Music Direction | About

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.


Areas of Study

  • Vocal Pedagogy and Coaching
  • Conducting
  • Composition, Orchestration, Arranging
  • Music Production
  • Independent Projects

Students work with faculty members as well as industry professionals, receiving instruction and mentoring within these five areas.


Collaborative Experiences

Your three-year residency provides numerous opportunities for collaboration with other MFA Drama students whose foci may include acting, stage direction, design, stage management, and dramaturgy. Students bridge their core curriculum with collaborative works for the stage to bolster their artistry as they build a network of professional colleagues under the UCI Drama family.

Additionally, these project-based experiences give you access to a wider network of resources, including the Meyer Sound Design Studios as well as the ICIT program in the School of Music.


Production Opportunities

Our music directors engage in both small and large-scale musical productions, including new work development, during their time at UCI. These productions collaborate with other MFA Drama students as well as our BA and BFA music theatre student cohorts. Music directors play in the orchestra pit, program keyboard rigs, compose original music, and assist in the production process.

In their third year, students music direct and conduct a mainstage musical from start to finish. Previous theses include Into the WoodsBunkerville (world premiere), CompanyLegally Blonde, and The Prom.

In addition to on-campus study, music directors partner with the New York Satellite Program in Music Theatre. Our students gain direct access and feedback from New York casting directors, choreographers, and other music directors during their residency with this one of a kind program.


Professional Placement/Alumni

Graduates of the program can be found music directing on Broadway, national tours, regional theatres, as well as in higher education and arts education communities around the country.


Financial Information

Students who are accepted into the program attend tuition-free, thanks to a generous partnership with the University of California. Students are also awarded teaching assistantships during their three years, which provides a monthly stipend to help offset living expenses. Because space is extremely limited, we select a VERY small number of highly qualified applicants each year.

For more information, please contact Professor Zachary Dietz, Graduate Advisor for Music Direction, at