Pursuing an arts education at liberal arts schools: PHS perspective

Robert Loughran:
Orchestra teacher

On attending a liberal arts college

“[I went to] undergrad at Gettysburg [College], [and got my] Masters from Northwestern [University]. Going to a liberal arts institution instead of focusing really intensely on one’s discipline at conservatory is beneficial because it gives one a sense of perspective. There’s a large world out there. To be able to connect to that world and bring those ideas to one’s art is incredibly important.

I took a great biology course called invertebrate biology … we took a field trip to Bermuda. at whole essence was great for biology but to see Bermuda with all the ora and the fauna and relate to the arts, the musicality, [and] the music of the landscape was really cool.”


Maryrose Brendel ’18:
Member of PHS Choir and Musical Theatre

On planning to attend a liberal arts college

“As someone who wants to pursue musical theater in college … it’s important that my university [offers] liberal arts courses in addition to the theatre. Coming from a strongly academic school, I want to continue to be able to learn about other things outside of musical theater and have that possibility to minor or double major in something else. eater isn’t an easy career and it’s good to have different options for [my career] after college. One of my teachers told me that to be a good actor you need life experience, so knowledge of everything makes you a better actor.”

Sarah Pelletier:
Choir Teacher

On attending a liberal arts college

“I don’t feel that I was missing any of the theory and all of that stuff that you’ll get at conservatory. What I did get was a more informed view of the world and topics that you can use as an artist: art, literature, [and] philosophy. Artists, singers, [and] painters, they [have historically been] friends with writers, with philosophers. All of the works you’ll be performing, or if you’re a painter or visual artist you’re going to be drawing upon [these other disciplines] to inspire you, [the creators] were in connection with all of those other disciplines. As a performer, I have to have a lot in my bag to draw from. If I’m doing an opera role, I’m thinking about the period of history, the writers of the time, [and] the fashions of the time, I have to use all of my knowledge.”

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