• Music professor Gavin Douglas in Thailand
    School of Music Professor is Consultant on Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon

bruce mcclung
to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)! Our college has the dual distinction of being one of the country’s premier institutions for the visual and performing arts, and the most comprehensive arts institution in the state of North Carolina. In its Schools of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre, and multi-disciplinary Arts Administration and Musical Theatre programs, CVPA offers nationally accredited programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With over 1,500 students and an internationally recognized faculty of well over 100 members, CVPA is a vibrant and caring community of artists, educators, and scholars. To explore our programs, please visit our admissions page, and you can direct any questions to CVPA’s Director of Recruitment Sandra Barinowski.

CVPA offers an exciting array of educational opportunities: from study abroad opportunities to internships, from entrepreneurial experiences to community engagement projects, from an arts-based living community (Studio 91) to over 400 performances, exhibitions, productions, and masterclasses each year. Students are encouraged to attend the University’s Concert and Lecture Recital Series, which brings world-renowned artists to the UNCG Auditorium. Students can also take part in biennial cross-university collaborations and explore inter-disciplinary topics (in the past these have included War and Peace, Shakespeare and Galileo, and the 1960s). CVPA students thus benefit from both deep artistic experiences within the studio and classroom and broad inter-disciplinary opportunities across a large research university.

With the largest number of visual and performing arts programs in North Carolina, CVPA transforms lives by providing exceptional artistic and academic experiences. Our current education degree programs in art, dance, music, and theatre result in 100% job placement, and our alumni teachers enrich K-12 education across the country. CVPA is an inclusive learning community and part of a campus-wide culture that embodies access, equity, diversity, excellence, and collaboration. I encourage you to explore our academic programs and degrees, performances and events, and learn all that CVPA has to offer. Here’s hoping that your own artistic and educational path will lead you here!


bruce d. mcclung, Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts

P.S. For the latest news about CVPA and its faculty and alumni, please see our monthly newsletters.

We often say our students get the best of both worlds. But what does that really mean for you?  It means you don’t have to choose between the high-quality, personalized studio training of a conservatory and the flexibility and well-rounded education of a public research university.  In the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UNCG, students enjoy the benefits of both.

Tyler Barnhardt, BFA Acting Class of 2015. Tyler has multiple film and television credits in the four years since he graduated from UNCG.

You will build a strong foundation in your area of artistic focus by learning from internationally recognized faculty-artists. You will have opportunities for individualized lessons and training, mentorship, and professional guidance.  You will be challenged to grow and develop your artistry so that you reach your full potential.

You will also expand your horizons through the framework and vast skill set distinctive to a liberal arts education at a large, research intensive university. CVPA students are prepared to be artists, scholars, educators, arts administrators, community builders, arts advocates, and leaders in the visual and performing arts who are engaged citizens and make meaningful contributions to their community and the world.

Choral Ensemble

We aren’t one or the other – we are both, and we can help you find your way here.

Choreography III, group forms class under the instruction of B.J. Sullivan

Throughout your college career you will form many connections who will be important to your educational and artistic journey. Faculty. Friends. Guest Artists. Audiences. Community.  Those connections will stay with you long after graduation.  The experiences you share will help to expand your artistry as you connect with a community and make a life in the arts. While we can’t predict the friends, community members, or patrons that will make a difference in your journey, we can tell you more about the faculty and guest artists we bring to campus.
Musical Theatre Workshop Rehearsal


Our faculty are here to challenge and support you. They are professional artists themselves – still active and recognized in their respective fields – who bring current industry standards and expectations into the classroom and studio.

