majors are satisfied only by Symphonic Winds, University Concert Band, Northern Chorale, Chamber Choir, and NKU Philharmonic. MUSE 308 Jazz Ensemble fulfills Large-ensemble requirement for Jazz Majors only.

Recital attendance requirement: All students majoring in music, unless excused by the Program Head, must successfully complete 7 semesters of MUSM 109 Recital Review (0 credits). Requirements for this course are satisfied by certified attendance at recitals approved and required by the course syllabus; grading is pass/fail.

Recital performance: Students majoring in music performance must perform two major recitals, a junior (half) recital and a senior (full) recital. Students majoring in music education perform a junior recital prior to graduation. Students preparing junior and senior recitals must pass a recital jury audition at least one month prior to public performance. Students majoring in music composition must prepare a junior recital consisting of at least 30 minutes of their own music. Students majoring in music education must perform a junior recital prior to their clinical experience semester. Guidelines for the preparation and scheduling of recitals are available from the music office.

Scholarships: Music scholarships are awarded to students who have made outstanding accomplishments or evidence significant potential. Students should contact the music office for audition dates. Applied music juries at the end of fall semester serve as an evaluation and re-audition for continuing scholarship students.

Advising: All students majoring or minoring in music will be advised by the program advisor. Students are urged to work in consultation with the advisor in order to ensure proper selection and sequencing of courses.

Special instructional programs: The Preparatory Division offers private instruction in many instruments and voice to students below college age, university students who are not majoring or minoring in music, and adult students. Interested students should contact the music office prior to the start of each semester or summer school for information.

All degrees and certificates offered by the Music Program are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.


  • Bachelor of Music in Performance B.M.
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition B.M.
  • Bachelor of Music Education B.M.E.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music B.A.


  • Music Minor


Theatre and Dance Program

Location: Fine Arts Center 205
Telephone: 859-572-6362
Fax: 859-572-6057
Email Addresses:

Dance -
Theatre -
Theatre and Dance Box Office -

Web Address:
Program Head: Michael Hatton
Other Key Personnel:

Retention Specialist: Nicole Perrone
Technical Director: Rob Kerby
Scene Shop Foreman: Kevin Havlin
Costume Shop Manager: Catherine Schmeal

Full-Time Faculty: Tracey Bonner, Ronnie Chamberlain, Corrie Danieley, Daryl L. Harris, Michael W. Hatton, Christine Jones, Kenneth Jones, Robert Kerby, Michael E. King, Nicole Perrone, Brian Robertson, Charlie Roetting, Sue Ott Rowlands, Jo Sandburg, Catherine Schmeal, Damon Stevens, Jamey Strawn

Thinking about the discipline: The NKU Theatre and Dance Program is a student-centered program whose focus is on undergraduate training. The program offers a variety of degrees that will suit each student’s unique career goals. In addition, the program provides a variety of performance and production experiences that will train students to successfully enter a theatre profession.

Students who have graduated from the program are currently at work in Broadway shows, national tours, regional theatres, cruise ships, Disney productions, Cirque du Soleil, television, and feature films. Students have also found success in careers outside of theatre and are working in K-12 education, law careers, business, marketing, and others.

The skills learned with a degree in theatre and dance help students maximize careers in which interaction with the public is necessary.

Special opportunities for our students: NKU offers students the opportunity to establish internships with several local professional theatre and performing arts groups as well as I.A.T.S.E. (stagehand union Local 5).

The NKU Theatre and Dance Program offers scholarships to students based on auditions as well as GPA:

  • Incoming student scholarships - The Theatre and Dance Program endeavors first and foremost to recruit gifted students into the program. In early December, theatre faculty audition high school seniors and transfer students and then rank them according to four major criteria: talent, academic achievement, growth potential, and likely contributions to the program. Scholarships for top candidates may become available at any time through the following December. The faculty present awards to alternate list candidates or to qualified students already enrolled at any level with an overall 2.75 GPA.
  • Currently enrolled student scholarships - To be considered for a scholarship, currently enrolled students with an overall 2.75 GPA must maintain good academic standing as detailed below, high visibility in the production program, and consistent contributions to program activities. To apply, complete the online application.

