Assistant Professor Brian Kremer and Music Director/Conductor Valerie Maze presented at the Music Theatre Educators’ Alliance Conference in New York City.
Assistant Professor of Music Theatre Brian Kremer and Music Director/Conductor of Music Theatre Valerie Maze recently presented at the Music Theatre Educators’ Conference in New York City. During their time there, they were able to attend conferences led by colleagues from other schools, have conversations with fellow attendees to spark new ideas that they can then bring back to Elon, and in the evening attend Broadway shows.
On Friday, Jan. 4, Kremer participated in a presentation and panel discussion aiming to address issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusivity within educational performing arts departments. This session was led by an esteemed panel of faculty from successful musical theatre programs across the country and addressed many topics including balancing enrollment, scholarship dollars and funding, experiential learning opportunities, methodologies, increasing the chances of student success, and the importance of diverse faculty representation.
On Saturday, Jan. 5, Maze was a co-facilitator for a panel titled, “Bridging the Gap: Academic Curriculum and the Realities of the Entertainment Industry.” She co-led this panel with fellow educator David Coolidge from Anderson University. They led a panel discussion that included David Chase, Marc Bruni and Ryan Stana, all high-profile industry professionals in the entertainment (specifically music theatre) industry.
Some of the topics addressed were: trends in the industry that should be addressed in professional training programs, techniques and tools needed to be industry ready, identifying areas in which academic curriculum is succeeding in preparing students, identifying areas for improvement in academic curriculum, and how to better explore opportunities for collaboration with training programs and industry professionals.
This presentation also included a question & answer session at the end. The goal of this panel was to share ideas on how academic curriculum can better meet the demands of an ever-evolving industry and ultimately serve students in preparing them for the realities of the industry. The rapidly changing industry has become very contemporary and we need to change with the times; while still keeping traditional values alive.
The conference was successful for them on a number of levels. Kremer and Maze were able to share their ideas and hear what new ideas and questions are being dealt with in other music theatre programs around the globe.