David Holley directing “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini

Our Faculty Include

Our Faculty Include:

  • One of the leading art historians on the art and animation of Disney and Pixar.
  • Dancers who have performed with internationally renowned companies and choreographers such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, and Camille A. Brown & Dancers as well as many other notables.
  • Equity and SAG-AFTRA actors.
  • Artists who exhibit in museums and galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, and across the country.
  • Authorities on culturally responsive educational methods.
  • Guest lecturers and presenters at leading universities and conferences.
  • Researchers who publish articles regularly in the Journal of Research in Music Education and Animation Studies, and Dance Magazine
  • Playwrights who have created works that have been seen at The Guthrie Lab, The Kennedy Center, and numerous other theatres nationally and internationally.
  • Grammy and Tony award nominees.
  • Broadway veterans who worked on shows like The Lion King, Wicked, Escape to Margaritaville, and Prince of Egypt.
  • Musicians who have performed at or whose works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and stages across the country and globe.
  • Community builders who create, lead and support over 30 community engaged programs throughout Greensboro and the Triad.
  • Arts administrators who have held positions at top regional arts organizations like Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Cincinnati Arts Museum, Golding-Yang Art Gallery, and Playmakers Repertory

To learn more about the faculty, check out the faculty profiles or find bios via the Directory.

Guest Artists

Each year, CVPA brings over 50 guest artists to campus to enhance the instruction of our student-artist community. Whether they are rising stars or at the top of their artistic fields, they all bring their expertise, methods, and experiences to share with you through masterclasses, lectures, workshops, conversations, and performances.

Recent Guest Artists

Recent Guest Artists have included:

At CVPA, we aren’t just learners – we are doers and makers.  From your very first day on campus, you will be instantly immersed in the vibrant community of student-artists and scholars that make up our college.


You can even choose to live in our arts-themed residence hall, Studio 91, with other students who value and love the arts as much as you do.

As the premier and most comprehensive set of visual and performing arts programs in North Carolina, CVPA offers countless opportunities for you to perform, create, teach, learn, do and become. Opportunities that allow you to pursue your passion fully. Opportunities that help shape, mold, and transform you into the artist you have always dreamed of being.

From workshop and repertoire classes to critiques and studio training to ensembles, exhibitions and productions to field work and undergraduate research, you will join other CVPA students who bring their art and creative expression to life on-campus, in the greater Greensboro community and even around the world.

Beyond the classroom, studio, and lab, you can go a step further to enhance your arts experience at CVPA.  Numerous clubs, honor societies and fraternities across our four schools provide the perfect environment for you and your peers to create and perform your own works, contribute to the community and forge friendships that last a lifetime.

Current CVPA clubs and organizations include:

UNCG hosts a wide range of clubs, organizations and groups of varying interests (including the arts). Regardless of your artistic interest, we are confident you will find your passion here.

Nationally recognized for the affordability and value of our educational experience, UNC Greensboro is a hidden gem in the landscape of higher education. And, as the creative heart of UNC Greensboro, the College of Visual and Performing Arts is no different. Superior artistic instruction and endless opportunities for student immersion coupled with affordable tuition and costs are accentuated by faculty and staff tirelessly invested in your artistic and academic success – it is what makes up the CVPA student experience.

Brandon Lee

With tuition and costs lower than many other NC public universities and consistently lower than the cost of a private institution, it’s no surprise that our arts programs are highly sought after by in-state and out-of-state students alike. Financial Aid is available to all our students, and each School offers opportunities for students to apply for additional scholarships.

We realize that more goes into value than just costs and a quality educational experience. Outcomes matter too. UNCG ranks #1 in North Carolina and in the top 25 nationwide for Social Mobility. With a long history of making room at the table for marginalized voices, the university’s culture of care, student success initiatives and diverse student experiences provide a unique launching pad for our students to achieve their dreams. In the College of Visual and Performing Arts, we are actively decolonizing the curriculum and strategically recruiting a more diverse faculty and staff.

Moreover, CVPA currently outpaces most of our peers across campus as well as the public, four-year university average outcomes in both first-year student retention and the six-year graduation rate.

First-year Student Retention Six-year Graduation Rate
CVPA 82.2% 68.1%
UNCG 80.5% 59.0%
Public, Four-year Average* 81.0% 61.0%

*according to the National Center for Educational Statistics

Need more evidence?  Our School of Music was ranked #1 by Best Value Schools in their 20 Best Colleges for Music 2020 listing.