The Theatre and Dance Program offers performance opportunities for NKU students with a full season of theatrical productions including musicals, dance, dramas, comedies, and classical plays. Auditions for these productions are open to any student enrolled at NKU. The Theatre and Dance program is dedicated to creating professional-quality theatrical productions to help students build confidence, strengthen résumés, and prepare for careers after graduation. While some graduates may go on to careers in performance areas, others may use the skills they developed through performance to pursue jobs not directly related to the performing arts.

The program also sponsors a number of campus/community/recruitment outreach programs. The Dance Troupe, the Comedy Improv Troupe, the Musical Theatre Tour Troupe,  and the freshman-only Broadway Chorus Tour Troupe may be taken for up to 6 credit hours. Tour troupes hold auditions as a condition of acceptance into a troupe. Tour troupe members must commit to a one-year term or arrange a special one-semester commitment with the supervising faculty member. A particular troupe might not operate in every academic year.

Special admission requirements: Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates must maintain a 2.75 GPA in theatre and dance coursework as well as an overall 2.50 GPA for all NKU coursework. Students falling below the required GPA will go on probation for one semester. Students on probation must achieve the required GPA minimums in order to be removed from probation. Failure to achieve the minimum GPA will result in the student being removed from the B.F.A. program.

B.F.A. students receiving a grade of D or F in theatre and dance B.F.A. courses will be removed from the B.F.A. program. Students removed for a D can petition the B.F.A. review committee to retake the course and re-enter the B.F.A. program. (This appeal should be made within 30 days from receiving the D.) Students removed for an F cannot re-enter the B.F.A. program for any reason.


  • Theatre Design, Technology or Stage Management, B.F.A.  
  • Theatre Performance, B.F.A.  
  • Theatre, B.A.  


  • Dance Minor  
  • Theatre Minor  

Theatre and Dance Course Groups  

Visual Arts Program

Location: Fine Arts Center 312
Telephone: 859-572-5421
Fax: 859-572-6501
Email Address:
Web Address:
Program Head: Brad McCombs
Other Key Personnel:

Retention Specialist: Candice van Loveren Geis
Retention Specialist: Courtney Mcmanus
Gallery Coordinator: David Knight
Sculpture/Ceramics Building Coordinator: Ben Huber

Full-Time Faculty: Kimberly Allen-Kattus, Nicholas Bonner, Rachael Banks, Maren Carpenter-Fearing, Steven Finke, Lisa Jameson, JeeEun Lee, Marc Leone, Julie Mader-Meersman, Brad McCombs, Kevin Muente, John Matt Overwine, Randel Plowman, Hans Schellhas, Julia Sebastian, Chris Smith, Candice van Loveren Geis, Paige Wideman

Thinking about the discipline: Innovation, critical thinking, and a dynamic curriculum drive our students to embrace the future. Students wishing to pursue a career in visual arts can select a specific track from visual communication design, drawing, painting, spatial arts (sculpture, ceramics), new media art, and photography or pursue a more generalized approach by taking courses from all the discipline areas. Additionally, degrees in art history, art education, and pre-art therapy broaden career choices. The Visual Arts faculty are committed to student success and assist students in making informed decisions about their majors and career plans during their undergraduate years.

Many of our graduates are professional artists, designers, and arts educators with successful careers in a wide variety of art-related fields and world-renowned design firms. Other graduates successfully apply creativity and critical thinking learned in visual arts degrees to a broad spectrum of careers in non-art related fields.

Special opportunities for our students: The Visual Arts program offers a variety of programs and educational enrichment experiences including: discipline-based art clubs such as the Art History Club, Sculpture and Ceramics Society, Next Generation Artists, The Design Guild, New Media Art Collective and student chapters of the American Institute of Graphic Art and the National Art Education Association. Numerous study-abroad opportunities, scholarships, internships, and professional exhibition opportunities are available and can be found on the program website.


  • Visual Arts, B.A.  
  • Visual Arts, B.F.A.  
  • Visual Arts, B.S. , Photography Track
  • Visual Communication Design, B.A.  
  • Visual Communication Design, B.F.A.  


  • Art History Minor  
  • Photography Minor  
  • Spatial Arts Minor  
  • Studio Arts Minor  

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