Pre-College Musical Theatre

For students completing grades 8-12

Musical Theatre is comprised of workshops designed to prepare interested singers and actors for the musical stage. Workshops are provided during the week in movement, choreography, vocal technique and literature, musical and dramatic coaching, stage craft, auditioning and diction.

Students are welcome to take an optional 30-minute private vocal lesson with one of the Musical Theater instructors. Lessons cost $40/half-hour. Contact isym@illinois.edu to request a lesson.

This program is limited to 15 male and 15 female participants.

Here is what a typical day in the Musical Theater program looks like:

  • 8:15- 10:00 am: Warm-up, Yoga, and Choreography
  • 10:00-11:00 am: Large Ensemble Music Rehearsal
  • 11:00- 11:50 am: Voice/Acting Master Class
  • 12:00- 1:00 pm: Lunch
  • 1:15-2:30: Music Coaching
  • 2:30-4:45- Monologue/Audition class
  • 5:15- Dinner and Evening Activities

Audition requirements:
1. 32 bar chorus from standard musical theatre repertoire.
2. A second contrasting song or 1-minute monologue.
3. Complete the online ISYM application and make a deposit.

Accompaniment preferred but not required. Please submit a video recording, not audio. Upload your recording to Youtube and send the link directly to Dawn Harris.

If there is not room for you in the program, your full deposit will be refunded.

Or send DVD ( no CD's) to ISYM office.

Click Here for Program Costs.

Campers: PLEASE BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • 2 contrasting songs: (sheet music) new or previously performed/studied to work on in
    the voice master classes and for the audition workshop. Please cut one song down to 16bars and have that cutting memorized by Sunday July 15.
  • 1 one minute monologue: comic or light, age appropriate, must be memorized by the
    Sunday, July 15.
  • A folder or binder to keep your music in and a backpack or book bag or tote to carry all of your music, dance shoes and water in.
  • A notebook and pencils
  • A one-page resume
  • A water bottle
  • Appropriate clothes to move in for dance class and staging rehearsals (sweats,
    dancewear, stretchy knits, shorts).
  • Appropriate stage or dance shoes for class: LADIES: black character shoes, jazz or ballet shoes; MEN: black jazz/character shoes or black oxfords, and black shoes you can dance in. NO FLIP-FLOPS or SANDALS on stage or in dance class.
  • An all-black outfit for the final performance: LADIES: all black longer skirt, pants, capris,gauchos and black top or leotard; MEN: black t-shirt or shirt and black pants. EVERYONE: black dance shoes or black shoes you can dance in.

Program Faculty Artists:

Dawn Harris, University of Illinois

Ms. Harris is a versatile artist who has won critical acclaim for her performances of opera, operetta, concerts and musical theatre works in a wide range of repertoire. Performance highlights include the title role in Massenet’s Manon with Baton Rouge Opera and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Arizona Opera, both under the direction of bass Giorgio Tozzi; dancing Jerome Robbins’ original choreography alongside Broadway veteran Bebe Neuwirth in Cleveland Opera’s production of West Side Story; and singing the soprano solos in Poulenc’s Gloria with the New Orleans Symphony. In her many seasons at Ohio Light Opera, Ms. Harris was featured in over 30 roles written by major operetta composers. Some of her most memorable roles include Fiametta in Boccaccio, Kathy in The Student Prince, Pepi in Weiner Blut, Christel in Der Vogelhaendler , Natalie in The Merry Widow (opposite Paul Groves), Bessie in Merry England and Gabrielle in La Vie Parisienne. Having distinguished herself as an expert interpreter of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas, Ms. Harris has sung nearly all the female roles. She is most noted for her portrayal of Yum-Yum in The Mikado, a role she has performed more than 50 times at Ohio Light Opera, as well as, Toledo Opera and at the Grant Park Music Festival.

Read more about Professor Dawn Harris.

