Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University - New MT Program!

<p>Hi everyone, just wanted to share some exciting news! </p>

<p>Last week Robin Lewis contacted me re: the new MT program he is heading up with Mariann Cook at Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University. </p>

<p>Robin helped develop the fantastic MT program at Texas State.</p>

<p>The website is not updated yet - so here is a little information on the program:</p>

<p>Rider University is close proximity to NYC<br>
We bring in Broadway Professionals, directors, composers for master classes –
Students are able to go into the city and see Broadway Shows and take classes
Faculty – all Broadway and National Tour Professionals
6 productions a year (plays and musicals) – open to all grade levels to audition –
3 musicals a year
Cabarets
Many student opportunities – directing, choreographing showcases
No cut policy
All music classes will be taught by professors by Westminister Choir College Conservatory of Music
Strong Academic core classes, family atmosphere, a lot of campus activities
Honors program
Music Lab –meet weekly, about the business, heavy on guest artists, visits from Actors Equity Rep.
40k (include housing)
Small University
Alexander Technique– Mead Andrews (Internationally recognized Alexander Instructor)
Senior Showcase in NYC </p>

<p>With the intense competition out there to get into these MT programs, isn’t it great to hear there is a wonderful program just beginning!</p>

<p>Isn't there already an MT program at WCC? How is it new? Just a new director? Is it totally changing? I know that it has gone through a lot of change in the past few years. Also, I believe that right now there are 2 MT tracks. A piano track and a voice track. Is this no longer true? Is the program housed at the Princeton campus of Rider, or is it at the Lawrenceville campus? At which campus do the MT students live?</p>

<p>Just wondering! </p>

<p>Thanks,
E.J.</p>

<p>My D worked with both Robin and Mariann when they were at TexArts here in Austin and they are both terrific! Todd Dellinger is also on faculty there. I know he teaches Arts Administration but perhaps he will be involved int he MT program as well? Todd was the co- founder of TexArts with Robin and was a terrific acting teacher.</p>

<p>E.J. - Rider University has purchased Westminster Choir College. This past spring was the last time Musical Theater is under Westminster Choir College Campus. This spring 2012 will be the last of the "BA" program in Musical Theater. Starting Fall 2012 will begin the new "BFA" in Musical Theater under "Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University". The faculty is all new(all Broadway and Touring Professionals). The students still will take theory under the Westminster College faculty.
The website has not been updated yet.
Rider will be at Unifieds in Chicago this year as well as "Moonifieds" (students of College Acting Coach Mary Anna Dennard). I hope this answers your question.</p>

<p>Oh! and yes there is also a new program offered at Rider: BA in Arts Administration under the direction of Todd Dellinger.</p>

<p>Great new article about Robin Lewis coming to Rider:
Bway</a> Veteran Robin Lewis Joins Rider University's Musical Theater Program</p>

<p>What about transfer students? Will they accept them? If so, do they have to start over? just wondering.....</p>

<p>My daughter is a transfer student. She came in last year as a sophomore. All her credits from her first year transferred, including her theory credits, and her AP credits from high school kicked in as well, eliminating some of her gen eds. She is on schedule as a junior, although she may have to double up on acting one semester.<br>
The program requirements could be changing over the next several years as they tweak it. They are trying to improve the dance component and are bringing in new faculty, now that all of the majors are located in one place on the Lawrenceville campus.</p>

<p>Hello there! DD has just been accepted to Rider for fall 2013.
Any sage advice?</p>

<p>How are the theory and voice components of the program?
Do the MT kids go to Princeton for their vocal truing, or are there faculty available in Lawrenceville?</p>

<p>We will be heading East on March 27 and on campus the 28th and 29th.</p>

<p>Thank you so much- any info would be welcome.</p>

<p>Congrats michmom13!!!</p>

<p>How did you learn of DD’s acceptance? We would like to know when to expect to hear something, at least as far as timing.
Thanks!</p>

<p>Dear michmom13, My D is a freshman in Rider’s MT program. The vocal and theory components of the program seem to be wonderful. She says that she feels she has learned a lot already and absolutely loves the vocal coaching.
She takes all classes in Lawrenceville. In fact piano is in the lower level of their dorm.
We are also from the Midwest. (assuming the mich is Michigan)
I hope that your daughter enjoys the trip. We made the same one a year ago and were very impressed with the program.</p>

<p>Our son was accepted for the fall of 2013. Traditionally, he received the thick envelope in the mail. About a week after his audition, Rider’s admission office emailed and mailed a letter saying his high school transcript and recommendations were missing. A few days after having these resent, he received the acceptance in the mail. Since his acceptance in early February, he has received many letters, including a handwritten note from the regional admission rep and a Rider t-shirt, and as parents, we also have received a letter explaining why Rider would be a good fit for him. He was accepted into their honors program and received significant merit awards, even though we didn’t apply for financial aid. All of the attention is making him very positive about Rider, but he won’t make any decisions until he hears from the other schools he applied to.</p>