Faculty / Student Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Nikki Blair

Nikki Blair

School of Art

Chip Haas

Chip Haas

School of Theatre

Image of Dan Hale

Dan Hale

School of Art

Teresa Heiland

Teresa Heiland

School of Dance
Dance Education and Graduate Somatics

Rebecca MacLeod

Rebecca MacLeod

School of Music
Music Education – Strings

Jennifer Reis

School of Art
Arts Administration

Sunny Spillane

Sunny Spillane

School of Dance
Art Education

Clarice Young

Clarice Young

School of Dance

Student Profiles

Daysha Bullock

Daysha Bullock

Studio Art – New Media and Design

Celena Forrest

Celena Forrest

Theatre education, Music minor

Donna Franklin

Donna Franklin

MFA, Choreography

Rachael Hayes

Rachael Hayes

BFA, Sculpture & Ceramics

Chelsea Hilding

Chelsea Hilding

MFA Dance

Destiny King

Destiny King

Music Education, Arts Admin. minor

Katie Lane

Katie Lane

BFA Theatre Education

Ashley Lowry

Ashley Lowry

Music Education (choral)

Damien Miles

Damien Miles

Music Education

Valery Morales-pasten

Valery Morales-Pasten

BFA New Media & Design

Elijah Motley

Elijah Motley

MFA Dance and Choreography

Ailyn Pitt

Ailyn Pitt

Studio Art

Jordan Speas

J. Andrew Speas

BFA Acting, Minor – Musical Theatre

Elyse Smith

Elyse Smith

Music Education – Vocal

Laura Sullens

Laura Sullens

Music performance

School of Music Professor Is Consultant on Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon

Music professor Gavin Douglas in Thailand
Gavin Douglas, Professor of Ethnomusicology at The Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand
Photo credit: Gavin Douglas

“What does a white college professor, born in Canada and living in North Carolina, have to say about Southeast Asia?”asks Gavin Douglas with a wry laugh, but quite sincerely.  

It only takes a brief look at his university bio to realize that he is being very modest:  

 “A professor of Ethnomusicology in UNC Greensboro’s School of Music, Douglas holds BMUS and BA degrees from Queen’s University in Ontario, an MM from the University of Texas, and a PhD from the University of Washington.  He is the author of Music in Mainland Southeast Asia (Oxford), a text that explores diversity, political trauma and globalization across Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.  His other writings can be found in a variety of journals and edited volumes on topics such as state patronage of the arts, music and politics, ethnic minority traditions, and the sound worlds  of Theravada Buddhism.”

 He can now add “film consultant”, because in 2019, Douglas’s resume and research caught the attention of a big name in Hollywood.

“Out of the blue, I got this email from Disney, asking if I would be interested in acting as a music consultant for their next film, Raya and the Last DragonI guess it was my book – I imagine I got tapped because I’d done work over a span of several years and many countries in the region. Raya and the Last Dragon takes place in this magical, mythical Southeast Asian inspired place. It’s a corner of the world  that Disney hadn’t yet explored.” (more…)

photo of Tim Hagen, Visiting Professor of Flute

Tim Hagen Named Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute

College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Tim Hagen as Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute in CVPA’s School of Music.

Hagen is an internationally acclaimed flutist, praised for his “technical virtuosity and musical sensitivity” (NewMusicBox) and “real flair” (The Well-Tempered Ear). He has been a prizewinner at major flute competitions, including the Myrna Brown Artist Competition, Australian International Flute Competition, and Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition. As a soloist, Hagen has appeared in concert at New York’s 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center in addition to multiple concerto performances with the Missouri Symphony. He was Principal Flute of the Missouri Symphony from 2009 to 2016 and has performed with orchestras across the country, including the Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and Dallas Wind Symphony. His experience as a chamber musician includes fellowships at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival.  (more…)

2020 Distinguished Alumna (School of Art) Sheena Rose Creates Mural for Weatherspoon Art Museum

Announcement from the Weatherspoon Art Museum (June 3, 2021):  The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro  will debut a dynamic mural in its atrium commissioned from artist Sheena Rose. The project will be on view beginning June 12.

