M.F.A. in Music Direction | Intro
Broadway Veteran Zachary Dietz joins the UCI Drama Faculty as Head of Music Direction.
The UC Irvine Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Music Direction prepares artists for a professional career in the performing arts. This one of a kind, interdisciplinary program is housed within the Department of Drama at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts in beautiful Southern California.
Students work with faculty members as well as industry professionals, receiving instruction and mentoring focused on:
a) Composition, Orchestration and Arranging
c) Script and Score Analysis
d) Vocal Pedagogy and Coaching
e) Music Production and Sound Design
Students also gain valuable first-hand experience through internships, which most recently have included the Sacramento Music Circus and South Coast Repertory Theater.
Typically, applicants already have experience in aspects of music direction for music theatre and are looking to refine and improve their knowledge base and experience in conducting, musical preparation of singers, rehearsal techniques, vocal coaching, composing, arranging, and producing. Excellent keyboard skills (including sight-reading, transposition, and improvisation), basic orchestra score-reading and conducting skills, and an understanding and passion for music theatre as a genre are expected of applicants.
This three-year residency provides a rich, authentic collaboration with MFA Drama students, whose focus may include acting, stage direction, design, stage management, and dramaturgy, developing artistic teams to create both large and small works for the stage. Students gain experience as music directors, lyricists, and composers, while being closely mentored by the department’s Music Theatre and associated faculty. Serving as Music Director for a main stage production and composing for the stage serve as the basis of candidates' thesis projects.
In addition to on-campus study, MFA candidates serve as Music Directors of the month-long New York Satellite Program in Music Theatre, which includes the NYSP Presents new works series. Candidates also accompany classes taught by New York casting directors, choreographers, and directors.
Head of Music Direction
Music Direction, Conducting, History of American Musical Theatre, Script & Score
Head of Music Theatre
Musical Scene Study, Musicals Abridged, NY Satellite Program
Graduate Advisor for Music Direction
Singing Pedagogy, University Teaching
Juliette Carrillo: Theatrical Creation
Don Hill: The Business of Show Business
Michael Hooker: Sound Design
Vincent Olivieri: Sound Design
Jane Page: Script Analysis
Joel Veenstra: Genres and Theatre Making
Current course requirements include:
DRAMA 199 – Performance projects
DRAMA 240 – Graduate projects
DRAMA 241 – Singing Pedagogy
DRAMA 242 – Conducting
DRAMA 243 – Script & Score
DRAMA 246A – Musical Scene Study: Operetta & Early Musical Comedy
DRAMA 246B – Musical Scene Study: Book Musicals & Musical Drama
DRAMA 246C – Musical Scene Study: Sondheim to Contemporary
DRAMA 247 – Musicals Abridged
DRAMA 248A – History of American Musical Theatre: From Colonial America to 1930s
DRAMA 248B - History of American Musical Theatre: 1940s-1960s
DRAMA 248C - History of American Musical Theatre: Sondheim to Contemporary
DRAMA 249 – Graduate Music Direction
DRAMA 251A – Script Analysis
DRAMA 251C – Genres and Theatre Making
MUSIC 136 – Instrumentation
For more information, please contact Professor Robin Buck, Graduate Advisor for Music Direction, at firstname.lastname@example.org.