<p>My son is a freshman MT. He has private voice lessons on the Lawrenceville campus with a teacher he likes very much. (She also works with professional MTs through her private studio in NYC.) He also get a weekly session with an accompanist at which time he can work through repertoire for upcoming auditions or performances. For the entire year, he has only had one class at the WCC campus in Princeton, and that is for his 2nd major in arts administration. He has a car, so he drives the short distance from Lawrenceville to WCC, but there is a shuttle option, or he also has friends with whom he could carpool. Other than that, all his MT, honors program, and gen ed classes have been at Lawrenceville. He loves the dance classes. He has been in two plays so far, and he’s starting rehearsal for the spring musical today. There is an esteemed member of the acting faculty who is world-renowned in Alexander Technique, as well as many professors who are Broadway vets. The students in the MT program are a very talented group; some turned down higher-profile schools because of the faculty at Rider, who are working very hard to recruit and grow a top program. The university as a whole is very generous with merit aid – something that factored into my son’s decision to go to Rider, for sure. There is a nice camaraderie among the performing arts students and they take part in fun events throughout the year, organized by the arts fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega. All in all, we are very happy with this rising star program. Feel free to PM me with specific questions.</p>

<p>MTTwinsinCA - Does your son have a 4 year plan for the new BFA? On the website, I noticed that they only have the BM degree plan available (expected since they have not be technically approved for the BFA).</p>

<p>The BFA has not yet been approved – so the freshman this year are enrolled in the Bachelor of Music in MT program at Rider. (FYI, our family had ALWAYS been looking at Rider, regardless of the switch to the BFA, so the degree delineation wasn’t a real issue for us.) If the new BFA program is approved by Fall, they will have the option to stay in the BMMT track, or move to the BFAMT track. My son may opt to stay in the BMMT track, because he came in with a lot of AP Credits and thus added a double-major in Arts Administration and has his program pretty well set out. But there will be the option to switch if the timing is right. (But no, I have not seen a four-year plan for the BFA. My sense is that the main difference will be less chorale and piano, and more dance, but I don’t know specifics.) I would address specific questions to Mariann Cook, the MT program director, by email at Rider – you can find her email on the Rider website.</p>

<p>Thanks. We are emailing Mariann tonight. My daughter met Robin Lewis this past summer and was entralled with his teaching style and dance. She has been a dancer her whole life and wanted to find a MT program where she could keep up her skills. We saw the campus and D stayed with some freshman in Dec. She really liked it. I hope that the Financial aid will work out in her favor.</p>

<p>Talked with Robin the other day and he said the program will be a BFA this coming year and is the process of finalizing it.
This of course is not official until it is announced official but the process is being done</p>

<p>Would love to know more about this program as my D may be going there. She was accepted to Rowan as well. Not sure which way to go here. Any insight on either school would be a great help. I heard Rider is up and coming but I do want to see her challenged in dance (15 yrs she’s been dancing) , acting and vocals. All opinions welcomed!</p>

<p>Dear dreamsiklz, My D is a freshman at Rider and she loves the MT program.
The vocal coaches are also on staff at Westminster Choir college, a highly regarded school for vocal training itself. She said she feels like she has learned a lot of technique, but always with an emphasis on vocal health. Meade Andrews who is a certified Alexander acting technique professor is amazing. My D took an additional acting class of hers this semester at Westminster because she enjoyed the Intro to Acting so much that she had with Meade the Fall semester.
As far as dance, they will do a placement assessment to determine which dance classes your daughter would be in- they offer Ballet, Tap, Jazz Broadway Styles.
I sat in on Robin Lewis teaching a Broadway Styles class and his knowledge of Fosse made us feel like the dance program was top notch for someone in MT. If your daughter loves dance and it is one of her best disciplines I think she would be very happy at Rider.
Good Luck and I hope she loves wherever she decides!</p>

<p>dreamsiklz by D is also a freshman at Rider for MT this year. She has been a dancer since the age of 3, and competed on a very skilled dance team for 9 years. She feels that the dance program at Rider is excellent. The only setback is that advanced dancers start in the higher level dance classes as freshman so they are finished with dance classes earlier. My D has already completed the highest level jazz class by the end of this year, her freshman year, so she will need to audit any further jazz classes she wants to take. She will still have one level of ballet to take next year, but after that she will again need to audit ballet. As long as they have enough time in their schedule to audit the classes, though, I don’t think there is a problem with doing that. Other than that she loves the program, and feels that she will be able to keep up competitively at auditions both during and after college as far as dance and voice is concerned. I’m not certain about the acting classes. She did take one this year and will take more next year, depending upon her schedule. Good luck with your decision.</p>

<p>Please feel free to PM me if you want more information.</p>