A boost for the arts

New offerings: Taylor’s University and TUTAS academics posing for a photo with the Bachelor of Performing Arts students and ADC and YCA performers during the launch of the music and dance specialisations.

Taylor’s University and The Actors Studio (TUTAS) are collaborating with the Young Choral Academy (YCA) and the ASK Dance Company (ADC) to introduce dance and music specialisations as part of the varsity’s Bachelor of Performing Arts (Hons) programme.

The music specialisation, consisting of modules in vocal studies, musical theatre, scene studies, movement and stagecraft, repertory and song, musicianship, and ear training, is headed by YCA director and established musical arts educator Susanna Saw.

Saw has lectured and directed choirs at various local universities and was involved in international and local music and choral associations and committees. She has also served as a judge in numerous international choral festivals and is an active speaker at music education events.

The dance specialisation, led by ADC founder and artistic director Prof Dr Joseph Gonzales, offers modules in ballet, contemporary dance, traditional Malay dance, hip hop, jazz and silat.

An established educator, Prof Gonzales has performed and choreographed in multiple genres of dance, theatre, and musical theatre, both locally and internationally.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Barry Winn said with the new specialisations, the Bachelor of Performing Arts programme will have a more comprehensive offering for students seeking to pursue their passions in different facets of the arts scene.

Students, he said, will be guided by experts and industry leaders who will help them discover their artistic voice to produce great works.

Describing the collaboration as “exciting news”, TUTAS programme development director and co-founder Datuk Dr Faridah Merican said these talents not only get to learn from the best instructors, but they will also be able to explore the many different genres of performing arts.

“As Malaysia’s only conservatory-style performing arts programme, TUTAS has already attracted students from all over the world including Japan, Korea, Indonesia and China, as well as exchange students from the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

TUTAS programme artistic director and co-founder Joe Hasham said the introduction of dance and music specialisations makes it even more attractive as these students can access a full-fledged performing arts centre that acts as their campus, as well as each collaborator’s wealth of expertise, know-how and industry connections.

The new specialisations will be available in April, a press release dated Jan 24 from the varsity read.

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