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Announcing the New Department of Performing Arts and Technology

Collage featuring a saxophone player, a marching band performer, a dancer jumping on stage, and a dancer rehearsing in a studio

It’s a historic day for dance and music at NC State. After being charged to bring dance and music faculty together into one department last year by Vice Chancellor and Dean Doneka Scott, faculty and department leadership finalized the merger last month.

University College in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs proudly announces the newly formed Department of Performing Arts and Technology, with official approval from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost having come on Feb. 17, 2023. The department unifies arts entrepreneurship, dance, music and its new B.S. in Music Technology degree program. With the merger comes the possibility of growth, cross-collaboration opportunities and curricular innovation for the students, faculty and staff at NC State. Students, in particular, will benefit from the merger by having easier access to music and dance programs, since they will have one access point for all programs.

“I’m excited to see this vision become a reality,” said Vice Chancellor and Dean Doneka Scott. “By bringing all of our University College arts faculty into one department, our students will benefit from greater diversity and breadth of academic offerings and personnel.”

The merger comes at an exciting time for arts faculty in University College.  

“As we begin the launch of our first undergraduate degree program in music technology and look to expand the breadth of our curricular offerings in dance and somatics,” says Daniel Monek, professor of music and head of the new department. “This new and larger department will build on the natural synergies between our two disciplines and the talents of our faculty who are all leaders in their respective fields. It allows us to create new departmental structures and creative curricular offerings that will open pathways for greater engagement with students and increased collaboration with one another.” 

The department’s first academic major, a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology, was approved last year. This new interdisciplinary degree program, which partners with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will foster and support music-based entrepreneurial initiatives at the intersection of technological innovation and creative expression by building a foundation of theoretical and practical skills in music, electrical or computer engineering, industrial design, and arts entrepreneurship. 

There is an increasing space for careers combining music and technology, which will continue to grow in number and variety as technology continues to revolutionize the multi-faceted music industry. Students will integrate a broad range of musical styles, performance practices, and creative projects with the design, development, and implementation of advanced music technologies. With its historic strengths in engineering, technology and entrepreneurship, NC State is well-positioned to lead the nation in producing highly skilled music technology graduates.

With the merger, Performing Arts and Technology plans to expand the dance minor offerings into two minors, Dance Studies and Dance Performance and Choreography. This change allows NC State students the opportunity to dive deeper into their passion for dance and innovate with faculty and peers. 

“Bringing all of dance together provides a home for curricular and co-curricular dance opportunities. The new department allows for more unique course offerings for students,” added Beth Wright Fath, teaching professor of dance and associate department head.

More information regarding the Bachelor of Science in Music Technology program and the dance minors will be available this summer. 

Please check the Department of Performing Arts and Technology website and social media channels (@ncstateartstech) for more exciting updates this spring.