The College of Fine Arts prepares passionate, spiritual leaders for careers and service in the fine arts.
Whether you are looking to pursue a career as a music pastor or get a degree in music performance, finding the right music university that tailors to your goals, style, and and values can prove to be difficult. Jake Felstow, alum and current drummer for Yam Haus, tells us about his journey in choosing a music performance degree and landing his dream job.
For the second year in a row, North Central has posted record-high retention, according to Erin White, M.A., Dean of Student Advocacy. For any university, retention rates serve as a temperature check for the wellness of the university and an indicator of student success. Read more about the record-breaking rates at North Central!
The College of Fine Arts will prepare you with the skills, experience, and knowledge you need to follow your calling as an artist and creator. You’ll be challenged to perfect your craft and supported as your pursue your passions.
Whether you’re interested in performance, worship, recording, or the music business, our programs offer applicable, hands-on training, engaging classes, and mentorship from dedicated, highly-qualified professors with years of experience in their fields.
North Central is also home to state-of-the-art recording facility McPherson Studios, giving you opportunities to hone your skills using all of the latest recording equipment. Over the years we’ve worked with recording artists Sara Groves, Ben Gowell, and Kristi Northrup, among others.
Participating in one or more of our performance groups will prepare you with live performance experience and give you opportunities to practice your art.
Purchase tickets for Fine Arts productions
Attend theatre and music productions presented by the North Central College of Fine Arts, including The Miracle Worker and Choral Classics!
SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND THEATRE
SCHOOL OF WORSHIP ARTS
"NCU’s music program really propelled me into what I’m doing now. I enjoyed endless hands-on opportunities to get better at my craft. North Central has always had a way of fostering the presence of God. Believe me when I say there is something special in the atmosphere. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"Ryan Williams '07 - Worship Leading Major
Watch the new Worship Live single, performed and recorded by NCU students and alumni!
North Central’s premiere touring performance group, Worship Live is composed of current students under the direction of singer/songwriter Jeff Deyo. The group combines the unique styles of Deyo and its members to create and play music that worships and praises our God. Members of the group have come to Minneapolis from all parts of the country with one common goal—to learn and create amazing music that will change the world!
Worship Live also serves as the primary worship team for our daily chapel services and may also travel with the North Central Concert Chorale. Worship Live members are selected by audition from the members of the Choral
Book Worship Live:
Contact Emily Havens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Worship Live serves as the primary worship team for our daily chapel services and may also travel with the North Central Concert Chorale. Worship Live members are selected by audition from the members of the Chorale.
Listen to Worship Live:
The Concert Chorale is an ensemble of fifty singers and instrumentalists from North Central, under the direction of Larry Bach. They’re known for their exciting and passionate music ministry in styles ranging from choral classics to contemporary gospel. The Chorale has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, singing in churches, schools, and concert halls.
The Festival Choir is a large ensemble made up of students with a range of experience levels and from a number of different majors. Led by director Larry Bach, the group performs a variety of music, from classical to gospel, and ministers in chapel services and with the other choirs in major campus concerts. This is a great way to participate in a choir, get to know other students, and have a great time!
This chorus consists of selected female vocalists that minister in a variety of university and community events. This group is open to students by audition only.
This group travels to churches within Minnesota and shares the gospel through theatre.
Jazz Workshop is designed to facilitate instrumental improvisation through the study of various forms of jazz, popular, and world genres in a combo setting. The ensembles of Jazz Workshop perform at the Jazz at the Clay performance series, the NCU Jazz Concert, Songs of the Season, Partners for Progress, and a variety of city-wide opportunities. The NCU Fusion Ensemble, a part of the Jazz Workshop Ensembles, has been featured at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.
Jazz Workshop is open to music majors as well as non-music majors but is limited to upperclass students. Freshman are allowed by audition only. Rhythm Ensemble is the recommended per-requisite for the course. For more information please contact Jazz Workshop’s director, Peter Shu at email@example.com.
