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MT in California?

philosopherjudyphilosopherjudy Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
I am new to CC and am amazed how much I've learned already. My S is a jr. hoping for an MT major, but I haven't seen much about West coast schools. Are any of them worth it? He skipped a grade so will graduate younger than most, and going all the way to the east coast seems a big step for him (and for us economically!) Any suggestions from CCers?
Post edited by philosopherjudy on
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Replies to: MT in California?

  • anothermom-w-qanothermom-w-q Registered User Posts: 1,125 Senior Member
    Read about Cal State Fullerton at the top of the main MT page. UCLA and Cal State Chico offer programs, and USC has a minor in MT. That's all I know about. The program at Chico is new, (If I remember correctly it is a BA and not a BFA) and nobody here had much info about it. If you go back and read posts from the past year there was some discussion about CA programs. The Cal State Fullerton thread has lots of great info written by a professor there.
  • ocuMTinfoocuMTinfo - Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Hi..I'm from California and after an extensive search for West Coast MT schools, I didn't find something that I thought was right. But good luck with your search!
  • anothermom-w-qanothermom-w-q Registered User Posts: 1,125 Senior Member
    And I second what ocuMTinfo said. We are from Ca too, and my daughter applied to only one school west of Ohio, and it's in Colorado.
  • be_a_starbe_a_star Registered User Posts: 618 Member
    I'm also in CA, but the only CA school I applied to was UCI, which has a theatre program with musical theatre honors that you can audition for after two years. However, after being accepted to OCU, I didn't send them the rest of the stuff I needed to to complete my application.

    Two other schools to which I applied, OCU and University of Northern Colorado, aren't all that far, and both are cheaper than any UC. But yeah, CA really doesn't have all that many options in state.
  • ElliottsMomElliottsMom Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    Perhaps you need to move your thoughts from Calif. to the Western Region. Arizona State, BYU, Colorado are closer than the East Coast.
  • philosopherjudyphilosopherjudy Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks to all so far for the feedback. My S is also interested in classical opera; do any of these schools support that along w/MT? Is that something he'd get to do in East Coast schools?
  • chrisrchrisr Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    philosopherjudy,
    If you are willing to look east of CA, look at OCU. Their MT majors are a part of the music department and are required to audition for all musicals and operas. My son, an MT major, is a freshman and is in the chorus of their upcoming production of LaBoheme. They are required to have both classical and MT songs in their rep, and work on both with voice teachers.
  • bookiemombookiemom Registered User Posts: 1,914 Senior Member
    philosopherjudy: You might look at Pepperdine. The best MT guy (very talented and smart as well) from my D's well-regarded high school theater program went there, with a nice talent scholarship. He does straight theater, MT, and opera there.

    University of Northern Colorado also has an MT major and some opera. MT majors are often cast in straight theater too.
  • ocuMTinfoocuMTinfo - Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Chrisr, you took the words right out of my mouth! :)

    Judy, OCU music students live in both the MT world and the Classical/Opera world. Voice training is all classically based and, as chrisr said, MT students must learn MT selections along with classical slections. And the great opportunity exisit for cross training on the stage as MTs perform in OCU's operas frequently. So not only to do you learn the rep, but you also get a chance to use it in real time (operas).

    OCU is a unique program. A demanding one that requires more than learning some JRB songs. Some students are not prepared for this kind of training - one heavy on classical training, theory and performance. But a look at OCU's top grads (Chenoweth and O'Hara) will show you what OCU does.

