Performing Arts Student FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions we receive about Performing Arts at RIT. If you have a question not listed, please email performingarts@rit.edu and we will be happy to help provide you with the details you are seeking.

Each ensemble has a different process and set of requirements! Auditions for the College of Liberal Arts music ensembles typically occur during the week of orientation or the first week of classes.

The audition requirements vary by ensemble; some ensembles have a more rigid audition process than others, and some ensembles do not have any audition requirement at all. It is strongly suggested that students make contact with the director of the ensemble that they are interested in joining. A listing of the ensembles and their respective directors is on our website (rit.edu/performingarts). When available, audition dates, requirements, audition samples, and other audition details will also be posted on the ensemble’s dedicated page on our website (each ensemble has its own page).

Students interested in auditioning for a Student Club or Organization performance ensemble, should contact the Center for Campus Life for additional details. Please note, the College of Liberal Arts Performing Arts Program does not oversee any student club or organization performance ensemble (this includes Game Symphony Orchestra, Pep Band, Drumline, as well as the a cappella and dance groups).

The RIT Music Program has several designated music rooms on campus, located on the A-levels of Liberal Arts Hall and the Student Alumni Union. Applied music lessons are conducted in the music rooms in Liberal Arts Hall (A260, A264, or A269) and the Annex 908 music trailer, while all official performance ensembles rehearse in the SAU (A120 and A130) and Annex 907 music trailer. RIT students, faculty, or staff who wish to inquire about the availability of any music rooms on campus, please contact Jake Lane, Assistant Manager of Operations and Events.

Students seeking space to practice on an individual basis can utilize the practice rooms located within SAU A139 through the RIT Event Management System (EMS). Priority is given to students who are participating in academic ensembles, Applied Music lessons, and those who are Performing Arts Scholars. Please visit our website for details on our practice room usage policy.

RIT Performing Arts has a limited number of instrument storage lockers located for wind and small string instruments in the SAU A130 music rehearsal room. Lockers are assigned at the start of the semester once a student has auditioned and been accepted into an ensemble and are at the sole discretion of the directors of each ensemble. Please contact your ensemble director for additional details on instrument storage.

Due to space constraints, RIT Performing Arts is unable to store instruments belonging to students who are not actively participating in an academic ensemble or Applied Music lessons. Once approved, the music director or Applied Music instructor will share a link to the request form/survey that each student must fill out and digitally sign to complete the assignment process. RIT Performing Arts Program will not be held liable for damage to or theft of a student’s personal instrument while being stored in the instrument storage locker.

RIT does have a small inventory of wind, string, and percussion instruments that students can use while participating in a credit-bearing academic music ensemble (Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, etc.) or for Applied Music lessons. Use of instruments is at the discretion of the respective ensemble director or Applied Music studio instructor, with final approval needed from department Chair. Use is based on availability of desired instrument, seniority, and need in the ensemble. Student must complete, sign, and return an instrument loan agreement prior using the instrument. Given the current situation with COVID-19 and concerns regarding health and sanitization, instrument loan policies are subject to change without notice. We will do our best to keep everyone informed.

Students can receive private, one-on-one instrumental or voice lessons and participate in studio performance opportunities such as semester-end studio recitals. Please note that most lessons are offered to support students participating in approved RIT music ensembles and therefore priority is given to ensemble members on a first come, first served basis. However, harmonica, guitar, and piano lessons are open to all RIT students. Students interested in receiving private music instruction should contact the instructor of the Applied Music studio directly. For a complete listing of all instrument lessons currently offered, please visit: https://www.rit.edu/performingarts/music-at-rit

Students should contact performingarts@rit.edu with any other questions regarding private music instruction. Please note there is a $200 per semester course fee for Applied Music instruction beginning in the fall 2022 semester.

In some cases, the answer is yes. Some scholars may have a coach who also teaches the instruments they play. In other cases, a scholar may have a coach in a particular PA discipline but enroll in a course with a different discipline. Example: you have a Musical Theatre coach and are also enrolled in an Applied Voice lesson course taught by a different coach.

Please apply for this scholarship during the admissions process. The PA Scholarship Program has a separate application process that should be submitted together with the general application. Only prospective incoming first-year and transfer students are eligible to apply for this renewable scholarship. Read more about the Performing Arts Scholarship Program.

Participate in any form of music, musical theatre, acting, dance, or technical production course or activity for at least one semester each year that you receive the scholarship. Examples of performing arts activities include:

  • Large ensembles: RIT Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert Band, RIT Singers, acting, dance, or musical theatre productions, technical production crew.
  • Smaller ensembles: Jazz, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Guitar, Jazz, Steelband, World Music, chamber music, applied music studio lessons.
  • Clubs: A cappella groups, RIT Players, Pep Band, various style dance clubs.
  • Classes: All classes offered from the School of Performing Arts or the NTID Department of Performing Arts. For a complete listings of courses please visit the Performing Arts website. Wellness Education Music Courses are included.

We are sorry, but this performing arts scholarship is available only to incoming first-year or transfer students.

Performing Arts Scholars Coach List:
Acting: Alexa Scott-Flaherty

Aerialist: Thomas Warfield and Marc Holland

Brass (classical): Ben Jorge

Commercial Music: Karl Stabnau

Composition: Tom Davis

Dance and Cosplay: Thomas Warfield and Marc Holland

Circus Arts: Thomas Warfield and Marc Holland

Guitar: Matias Homar

Jazz: Karl Stabnau

Musical Theater: Amy Cochrane

Piano and Organ: Christopher Petit

Percussion: Ted Canning

Strings and Harp: David Hult and Joan Kinsella

Technical Production: Eric Moslow

Voice: Amy Cochrane

Woodwinds (classical): Karl Stabnau