College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

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Performing Arts Profile

At Holy Cross, the arts are alive and varied.

Fostering passions—and careers
We do an exceptional job of preparing students who seek to pursue advanced studies, professional internships, and careers in the arts. Holy Cross alumni go on to prestigious graduate programs, residencies and conservatories, and many hold impressive positions in the artistic community. At the same time, the solid foundation and knowledge of the arts that students gain at Holy Cross serves as a launching pad into any number of possible career paths.

Theatre and Dance
Act, dance, direct, design, or stage manage. With numerous production opportunities throughout the year, students studying theatre can try on many different hats—figuratively and literally. Recognized for its high standards of training and the quality of its productions, the Department of Theatre and Dance at Holy Cross provides a nurturing and supportive environment for students to express themselves and develop their artistic capabilities in a collaborative environment.

In the liberal arts tradition, we believe theatre is a vital, dynamic medium qualified to participate in a dialogue about the human condition. Holy Cross theatre explores the spiritual aspects of our collective experience, examining compelling issues and ideas in a provocative and entertaining manner.

As a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Holy Cross theatre program is highly regarded regionally and nationally. Our teaching and programming has been reviewed and certified as meeting all national standards for formal theatre training.

Program highlights
In addition to classes in theatre history and literature, students can choose to pursue the major with either an acting or design emphasis, minor in dance, or they can create a self-designed major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in film studies or playwriting. Courses of study include:
• Acting
• Dance
• Design
• Directing
• Film
• History and Literature

Music is an integral part of a liberal arts education and vital to campus life at Holy Cross. Every year, hundreds of students take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to explore, experience, and perform music both inside and outside the classroom.

Our academic courses challenge students from across the curriculum to think, speak, and write effectively about music. Our performance ensembles bring students and faculty together to perform a diverse repertoire. Our program of instrumental and vocal instruction offers students private lessons, coaching, and master classes with exceptional performers drawn from across the country. Students find the skills emphasized in music (such as creativity, listening, and collaboration) are transferable to most disciplines and professions.

As a universal form of human expression, music transcends boundaries of language, culture, time and place. Whether you are interested in classical, popular, or world music, in music of the past or the present, in creating, performing, or simply listening, Holy Cross provides a rich context for engagement with music and the arts.

Students of all interests and passions, regardless of experience, are invited to become a part of our musical community. With a distinguished faculty, small classes, and a focus on mentoring, our vibrant program has something for everyone: for students who wish to major in music and for those who wish to explore music one course—or one concert—at a time.

Program highlights
The Department of Music offers courses in the history, theory, technology, and performance of music that cover topics reaching back through history and around the globe. Small classes, individual instruction, interdisciplinary opportunities, and a vibrant cocurricular performance program and concert schedule foster an interconnected environment of dynamic teacher-student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom. Areas of study include:
• Theory and composition
• History and cultural studies
• Performance studies
• Classical music and popular music
• World music and jazz
• Audio engineering and music technology

Get more than an education—gain a new perspective
In a diverse community connected by hope, you’ll live, learn, and serve with fellow students and faculty who support and empower one another at the College of the Holy Cross. You’ll solve complex problems, dive deep into what you’re passionate about, and find every opportunity to get involved. Ready to experience life on The Hill? 



A+ among the “Best Colleges in America” | Niche, 2022


#1 among “long-term study abroad programs” | Institute for International Education


Among the “50 most beautiful college campuses in America” | Architectural Digest


#5 "Best Value Liberal Arts Colleges" | Money magazine


#4 among the “best Catholic colleges in America” | Wall Street Journal


One of the “Best Colleges in America 2023 | Money Magazine

Prior Performing Arts Center

Opened in the fall of 2022 and destined to be a campus focal point for years to come, this ambitious and comprehensive performing arts center includes dedicated spaces for the fine and performing arts as well as spaces and technology to support creative interactions between the arts and other disciplines.

The Prior Performing Arts Center provides a gateway to the Holy Cross campus—a visible space for the arts.

Features include:
• A 400-seat proscenium-style concert hall and theatre, serving as the College's principal venue for symphonic music, chamber music, jazz, Gamelan, as well as opera, musical theatre, and dance

• A 200-seat fully flexible experimental theatre space

• Support space including a scene shop, costume shop, recording studio, lighting and set design study, and multi-use spaces to encourage collaboration among the arts

• The Beehive, a flexible space with a cafe that supports creative collaboration among students from all academic disciplines, including:

• A shared multimedia teaching space for electronic music and musical composition courses, sound recording, sound editing, and video and film editing

• Collaborative workspaces, multipurpose rehearsal spaces, and gathering spaces with movable furniture

• The Cantor Art Gallery, which exists to promote and support the intellectual and cultural life of Holy Cross.

Several outdoor amenities, including a small amphitheater and gardens for meditation and outdoor creative work

An Inside Look

What students are saying about us...

  • “I chose Holy Cross because students here find authentic ways of serving those around them."

    • Ameer P.
      Boston, MA
  • "I chose Holy Cross because I could see that the heart of the school is its incredible student community, and everyone here made sure I felt like a part of it even before I enrolled."

    • John M.
      Washington, DC
  • "Because I chose Holy Cross, I've met and formed connections with a range of diverse, like-minded individuals—and not just students here in Worcester but alumni too."

    • Vanessa K.
      New York City, NY