School of Music, Dance and Theatre

Young teens trade high school for university life at ASU

Students find their way to Arizona State University at many points in their lives — straight after high school, transferring from community college or mid-career.

One group of students is pursuing a degree at ASU in lieu of attending high school. The university has 45 students who are 16 or younger attending on campus or through ASU Online.

Here are some of their stories:

A second-generation Sun Devil

Valerie Tan, who is 15 and a student at the West campus, is the second in her family to attend ASU. Her mother, Daphnie Chong, also graduated from ASU.

Music theater performance major awarded 2021 Presser Foundation Scholarship

Undergraduate senior Anna Sera, a Bachelor of Music in music theater performance student at Arizona State University, was recently awarded the 2021 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award.

The monetary award encourages and supports the education of a music student who exemplifies high academic accomplishment, leadership and citizenship. The recipient, selected by music faculty, is known as a Presser Scholar. Sera said the $4,000 award will be used for her educational expenses and a creative project.

ASU dance faculty member wins 2021 Bessie Award

LaTasha Barnes, a new faculty member in Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance and Theatre, recently received a 2021 Bessie Award as an outstanding performer for her sustained achievement in dance. 

“Barnes is celebrated globally for her musicality, athleticism and joyful presence,” according to the nomination. “... She is an amazing dancer telling a beautiful and captivating story.”

Wild style: Sol Power festival to mix art forms, celebrate hip-hop culture

In an unlikely union, this year’s Sol Power hip-hop festival at Arizona State University will join forces with the ASU Symphony Orchestra for one of its featured events.

The free, five-day community event features DJs, emcees, live music, graffiti artists and dancers, and it culminates Saturday, Nov. 20, with the main event — a daylong celebration of the Phoenix area's hip-hop community with a focus on 3-on-3 battles and a choreography battle. This year, the main event also includes a collaboration with the ASU Symphony Orchestra.

ASU joins global conversation with Climate Change Theatre Action

The world has been confronting environmental peril at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference this month, and Arizona State University is part of the global conversation.

ASU has once again joined an international event called Climate Change Theatre Action, with readings and performances of short plays about human-caused shifts in the environment. ASU students will stage three short plays on Nov. 18.

MFA student to present 1st dance show of the season, credits creativity of ASU program

Kathy Luo, Arizona State University MFA student in dance, will present “Out of the Blue” Oct. 29–31 in this year’s “Emerging Artist” performance.

“This is the first show of the dance season,” said Mary Fitzgerald, ASU professor and artistic director of dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “We are excited to kick it off with such an imaginative project that beautifully integrates dance, music and visual design.”

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