Dr. Noah DeLong, a vocal professor for Milligan College’s music department is quite ecstatic over the addition of the college’s musical theatre major, coming to Milligan Fall 2018. DeLong joined the faculty at Milligan in 2010. He received his master’s from Ball State University and pursued his PhD at the University of Iowa while teaching vocal performance and directing the vocal ensembles.
DeLong is no stranger to musical theatre, as he participated in several productions himself while he was a student. His biography ranges from performing as The Baker in Into the Woods, and the King in The King & I. In addition to acting in musical theatre, he accompanied several shows, and turned to music directing after high school.
DeLong looks forward to the benefit the musical theatre degree will bring to Milligan’s campus. Although the college has been known to put on musicals in the past at Milligan (Godspell, The Secret Garden, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), musical theatre will be a more concentrated focus for Milligan students. The musical theatre major will be adding an additional faculty member and provide a range of opportunities for non-musical theatre majors as well as students who choose to pursue a degree in musical theatre. The new major will have a competitive scholarship available to students who major in musical theatre or apply to commit a certain number of hours to the theatre and vocal ensembles.
Musical theatre students are benefited by the program’s holistic approach to theatre and the close mentorship with the musical theatre faculty. Due to Milligan’s small class sizes, students will have a one-on-one opportunity to be mentored, receive feedback, and work in all aspects of production to prepare the students with the knowledge and background to advance their career in musical theatre.
Musical theatre is a degree that is “fulfilling and forces students to rely on others.” The team effort that musical theatre brings aligns with Milligan’s mission to be servant-leaders throughout their community.
While DeLong recognizes that musical theatre may not always seem like a practical choice, he believes in finding a career that allows you to follow your passion and find stability. There are several career opportunities that a musical theatre degree can provide, including but not limited to directing and technical backstage work within and around the theater community. Students with musical theatre degrees can pursue careers in theatre companies and teaching drama. With a musical theatre degree, students have the knowledge and skills to work within a drama ministry for a church or nonprofit.
Milligan’s connections with Barter Theatre will offer students the option to participate in summer internships and festivals. Additional activities around the theatre community will allow students to make connections within the theatrical community, providing potential careers in musical theatre.
By attending Milligan’s musical theatre program, students will find their holistic approach to education, faith, and the world will prepare them for any path their life takes them.