Sarah Wigley, University of Illinois

Sarah Wigley holds an MM in Voice Performance from Colorado State University and a BM in Voice from the University of Minnesota. While residing in Minneapolis, Wigley performed professionally with regional companies such as the Guthrie Theatre, the Skylark Opera, the Mystery Cafe, the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, and the Minnesota Opera. In 2007 she had the privilege of performing in the Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of “The Grapes of Wrath” by Ricky Ian Gordon, also contributing to the original cast recording of this breakthrough piece. Ms. Wigley's most recent Denver credits include  roles such as Aldonza in Man of LaMancha (Open Stage Theatre), Emma in Jekyll and Hyde (Inspire Creative Theatre), Dolores in The Wild Party (Ignite Theatre), and Miss Scarlett in Clue-The Musical (Candlelight Dinner Playhouse). Sarah Wigley has served as faculty for the Musical Theatre department at the University of Northern Colorado as well as Parlando School for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado, and has had several students appear in national tours and regional theatres across the nation.


Michael Tilley, University of Illinois

Michael Tilley serves as Chair of the Vocal Coaching and Accompanying division in the School of Music.  After receiving his Master's in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado-Boulder (also bachelor’s degrees in piano and molecular biology), Prof. Tilley was hired as Musical Director for Franc D'Ambrosio's national tours. During the last number of years, he has served as music director for concerts and shows in New York City and throughout the country. As a conductor, he has led ensembles from Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Emerald City Opera and Boulder Opera. He has been a featured performer with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and other regional orchestras, as well as with the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Vail International Dance Festival. His orchestrations and arrangements, from solo piano to full symphony to rock opera, have been heard across the country and abroad. He has also composed music for the stage and a feature-length soundtrack. He plays sings and writes for the Argentine Tango groups Extasis and Orquesta Tipica di Natural Tango.

 

Kevin Stites

Kevin Stites recently conducted an all-star Broadway evening with a 400 voice choir and the New York Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall for Manhattan Concert Productions, and has completed  his fourth season as Music Director for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  He conducted the LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Brian Stokes Mitchell, several Symphonic Concerts with Kristin Chenoweth (LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl), and Do You Hear The People Sing with the Oklahoma City and Hartford Symphony Orchestras. He was Music Director for MCP’S concert presentations of Crazy For You and TITANIC (David Geffen Hall) as well as conducting the mono-opera FALLING MAN by Kenneth Fuchs at the 911 Museum Memorial.  Kevin was Music Director of Grey Gardens with Betty Buckley and Rachel York in Los Angeles.  He is Music Director/Pianist for Deborah Voigt’s Voigt Lessons.  Guest Conductor: Grant Park Symphony (Sondheim, Bernstein, Gershwin, Loesser, and Porter tributes), Hollywood Bowl’s The Producers, Guys And Dolls, And Les Miserables
Broadway:  On The 20th Century (Revival), South Pacific (Lincoln Center Theater), A Tale Of Two Cities, The Color Purple (Music Supervision/Incidental Music), Titanic (Original Musical Supervisor/Music Director), Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables (2006 Revival), The Threepenny Opera (Roundabout Revival), Fiddler On The Roof (2003),Nine (Revival), Oklahoma! (Nunn/Stroman), On The Town, Nine To Five (Additional Musical Arrangements).  Tours: Little House On The Prairie, The Color Purple, Martin Guerre, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, Les Miserables, Titanic.  Film/Television: “Rosie Live!,” “Reefer Madness,” “Letterman,” “Rosie,” several Tony Awards Telecasts,  2 IL VOLO specials for PBS.
Future projects include:  Broadway Revival of Crazy For You, Maltby and Shire’s Take Flight, Cy Coleman’s posthumously produced Pamela’s First Musical, and the further development of Austin’s Pride.
He earned his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and studied under the tutelage of Professor Kenneth Drake and Professor Emeritus John Wustman.   He was awarded the Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship in 1979/80.