Dean, College of Fine Arts
Currently in my 38th year, I continue to lead the College of Fine Arts as dean. I hold a B.A. in Vocal Performance from West Virginia Wesleyan, a masters in Conducting from the University of Minnesota, and doctoral studies in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa. Over the past 38 years, the College of Fine Arts has grown from a single major of 10 students to 9 majors with over 150 students.
WHAT ARE YOUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE?
Conducting, vocal music, worship leading
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING AT NORTH CENTRAL?
The students of course! I love being able to encourage students to grow and use their gifts to the very best of their abilities to glorify God.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES TO TEACH?
Conducting the Chorale and Teaching Conducting
What Sets Us Apart
The College of Fine Arts awards Music and Theatre Scholarships up to $3,000 per year for students interested in pursuing a calling in these fields. These awards are not need-based and are renewable for up to 4 years provided you continue to meet the scholarship requirements. Scholarships are awarded based on an audition, an interview, and 2 letters of recommendation.
Visit our financial aid site to learn more about Music and Theatre Scholarships, and how you can apply.
- McPherson Studios
McPherson Studios is North Central’s state-of-the-art recording facility, featuring the latest equipment and technology including a Pro Tools HD system (loaded featuring McDSPand Antares plug-ins) with a Digidesign Control 24 interface, Genelec and Westlake monitors, and a wide selection of microphones and outboard equipment. Our Control Room is a great place to work with comfortable leather sofas and a warm atmosphere. The Studio A recording room is over 1200 square feet with enough room to record a choir, a big band, or an orchestra. Studio A also features a Yamaha grand piano with full MIDI capability. There are two additional rooms when isolation is needed for the session.
Artists who have recorded with us:
- Sara Groves
- Ben Gowell
- Kristi Northrup
- David Pedde
- David Juve
- Sovereign Grace Music Kids Project
- Jeff Kerr and River Valley Worship Team
- David Santisteven
- Emmanuel Christian Center Youth Worship Team
WOVEN exist to provide opportunities for success through music literacy and performance for the children of downtown Minneapolis by building self-esteem to develop their artistic gifts and to facilitate the leadership of NCU students through mentoring and teaching music.
People are born with a desire to be the best they can be. Through the discipline and determination of learning music, long and short-term musical goals can be achieved. WOVEN is a program designed to teach music with the purpose of demonstrating success through music. It is our vision to see the artistic gifts of children in the downtown Minneapolis community developed.
- Theory Placement Exam
The Theory Placement Exam covers material from the Fundamentals of Music course. You can bypass Fundamentals of Music if you demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the following areas:
- Read note names (both in treble and bass clef)
- Reading rhythms (notes and rests
- Scales – major, minor (pure, harmonic and melodic)
- Triads – major, minor, diminished and augmented
- Chords – in root position and inversions
Any student wishing to enter any music program at NCU must take the exam prior to class registration. This test helps us determine your level of theory and whether you have enough of a theory background to enter Theory I or if you should take Fundamentals of Music. Our goal is to see you succeed in theory, so you must receive 32 correct out of 44 to gain entry into Theory I.
Transfer students who wish to transfer a theory class from another university/college must send an Official Transcript to our Registrar’s office. The College of Fine Arts and the Registrar will work together to determine if the courses taken meet the standards for our theory classes. Our theory classes are 4 credits and include sight singing/ear training. If you haven’t taken the sight singing/ear training but have completed the class work satisfactorily we may require you to take the Lab portion of this class only. This will help you to successfully complete the next course in the sequence.
Schedule an exam
The Theory Placement Exam is taken in person during any Campus Preview and Fine Arts Preview Days. Check the university calendar to find specific dates. To reserve your spot call the Fine Arts Department at 612.343.4701 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pure Worship Institute 2018 Update
North Central’s Pure Worship Institute conference is undergoing an exciting facelift. We will be taking the 2018 year off to organize a new conference for the fall of 2019.
The College of Church Leadership and the College of Fine Arts will be partnering in this new initiative that will be designed to train and encourage not only worship pastors and musicians, but also pastors and church leaders. We are anticipating great things! Please pray with us and stay tuned for more info in the coming months.