Boston Conservatory and Walnut Hill School for the Arts Announce Alliance

Boston Conservatory and Walnut Hill School for the Arts Announce Alliance

The Boston Conservatory and Walnut Hill School for the Arts have announced an academic partnership program that enables select Walnut Hill students to earn a B.F.A. in Dance in just three years at the Conservatory.

This one-of-a-kind partnership between the two institutions recognizes the academic and artistic education at Walnut Hill as a strong foundation for success at the Conservatory and offers students the opportunity to complete their undergraduate education more quickly than the traditional four year degree program, thus allowing students to begin their professional careers earlier.

"Walnut Hill continues to graduate exceptional students every year, many of whom apply to and are accepted at The Boston Conservatory. These students are mature and self-directed, in addition to demonstrating academic and pe­rformance excellence, which makes them ideal candidates for this type of program," said Cathy Young, director of the Dance Division at The Boston Conservatory.

Walnut Hill students will have the opportunity to apply to the Conservatory's dance program in their junior year of high school. The application process will consider both academic and artistic development and excellence. Upper level academic coursework will be required of these students prior to finishing their program at Walnut Hill; these courses will be accepted by The Conservatory and applied toward the B.F.A. degree requirements.

"It's incredibly exciting to pave this path for our dance students," said Antonio Viva, head of school at Walnut Hill. "Michael Owen has done a fantastic job in working with Cathy Young to get this off the ground. We see so much potential in this partnership with The Conservatory, a school that shares Walnut Hill's commitment to excellence, open-minded exploration, and collaboration."

The partnership program is part of the Conservatory College initiative, announced by The Boston Conservatory earlier this month. The Conservatory College will offer degree programs supported by the school's core performance disciplines of music, dance and musical theater. In addition to the partnership with Walnut Hill, the Conservatory College addresses new but related areas of student interest, including contemporary theater, multidisciplinary stage management and music education programs that focus on the special skills needed in teaching music to individuals on the autism spectrum. Some programs are designed to achieve degrees or certificates in less than the traditional time, some are low residency and all take advantage of the Conservatory's unique teaching and learning environment.

"The Boston Conservatory continues to shape the next generation of leaders in the performing arts. But we recognize that the landscape is changing, and we're adding programs that meet those needs," said Richard Ortner, president of The Boston Conservatory. "The alliance with Walnut Hill School for the Arts is a unique way for qualified students to complete their Conservatory program in three years with a foundation representative of the rigors of Conservatory education."

Students from Walnut Hill are auditioning this spring for admission to the program, with the first students beginning courses at The Boston Conservatory in the fall of 2015.

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