Performing Arts

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The Performing Arts Department offers a degree program comprised of four specialty concentrations: Dance, Drama Performance, Music, and Technical Theatre. The Dance concentration offers courses in ballet, modern and jazz dance, choreography, and dance in education. The Drama Performance and Technical Theatre concentrations offer courses in acting, directing, costuming, stage makeup, stagecraft, musical theatre, and drama education. The Music concentration offers courses in the areas of musicology (history and literature), music theory and composition, applied music instruction (vocal and instrumental), and performing ensembles open to all qualified students, regardless of major. All Performing Arts majors complete a culminating senior project.

The UH Hilo Performing Arts Major has a three-fold mission:

  • To serve the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo with general education and service courses;
  • To provide an academic major in the Performing Arts, with four individual specialty concentrations in dance, drama performance, technical theatre, and music; and
  • To contribute to the cultural life of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Island through artistic performances and offerings in music, drama, and dance, through public lectures, and through related professional activities.

Degree Requirements

See undergraduate education in the UH Hilo Catalog for a detailed listing of the Performing Arts B.A. requirements.

Dance Photo Makeup Photo Drama Photo (Pinocchio)


The Performing Arts Department offers four programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts. The four specialty concentrations available are:

  • Dance
  • Drama Performance
  • Technical Theatre
  • Music

The Department also offers a sequence of courses leading to a Certificate in Performing Arts.

The Performing Arts Department offers several courses that fulfill current UH Hilo General Education requirements, providing students in all majors with an exposure to Western musical practices and literature, foundational studies in performance and technical theatre, and an introduction to the art of various modes of dance. Students enrich their understanding of the contributions and significance of these performing arts in their particular field of study.

The Performing Arts Major

In order to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts, students must not only fulfill the requirements for one of the specialty concentrations in the major but also meet all of the University's other baccalaureate degree requirements. Students wishing to make timely progress toward graduation are urged to pay careful attention to all degree requirements. In addition, when planning a schedule of courses, it is imperative to be aware of course prerequisites and the frequency with which courses are offered, information that is available for each course in the listing at the back of this Catalog. To ensure progress toward degree completion, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor each semester before registering.

Performing Ensembles

UH Hilo Performing Arts provides a variety of performing ensembles that are open to all qualified students.  Every active season includes performances and concerts given by the University Chorus, University Chamber Singers, UH Hilo Instrumental Ensemble, UH Hilo Theatre, UH Hilo Dance Ensemble and several chamber music ensembles.  Students may also participate in extended performance tours and several community/civic events.

Financial Aid

Technical Theatre PhotoMany types of financial assistance are available through the UH Hilo Performing Arts Department and the College of Arts and Sciences.  Students may be awarded financial aid regardless of academic major; participants in Performing Arts programs come from throughout the University community.  Grade point average and other eligibility requirements also apply.

Special Scholarships

  • Hawaii Concert Society Scholarship
    Annual award to an outstanding performer by Hilo's supportive arts organization.
  • Adap and Cook Memorial Scholarships for Singers and Instrumentalists
    Up to three annual awards to outstanding musicians in UH Hilo choral and instrumental ensembles.
  • Gouglides Memorial Grant for Pianists
    Stipend for the music program's outstanding student keyboardist.
  • Tuition Waivers

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