Students Can Showcase Creative Talents in Expanding Humanities' Academic Minor Programs

Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Drama Club members on stage in Hatfield Hall.

Spectacular Productions: The drama club has showcased student talent in such musicals as Les Miserables, Cats, Chicago, and Phantom of the Opera. Three productions are planned for the 2015-16 school years, including West Side Story. (Photo by Nate Montgomery)

Rose-Hulman may specialize in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas, but it also gives students the opportunity to explore their interests in the creative arts through several academic minor programs, including new areas of music and theater.

These programs allow students to showcase their performing arts talents within a close-knit community of scientists and engineers who share common interests in music appreciation and dramatic arts.

"Engineers are often musicians," says David Chapman, assistant professor of music. He explains there is little difference between students pursuing degrees in STEM areas at Rose-Hulman and music majors at liberal arts colleges. "Not only is there a place for technical, quantitative, and analytical thinking in music, but also for the people who wish to exercise other mental muscle skills," he says.

The new theater minor allows students to take courses in music, humanities, and art; take courses that introduce students to the theater arts, drama, and Shakespeare; and participate in drama club productions on the Hatfield Hall Theater stage, acting workshops, and a short-play series.

"An organized minor allows for a much broader understanding and more complex engagement in the theater," says Terence Hartnett, assistant professor of English and director of theater programs. "Students with no theatrical experience will have the opportunity to see high-quality productions presented by dedicated and talented students."

Concert Band

Sweet Music: The concert band is one of several student performing arts groups that give students the opportunity to showcase their musical talents. (Photo by Nate Montgomery)

Rose-Hulman has a vibrant music community, according to Chapman. He says students participate in the music minor because they want to learn about the basics of music, musical instruments, and acoustical sound. Program requirements have students completing courses in music theory, music history, electronics, and musical performance.

"I'm eager to see the music program grow, to help our students grow musically and intellectually, and to enhance our campus community's musical life," Chapman says. "There are many new and exciting things happening in the arts at Rose-Hulman."

Rose-Hulman also offers academic minors in art and language and literature in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.