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Academics

Department of Music and Theatre Arts

The Department of Music and Theatre Arts provides a diverse program of training in music that reflects historical traditions of music, music education, musical theatre, and music ministry leadership. It seeks to broaden each student's knowledge of musical practice and to challenge all students to develop and utilize their artistic talents in both secular and sacred contexts in ways consistent with their Christian worldview. The Department of Music prepares students for opportunities to study music at the graduate level in varying areas of specialization and for professional success in vocations in the field and its related fields.

In The Department of Music and Theatre Arts you will perform in a variety of ensemble types, expand your knowledge of music, and develop skills in many aspects of the discipline including performance, technology, education, worship leadership, theory, and history. You will experience a challenging environment led by a passionate and caring faculty who are committed to your personal, professional, and spiritual growth. You may choose one of our specific music major programs: Music, Music Education, Musical Theatre, or Worship Studies. If you major in another discipline you may choose a minor in music or worship arts, which includes courses in music, religion, media production, theatre, and speech communication.

East Texas Baptist University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and thereby meets the highest national standards in each and every area of study within the discipline.

The Department of Music and Theatre Arts is a professionally-geared program that provides opportunities for students to grow intellectually, artistically, and spiritually. The production seasons are designed to give students experience in varying literary genres and theatrical venues.

Students have opportunities to participate as performers, designers, and technicians in main stage productions and as directors in student-led Discovery Series productions. The department offers majors in Theatre Arts with concentrations in Design and Technical Theatre, Performance, and Theatre Arts Education. The Theatre Arts minor offers students the chance to explore the basics of acting, stagecraft, production, and directing.

The ETBU Theatre Department helps students develop skills needed to succeed in the world of professional and academic theatre through the study and production of a variety of theatrical works as well as the issues, relationships, and conflicts identified by the playwrights. The department prides itself on producing, studying, and participating in quality productions from a variety of classical, modern, and contemporary playwrights. Theatre, as an academic discipline, impacts not only students and faculty but audience members and the community at-large.

Contact Information

Dr. Thomas Webster
Dean, School of Communication and Performing Arts
Professor of Music
903.923.2157  |  twebster@etbu.edu

Dr. Justin Hodges
Chair, Department of Music and Theatre Arts
Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities
903.923.2162  |  jhodges@etbu.edu

Dr. Candice Aipperspach
Assistant Professor of Music
Coordinator of Vocal Activities
903.923.2165  |  caipperspach@etbu.edu

Cammy Burkhalter
Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Hilltop Singers
Coordinator of Music Education
903.923.2155  |  cburkhalter@etbu.edu

Cathy DeRousse
Staff Accompanist  |  University Organist
Director of the Bennett Technology Lab
Adjunct Instructor of Music
903.923.2166  |  cderousse@etbu.edu

Dr. Douglas Lockard
Professor of Music
Coordinator of Instrumental Activities
903.923.2167  |  dlockard@etbu.edu

Dr. Nathan Phillips
Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Bands
903.923.2168  |  nphillips@etbu.edu

Chris Smith
Assistant Professor of Music
Coordinator of Worship Studies 
903.923.2163  |  csmith@etbu.edu

John Dement
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
903.923.2156  |  jdement@etbu.edu

Joshua Scott
Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
903.923.2292 | jscott@etbu.edu

Pam Purvis
Administrative Secretary, School of Communication and Performing Arts
903.923.2158  |  ppurvis@etbu.edu