Mar 01, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of the Arts

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Location: Fine Arts Center 253
Telephone: 859-572-7622
Fax: 859-572-6076
Email Address:
Web Address:
Director: Ken Jones
Other Key Personnel:

Associate Director: Thomas McGovern
Budget Officer: Sandy Davis
Assistant to the Director: Ronda Schweitzer-Hardy
Academic Specialist: Ashley Coates
Marketing Director: Tyler Gabbard
Box Office Manager: Susan Bolger
Greaves Hall Manager: Jonathan Eaton

About the School of the Arts: Created in July 2015 the School of the Arts combines Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts to bring unparalleled artistic opportunities to current and future students. Housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, SOTA encourages students to pioneer new frontiers in arts education across multiple disciplines.

Music Program

Location: Fine Arts Center 253
Telephone: 859-572-6399
Fax: 859-572-6076
Email Address:
Web Address:
Department Chair: Kurt Sander
Other Key Personnel:

Assistant Chair: William Hogg
Academic Advisor: Joan Brummer
Greaves Concert Hall Coordinator: Jonathan Eaton
Director of Preparatory Department: Holly Attar

Full-Time Faculty: Katie Barton, Diana Belland, David Dunevant, Amy Gillingham, Kimberly Gelbwasser, William Hogg, Brant Karrick, Ingrid Keller, Eric Knechtges, Karen Koner, Scott Lang, Randy Pennington, Frank Restesan, Raquel Rodriquez, Kurt Sander, Jason Vest, 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. Occasionally students will earn their degree in music and opt to pursue additional study in law or medicine.

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.

Special admission requirements: Any student wishing to declare a major in music must complete a successful entrance audition in his or her major applied area to be accepted into the Department of Music.

To be admitted into the music education program, a student must have achieved a 21 composite on the ACT or 1470 combined (three parts) on the SAT.

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 department chair.

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: All students majoring or minoring in music and majoring in musical theatre studying applied voice must perform before a panel of faculty members at the end of each semester. At this time, their grade for that semester and the approval or disapproval to register for the next-higher level of study will be decided. At the end of four semesters of applied study, students must pass the sophomore comprehensive jury to qualify for 300/400-level study. If the four semesters are not completed consecutively, students must secure written permission from the appropriate faculty and the music chair to delay the examination. Students not approved in the sophomore comprehensive jury must petition to retake the examination. The sophomore comprehensive jury may be taken three times only and will be heard by at least three music faculty members who, by a majority vote, will grade the performance as pass or fail. A summary of the faculty vote is recorded and filed in students’ permanent folders.

Applied music instruction: Individual instruction for qualified students is available in wind, brass, percussion, string instruments, organ, piano, voice, guitar, harp, and harpsichord. Private lessons are provided weekly for a half-hour or one hour. Students studying privately may earn one 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 will be assigned to applied lesson instructors by the music chair or area coordinator. 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 $150 for a half-hour lesson per week and $300 for a one-hour lesson per week. A $55 music fee is also assessed 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, Vocal Jazz, University Concert Band, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, NKU Philharmonic, Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band. 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, Chamber Orchestra, and NKU Philharmonic.

Recital attendance requirement: All students majoring in music, unless excused by the chair, 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.




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 W. Hatton
Other Key Personnel:

Fine Arts Manager: Tyler Gabbard
Box Office Manager: Sue Bolger
Technical Director: Rob Kerby
Scene Shop Foreman: Kevin Havlin
Costume Shop Manager: Jeff Shearer

Full-Time Faculty: Tracey Bonner, Heather Britt, Ronnie Chamberlain, Corrie Danieley, Sandra Forman, Daryl L. Harris, Michael W. Hatton, Christine Jones, Kenneth Jones, Robert Kerby, Michael E. King, Sue Ott Rowlands, Terry D. Powell, Brian Robertson, Ronald A. Shaw, Damon Stevens, Jamey Strawn, Samuel Zachary

Thinking about the discipline: The NKU Department of Theatre and Dance is a student-centered program whose focus is on undergraduate training. The department 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 Department of Theatre and Dance offers scholarships to students based on auditions as well as GPA:

  • Incoming student scholarships - The theatre department endeavors first and foremost to recruit gifted students into the department. 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 departmental activities. To apply, complete the online application.

The Department of Theatre and Dance 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 department 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 department also sponsors a number of campus/community/recruitment outreach programs. The Dance Troupe, the Comedy Improv Troupe, the Musical Theatre Tour Troupe, Children’s Theatre/Puppetry 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.




Visual Arts Program

Location: Fine Arts Center 312
Telephone: 859-572-5421
Fax: 859-572-6501
Email Address:
Web Address:
Department Chair: Thomas F. McGovern III
Other Key Personnel:

Freshman Advisor: Candice van Loveren Geis
Academic Specialist: Ashley Coates
Gallery Coordinator: David Knight
Sculpture/Ceramics Building Coordinator: Ben Huber

Full-Time Faculty: Matthew Albritton, Kimberly Allen-Kattus, Nicholas Bonner, Maren Carpenter-Fearing, Steven Finke, Barbara Houghton, Lisa Jameson, Andrea Knarr, Marc Leone, Julie Mader-Meersman, Brad McCombs, Thomas F. McGovern III, Kevin Muente, Hans Schellhas, Chris Smith, Paige Wideman, Rhonda Wolverton

Thinking about the discipline: The Visual Arts faculty assist students in making informed decisions about their majors and career plans during their undergraduate years. Students pursuing a career in visual arts can select a specific track from 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. Students interested in the direct interface of art and industry should consider visual communication design, new media art or photography as a major. For those students who are attracted to the rich history and current trends in visual arts or are interested in criticism or museum work, the Visual Arts program offers a major in art history.

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, League of Extraordinary Photographers, 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, department scholarships, internships, and professional exhibition opportunities.



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