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Active Students (as of April 2022)
Undergrad majors: 377
Undergrad minors: 299
Graduate students: 48

2021-22 Student Credit Hours: 21,086


Active Students (as of April 2022)
Undergrad majors: 453
Undergrad minors: 268
Graduate students: 86

2021-22 Student Credit Hours: 21,739

UCF student performs as Lord Farquaad in 'Shrek: The Musical'

The School of Performing Arts rebounded from the challenges of the pandemic to present more than 300 live theatre, music and dance events this year on campus and in the community.

After a few years of creative arts-making in unusual spaces, we were happy to return to our stages and concert halls. Our musicians presented wonderful evenings of choral music, stirring premieres of new music by our composition students, opera and concerts by our bands, orchestra, and small ensembles. The Flying Horse Big Band continued to top national charts and played concerts that delighted our UCF audiences. There were world premieres, commissioned works, the launch of the UCF community choir, and of course, the exciting Marching Knights presence on campus throughout football season. Theatre UCF continued to explore innovative ways to produce theatre, incorporating new technologies to enhance the stories on stage.

Theatre UCF produced a season of plays that spoke to our common humanity. Indecent explored a story about two women enduring the hardships of living in a male dominated world; The Wolves looked into the pathos of young girls on a soccer team; Welcome to the Moon, a celebration of Mark Brotherton, our dearly departed and beloved theatre professor, consisted of one-acts all directed by UCF alumni; Fabulation, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lynn Nottage, triumphantly celebrated social and racial identity through exploring the struggle of what Black success looks like in a predominately white society; and finally, Shrek played to five sold out houses at Dr. Phillips Center during UCF Celebrates the Arts.

The School of Performing Arts rebounded from the challenges of the pandemic to present more than 300 live theatre, music and dance events this year on campus and in the community[,] … telling human stories, playing music that stirs peoples’ hearts, and investigating what is possible [in different] art forms.

UCF artists and practitioners were happy to return to their regular spaces instead of rehearsing in garages and virtual spaces. They triumphed in their performances at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2022, performing to over 15,000 patrons. The musicians were thrilled to perform in the acoustically remarkable Steinmetz Hall. Both large and small ensembles enjoyed the hall. The orchestra played the Orlando premiere of Stella Sung’s Oceana paired with an original accompanying film, followed by a panel discussion of ocean pollution. The Disney theatre was rocked by laughter during the Theatre UCF performances of Shrek, which played to over 9,000 people. The festival was supported by large grants from the Florida Department of State and Downtown Orlando, and OUC provided in-kind support of our activities.

SPA faculty were recognized with a variety of honors, awards and promotions. Jeff Rupert was re-appointed as a Trustee Chair. Sybil St. Claire continued her work “Advocating for Aphasia: Using the Performing Arts to Create a Conscious Community” for which she won a $25,000 Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Arts and Wellness Innovation Award to “find the medicine in our stories using theatre.” Other faculty honors including Jeremy Hunt being promoted to full professor, and Christine Lapka and Tremon Kizer being promoted to associate professor and tenured. Kirk Gay was promoted to senior lecturer. Many faculty won other awards, including Tremon Kizer who won a TIP, Nora Lee Garcia who won a RIA and Elizabeth Horn who was commended for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Our music ensembles received national recognition for their outstanding work. The Jazz Professors released an album entitled Blues and Cubes, the Jazz Professors Play Picasso, and the Flying Horse Big Band also released a new album, The Music of the Jazz Messengers. Our new Director of Choral Activities, Jeffery Redding, along with twenty members of our UCF choirs joined other college choir members from across the country to perform in Carnegie Hall. The UCF Bands hosted the inaugural Music for All UCF-Orlando Concert Band Invitational, welcoming twelve of Florida’s top high school concert bands – totaling more than 750 students and their directors – to perform and work with a nationally renowned panel of clinicians. The event concluded with an evening concert in Steinmetz Hall featuring two world premieres performed by the UCF Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.

Several of our exceptional students and alumni performed notable roles this year. Musical theatre student Macoy Stuart signed to appear in an HBO Max Series. Former graduate acting student Quentin Earl Darrington ’16MFA has been playing a leading role (as Joseph Jackson) in MJ the Musical on Broadway and alumna Khalifa White ’16 appeared In Caroline, or Change.

In Music, Kelly Miller was named the FMEA’s College Educator of the Year. We welcomed several new faculty members: jazz drummer Clarence Penn, Roberta Emerson – a leading theatre voice in Orlando, and technical director Tramaine Berryhill.

I want to congratulate our students, alumni, faculty and staff for their dynamism, commitment and desire to move the arts forward. They are passionate about telling human stories, playing music that stirs peoples’ hearts, and investigating what is possible for their art forms. Our faculty are passionate about preparing students to be powerful voices of change that help propel the arts into our public conversations and experiences.

— Michael Wainstein, director