    Good luck with your serach!
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,469 Senior Member
    OcuMTinfo....while it is true that OCU is heavy on classical training, I'm not sure why you added that it is a "demanding one that requires more than learning some JRB songs." Clearly, you can't possibly mean that a BFA in MT program (as opposed to OCU's BM program) is not as demanding or that it is focused on JRB songs?? Not only in my D's program but in most others we looked into, they learn legit voice and repertoire that is from the traditional MT repertoire. While they may not have the classical bent that OCU has, THAT is what differs but truly not the MT repertoire or legit voice training that is taught everywhere. In fact, my D just IM'd me and was telling me about the soprano work she is doing and the songs she has been assigned and they are not like JRB at all. So, please do point out about the classical training and opera work at OCU but please don't imply that other programs don't require more learning than some JRB songs. I think it is wonderful to come here and post as a resource on your program that you love dearly and to explain its features but no need to imply such a comparison. I could explain my child's program and what they do but would not be apt to say it is the best or most wonderful, but simply that she loves it and I know what it offers. I believe all these BFA programs are demanding and I surely would hope that none focus on learning JRB style songs. I think classical training is good to point out at your school for those who really want that. But you can attain a very fine training in MT by also studying MT repertoire and vocal technique. These simply are different OPTIONS and a different FOCUS. One is not a better route to a career in MT. For those not in a classical program, you can bet that they do study legit vocal technique. They just do not work on classical music. For someone looking into a BFA program, they need to decide which type of program is the best fit for what they want but that doesn't make one program necessarily better overall. Some want equal training in voice, acting and dance and some programs are like that and some are not, for example. I think it is best to point out the DIFFERENCES or ATTRIBUTES of a program, and its curriculum, but that can be done without espousing that one is necessarily better or contrasting it with negative implications about the alternatives.
  • kedstuffkedstuff Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    Be sure you do look at USC's program. Once you mentioned classical voice, that becomes the strongest school in your region. Auditions for the Met are held there and classical voice is very good. While MT is not integrated in the theatre school, it is a minor offered by USC's Thornton School of Music.
  • philosopherjudyphilosopherjudy Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Boy, do I feel dumb: Where is OCU? what is JRB? There are advantages to abbreviations but they sure confuse out of the loop moms like me. Thanks to everyone for all of the help!
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,469 Senior Member
    OCU is Oklahoma City University.

    JRB stands for a contemporary Broadway composer, Jason Robert Brown (ie., Songs for a New World, Last Five Years).

    Don't worry....you're not dumb. I had never heard of OCU until I read this forum. I did know JRB but I never have referred to him as JRB but I figured it out.

    Susan
  • vocaldadvocaldad Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    OK, I'll chime in. Why the knock on Jason Robert Brown? Given that he has won Tonys for his songs, and some great MT programs have informed works, I wonder what the concern is about. I would greatly appreciate it if somebody would explain this apparent negative feeling for his music. Frankly, I think some of his songs can be outstanding opportunities for singing and "acting the song," something that is often encouraged on this site. If I am mistaken, or there are other reasons to knock his music, please let me (us) know. Thank you.

    vocaldad
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,469 Senior Member
    VocalDad, I think Jason Robert Brown is wonderful and my D is very into his music and has performed it. What I read into the comment was that OCUMTInfo was saying one college offers classical voice as opposed to JRB as if the other schools do not teach the legit and traditional MT repertoire and they do, as well as contemporary MT repertoire like JRB. They include the gamut of MT, including the traditional fare, and they teach legit vocal technique. They just do not focus on or teach the classical repertoire which is more typical in a BM or VP major program. OCU is a BM program, by the way.

    Like you, I think JRB is definitely tops and definitely worthy of study and performing and is a face in the contemporary MT landscape. I am not into this either/or way of thinking. To be successful in MT today, a young student ought to study legit singing, including the traditional Broadway repertoire but also the contemporary Broadway sounds that are in many musicals that are cast today. JRB is good, as you say, for acting the song. His material is overused in auditions but is wonderful for performing.

    What I don't get is the knocking of programs that teach MT repertoire as being inferior to those that teach the classical vocal stuff. Classical is great and also good preparation. But a program that focuses on MT is a kind of training that is as good but simply different.

    I think it would be far better to contrast PROGRAMS and what their focus is, than to imply that one is better than the other. One FITS a student better than another, that's all. Same with vocal training. Classical is not better than JRB either, but a different style of singing.

    Also someone with a more classical bent is suitable for certain roles (such as in Piazza) and possibly not for other roles (such as in RENT) and then someone else who can sing the contemporary Broadway sound might be suitable for casting in The Wild Party or Avenue Q but not as much as in Pirates of Penzance.

    A Broadway actor today in the MT world, needs to have a wide range of skills and be able to sing all sorts of styles, because that is what Broadway shows include these days. It is not an either/or world. You should be able to sing a classical sound, a legit sound, a contemporary sound, to be a versatile performer. Of course, some are stronger at one style than another.

    Susan
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