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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


News Bureau Schofield Hall 201 Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire to Offer
New Preparatory Arts Program

MAILED: Aug. 19, 2002

         EAU CLAIRE  People in the Chippewa Valley with an interest in the performing arts will soon have another program to help them develop their talents. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s department of music and theatre arts, in cooperation with UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education, has announced the creation of a new Preparatory Arts Program beginning this fall.
         According to Dr. Donald Patterson, professor of music and chair of the Preparatory Arts committee, for some time a number of faculty members have been envisioning a program that would provide performing arts instruction and experiences for non-college students in the area.
         “Every year I field dozens of calls from people looking for various kinds of music instruction,” said Patterson, noting that although over the years he and other faculty members have tried to help people connect with the kinds of instructors they’re looking for, it hasn’t always been easy, or even possible. Patterson says there are talented, qualified potential teachers in the community, but many are not affiliated with the University and some don’t have the facilities needed to take on students. Through this program, instructors will be provided with a studio and performing facilities, as well as help with advertising, recruitment, billing, and scheduling. They also will be guaranteed a set fee per semester and per student.
         Degreed professionals, including some UW-Eau Claire alumni, will staff this program.
         Jason Craft, a 1999 graduate and jazz musician who performs regularly on Monday nights at the Stone’s Throw in Eau Claire, as well as in the Twin Cities with various jazz ensembles, will be teaching jazz piano in the first semester of the program. He says he’s excited about the program and glad that it will be open to students of all ages.
         Although he already has a few private students, Craft expects he may get more through the program. “I think people will see this is a university sponsored program and feel they can trust that the instructors are well qualified,” Craft said.
         The program will start small, said Patterson, with lessons in piano, jazz piano, voice, flute, cello, and Suzuki Strings offered this fall, but the committee is hoping to add theater arts and dance classes in the future, as well as related survey seminar and travel classes in things like music, dance and theater appreciation; music theory; and music and theater technology. The committee envisions offering beginning through advanced classes as well as individual lessons.
         “We hope the program can grow in stages as it becomes more able to support itself, “ said Patterson, noting that the program could grow in any number of ways, depending on what people in the community want and need. “If it turns out that senior citizens are interested in classes too, then I hope we can serve them as well.”
         Patterson also said he and members of the Preparatory Arts Program committee do not see this program as competing with any of the independent music and dance teachers already working in the community, but rather as supplementing the offerings available in this area as Eau Claire and surrounding communities continue to grow.
         Those who register for the applied music lessons offered this fall will be contacted to set up an interview with an instructor if an opening exists in the teacher’s studio. Lesson times will be arranged at a time mutually convenient for the instructor and student.
         The cost for a full semester of lessons this fall will be $210 ($14 per half hour lesson). The fee does not include materials. For more information or to register, contact the Continuing Education Office at (715) 836-3636, or send e-mail to La Vone Sneen at

UW-Eau Claire Home  News Bureau
Judy Berthiaume
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Aug. 19, 2002