School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Come as you are
Discover who you’re meant to be.
Anderson University’s performing arts community is thriving with vibrant students, accomplished faculty, high-caliber performing arts events, challenging classes, and collaborative student experiences. Our success is further distinguished by our institutional accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Music.
The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is a place where creative energy runs high. Students learn and grow in a nurturing and stimulating environment. This is a place where you can realize your dreams and begin a promising professional life. Anderson University encourages artistic, intellectual, and personal development.
Students have opportunities for creative experiences in the musical arts by developing their musicianship and scholarship in classes, private study, and ensembles.
Students perform in solo recitals and in orchestral, wind, and choral ensembles that tour nationally and internationally. The Boze Lyric Theatre program produces fully-staged musical theatre and opera productions each year. AU’s record label, Orangehaus Records, along with Orangehaus Publishing, provide professional experiences for music business students.
Real Life at AU
From Puccini to Rodgers and Hammerstein, you can be a part of the show — on and off stage. This is what Real Life can be, at Anderson University.
We know you will find accomplished faculty at AU who care about your development as a musician, actor, or dancer, as well as a community of fellow students who will encourage and grow with you. Join us on campus to experience the life of a student in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. We will tailor your visit to your desired major.
- Attending classes
- Participating in rehearsals
- Meeting with faculty
- Private lessons
- Visiting with students
- Attending a performance
Let’s connect during your campus visit.
- School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Albanian native, Gert Kumi has performed as a violin soloist and recitalist across North America, Europe, China, South Korea and Africa. Gert began playing violin at age eight. Soon after, he won national recognition as the top prize winner of his country’s music competitions. At age 16, He made his orchestral debut with the Tirana Philharmonic Orchestra.
As concertmaster of the “Young Virtuosi of Tirana” Chamber Orchestra, Gert toured throughout Europe. He performed for dignitaries such as Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the King of Morocco, the Queen of Liechtenstein and the Royal Swedish family. And his performances were featured on radio and television throughout Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Albania, as well as Hungarian television, and Vatican radio.
In the summer of 1995, Gert was invited to study at the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland, as a scholarship student of Alberto Lysy, protégé of Lord Yehudi Menuhin.
In February 2000, Gert immigrated to the United States to begin the Master’s Program at the prestigious Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Stephen Clapp. He participated in masterclasses with Dorothy DeLay, Itzhak Perlman, David Kim, Donald Weilerstein, Robert McDuffie and many others as part of the DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School.
Throughout his career, Gert has played under world renowned conductors such as Sir Roger Norrington, Itzhak Perlman, Jahja Ling, Otto Werner Mueller and many others. He made his American debut in February 2006, at Merkin Hall in New York City. Gert has performed at the most important venues in New York City including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall. In July 2004, he was selected to perform with Sir Elton John as part of the Elton John American Tour Orchestra at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The performances were featured on NBC and Bravo.
From 2005-2007, Gert served as Adjunct Professor at Nyack College in New York City. In 2007, was appointed Artist in Residence at Grace College in Winona Lake, where he served for three years.
Professor Kumi is currently on the faculty at the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake and was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Anderson University. He has performed as a soloist with the Shenyang Conservatory Orchestra in China, Staten Island Philharmonic, Symphony of the Lakes, and Masterworks Festival Orchestra. Gert plays regularly with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Anderson Symphony and Muncie Symphony.
Gert Kumi has been with Anderson University since 2011.
Assistant Professor of Music
Symphony Orchestra, violin
B.M., Tirana Arts Academy, Tirana, Albania
M.M., The Juilliard School
A performer of national reputation, Fritz Robertson has appeared with the Bangor Maine Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Bel Canto Chorus & Orchestra of Milwaukee, the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, and in our nation’s capital with the National Chamber Orchestra and the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra. He has often been a featured soloist with the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington, under the direction of renowned conductor and composer Gunther Schuller. Mr. Robertson has performed extensively in the Greater Boston area as soloist with organizations including the Handel & Haydn Society, the Boston Cecelia, and the John Oliver Chorale. In great demand as a guest artist in Indiana, Mr. Robertson has been a featured soloist with the symphony orchestras of Muncie, Marion, Anderson, Lafayette, Manchester, Carmel, Fort Wayne and was privileged to be a featured soloist in Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade To Music, on Maestro Raymond Leppard’s farewell concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Celebrated for his definitive accounts of the major Baroque and Classic oratorios and cantatas, the Bloomington Herald-Times said of his recent performances in Bach’s St. John Passion, “Fritz Robertson served stunningly well as the story-telling Evangelist. His is a bracing high tenor along with an ability to make every word distinctly clear; there was a professional authenticity to his critically important contribution.” Though particularly involved in the performance of Baroque music, his extensive repertoire includes such diverse works as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Honegger’s King David. Mr. Robertson has been a frequent collaborator with the Lafayette Bach Chorale Singers in performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat in D Major, Handels’ Dettingen Te Deum, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Performing with cast members from the City Opera of New York, Robertson sang the triple role of Governor/Vanderdender/Ragotski with the Lafayette Symphony in Bernstein’s Candide. He is a featured soloist on the Pro Organo label CD recording, “In Praise of the Organ: Latin Choral and Organ Music of Zoltan Kodaly.”
With his wife, mezzo-soprano Patricia Robertson, he has appeared in recital in many venues including the Saint Andrew’s Concert Series in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington, the Shenendoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the Banco Centrale Concert Series in Cuenca, Ecuador. At AU, as Dr. Robertson, he serves as Professor of Music, Voice Area Coordinator, and Music Director for the Boze Lyric Theatre.
Fritz Robertson has been at Anderson University since 1991.
