Samford University’s School of the Arts is the vital and comprehensive center for arts in the Birmingham area. The Homewood campus hosts local, regional and national artists as it prepares today’s young artists to shape tomorrow’s world.
The School of the Arts is home to the acclaimed Davis Architects Guest Artist Series, Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series and Visiting Visual Artists Series. Those programs combine with the school’s growing arts partnerships--currently including Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s Superpops Series, Birmingham Chamber Music Society, Birmingham Art Music Alliance, Birmingham Music Club, Superjazz Big Band and Samford’s own Wright Center—to create a regional cultural hub.
All of the school’s performances and exhibitions are open to the public and many are presented free-of-charge in the spirit of the school’s educational mission. Individual and season tickets are available for special events and series.
Most importantly, Samford’s School of the Arts offers undergraduate majors in aspects of art, graphic design, interior design, theatre, church music, music and worship, music education, music theatre, instrumental music, theory, music history, vocal/choral music, piano, pedagogy, organ and composition. Minors include art, theatre, music, dance, film and the arts. Graduate degrees are available in church music, music education and piano performance and pedagogy. The academic program also serves the broader community, with music lessons for all ages and music and theatre summer camps for children.
Although the school was formally created in 2008, that action combined longstanding individual departments, divisions and programs into a collaborative organization. Since the earliest years of Samford’s history, music and the dramatic arts have been a vital part of campus life, but today, these arts are able to integrate and transcend traditional lines of discipline.
The Howard College Glee Club sang at commencements long before the college relocated to Homewood and became Samford University. Seniors and dramatic arts students performed in campus productions, and the Masquers Club, organized in 1933, invited all students to take the stage. Within five years, the popularity of the Masquers Club increased to such a degree that its productions were limited to drama students only.
In 1948, Howard College’s board of trustees unanimously approved the establishment of the Department of Music to offer the bachelor of music degree. Prior to that time, music was taught on campus by professional musicians from a local music school through a cooperative agreement, but a bachelor’s degree was not offered. By 1952, the music curriculum was so successful that more teaching space was required to accommodate the demand for music courses. In 1970, the department was elevated to school status.
In 2001, Samford’s theatre and music programs combined to create a School of Performing Arts. Visual arts followed in 2007, and in 2008 Samford announced the new School of the Arts, comprising the Division of Music, Department of Theatre and Dance and Visual Arts Department.
and follow Friends of Samford Arts
on Facebook for season schedules, tickets, photos, video and news.