A homecoming is in the works. The Weatherspoon is excited to announce its commission of a major new artwork by artist Sheena Rose, UNC Greensboro MFA ’16. A multidisciplinary artist working in animation, drawing, painting, and performance, Rose’s vibrant and energetic work is at once anchored in her Caribbean heritage and expansive in its explorations of culture and human experience.

A native of Barbados, where she continues to live and work, Rose attended UNC Greensboro as a Fulbright Scholar from 2014 to 2016. (more…)

Quinton Parker Appointed Assistant Professor of Music Education

College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Quinton D. Parker as Assistant Professor of Music Education in the School of Music.

From 2016 to 2021, Parker served as the Music Education Program Coordinator and Assistant Director of Symphonic and Marching Bands at North Carolina Central University. His research interests include imposter syndrome in University music students from marginalized populations, systemic injustice in collegiate musical study, implicit bias in music performance evaluation, and social justice in Music Education. His research interests are fueled by his personal commitment to advancing social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field of music.


Theatre Industry Showcase Shifts to Virtual With Positive Results

The School of Theatre’s New York Showcase is an opportunity for BFA and MFA Acting students to present their work to entertainment industry producers, agents, and casting directors. It is often a first step to a career on stage or screen, as it can lead to audition offers and agency signings.

In years past that meant a live, in-person performance and recently a combination of live and some taped scenes. This year, because of the pandemic, Showcase had to shift to completely virtual. Students filmed their scenes and songs which were then edited together in one showcase reel and distributed.

Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Erin Speer says, “It was a challenge to decide which direction to go with Showcase this year. We spent a lot of time reaching out to industry contacts and colleagues at other programs to see what kind of showcases were being planned. Ultimately we decided to go with a digital showcase through The Growing Studio in New York.”

Musical Theatre Program Coordinator Dominick Amendum says there were actually some positive outcomes from having to stay home:

“Our students had the opportunity to virtually meet with 5 major agents representing NYC, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, and beyond. The agents watched their work and then had individual meetings with each student to give them feedback and get to know them better. Our showcase reel was then e-blasted to over 1,000 casting directors, agents, and industry professionals around the country. The other advantage is that since so much of our students’ showcase material was written specifically for them they now have it for use in their own reels and websites without copyright issues.”

Speer says the offers are already starting to come in:

“The students had incredible responses from the agents at the Growing Studio, and one of our students has signed with a major bicoastal agency. It looks to be one of our most successful showcases ever.”

Thomas Mendolia (’12 BFA Acting) shooting a scene for the 2021 Theatre Industry Showcase Reel

With everything being recorded and not live, the stakes are high when it comes to the production side of things, but the School of Theatre already had that covered. For the past several years, Thomas Mendolia (’12 BFA Acting) has been making the trip to UNCG from Los Angeles to shoot, edit, and direct scenes with students. Addendum says Mendolia’s expertise is invaluable.

“Given that he just signed on with a major studio to make his first feature film, working with him is now an incredible educational experience for our students. Thomas works at an incredibly high level and our students get to engage with him and learn from him as they create their showcase segments. Additionally, they now have clips that are directed and filmed by a true ‘Hollywood Director.’”

So what happens next? Travel is opening back up, and the lights are coming back on, on Broadway. Speer says the performance faculty are already discussing what Showcase will look like in 2022.

“The success of this year’s showcase and the benefits of the digital format for this year are obvious. There are also advantages for the University to do an in-person showcase. We want to be in line with what the industry wants.”

Amendum agrees:

“The reality is that this year’s model reached more people in the industry, and our students had really meaningful contact with major agents and came away with high-quality media for their own use. I anticipate that future years will blend this virtual model along with some work in NYC.”

Whether live and in-person or recorded on a reel, Speers says CVPA Theatre students shine.

“This is a hardworking, resilient group of actors and musical theatre performers. What I love about them most is the way they support and care for each other, and how truly unique and individual they all are. This is a diverse and gifted group, and I can’t wait to see what happens for them next!”

Watch the 2021 Showcase Reel here.


Story by Terri W. Relos
Photo credit: Martin Kane

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