Professor of Music
Voice Area Coordinator, voice, opera, song lit, pedagogy
B.M., B.S., University of Maine at Orono
M.M., Boston University
D.M.A, Ball State University
Dr. Richard Sowers is a Professor of Music and serves as the Director of Choirs in the Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Currently he is the conductor of the Anderson University Chorale, Anderson Symphonic Choir, and Men's Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and music education classes.
Under Dr. Sowers' direction the Anderson University Chorale has visited almost every geographic region of the United States during spring tours. The Chorale has performed in a number of prestigious concert venues including Lincoln Center's Aver Fisher Hall, the Riverside Church, and St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, and the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California for the Hour of Power that was broadcast nationally and internationally, and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., representing the state of Indiana for "Indiana Day." Each Christmas the Chorale, Men's Choir and other Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance ensembles present the Emmy award-winning Candles and Carols program which is broadcast throughout the United States and on two global networks.
Dr. Sowers has led eight European tours, performances in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. Most recently, thirty-five singers performed nine concerts during a 16-day concert tour of Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, including several performances at the Vaasa International Choir Festival. The Chorale was chosen to perform in concert for several division and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, the Chorale has performed in concert and as a demonstration choir for many music education events and conventions in which Dr. Sowers served as a clinician.
During a 2007 sabbatical leave, Dr. Sowers was resident guest conductor of the EMO Ensemble in Helsinki, Finland, and presented a concert of music by all American composers written since 2000. Sowers also served as a guest conducting teacher at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and guest conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Choir. Dr. Sowers is active in the International Federation of Choral Music, and served as a delegate to the 8th World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark in July, 2008.
Following his graduation from the Indiana University School of Music, Dr. Sowers taught junior and senior high school choral music for several years in Indiana. He holds a Master of Music degree from Colorado State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. In 1994, Dr. Sowers was selected the outstanding music alumnus from Colorado State University. His conducting teachers have included Jan Harrington, Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Anderson, Douglas McEwen, and Kenneth Kiesler.
In 1989 Richard Sowers was appointed music director and conductor of the Anderson (City) Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Carmel Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Orchestras of Indianapolis. For ten years Sowers served on the staff of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, a 17-day retreat for conductors held each July near Camden, Maine. Sowers served as interim conductor of the Anderson Area Children's Choir and has conducted almost every other kind of choir including church choirs, men's and women's choirs, community choirs, and a professional level chamber choir. Dr. Sowers is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and free-lance orchestral conductor.
Richard Sowers has been at Anderson University since 1984.
Professor of Music
Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices, conducting
B.M., Indiana University
M.M., Colorado State University
D.M.A., Arizona State University
Rachel Stoneking received her MFA in Contemporary Dance in 2012 and BA in Theater and Medical Anthropology in 2009 from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). While at CWRU, Ms. Stoneking had the pleasure of performing works by Martha Graham, Gary Galbraith, Karen Potter, James Hansen, Erick Hawkins, and Pascal Rioult.
In 2011 she was awarded “The Cleveland Arts Prize: Kathryn Karipides Scholarship” which allowed her to attend the Gaga Intensive at the Batsheva Company Studios in Tel Aviv, Israel. While there, she was given the opportunity to take classes under numerous company members as well as the company’s founder, Ohad Naharin. Additional awards throughout her time at CWRU took Ms. Stoneking to New York City where she studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and elsewhere under artists such as Jim May, Lisa Viola, Andrea Miller, and Pascal Rioult. In 2010 Ms. Stoneking worked as a Stagecraft Apprentice at the American Dance Festival where she was able to work directly with renowned artists such as Monica Bill Barnes, Kate Weare, and Pilobolus Dance Theater.
Ms. Stoneking’s creative work has most recently involved choreographing and performing in and around Cleveland, Ohio. She has performed as a guest artist with Elu Dance Company and as both a choreographer and performer for Cleveland Public Theater’s Cleveland Dance Exchange. Her most recent work, premiered at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was a solo inspired by and performed to Eric Whitacre’s “When David Heard.”
Prior to joining the faculty at Anderson University as an Assistant Professor, Ms. Stoneking served a semester teaching at the University of Akron and seven years teaching as a part-time lecturer at CWRU where in 2012 she received the Kathryn Karipides Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Christine Colquitt Thacker is an Assistant Professor of Dance. She was a dancer with Gregory Hancock Dance Theater from 1998-2007, debuting in Out of Darkness. In 2000, Christine received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission. In 2003, she received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Lilly Endowment. She was also awarded the prestigious Center for Leadership Development Award for Excellent Achievement in the Arts and Theatre.
She was a regular performer in National City’s Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Christine was the assistant director of GHDT from May 2003 through Aug. 2007. She was involved with the Student Dance Ensemble (now G2) and helped advise and direct The Nutcracker. As assistant director, Colquitt Thacker was company spokesperson and represented GHDT in all media events domestically and internationally. As a dancer with GHDT, Christine performed more than 73 repertoire pieces, originating several roles including Mary Magdalene, Esmerelda, The Cheshire Cat, and Chandramuhki. She is the only dancer in company history to perform all three Joans in Joan of Arc.
Before coming to Indiana, she performed and studied with Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre, Toledo Ballet Association, and Ballet Met. She has served as community outreach teaching artist in residence for Clowes Memorial Hall and worked with Martha Graham Company’s artistic director on Educational Outreach for the company’s residency. She has also taught modern dance workshops at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has taught Vaganova ballet for a number of years, beginning in Northwest Ohio in 1990 and has also taught modern and jazz.
She began teaching Dance at Anderson University in 2014.
Hear a podcast featuring Christine
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Assistant Professor of Dance
Composition, ballet, jazz
B.A., Butler University