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Fine Arts Student Opportunities

  • Explore the Possibilities

    Any major at Saint Francis University can take advantage of the wonderful opportunities the Fine Arts provide. Whether your interests lie in theatre, painting, drumming, guitar, and singing, at Saint Francis University you can nurture your inner-artist and enjoy the talents of your fellow classmates.

  • Performance Groups
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    F.J. Hartland


    Theatre at Saint Francis University creates a unique avenue for students and area residents to come together as they learn and grow in their theatrical abilities. S.T.A.R. (Students Teachers Area Residents) Productions stages at least one show each semester. The theatre program has a 50 year history at the University and thousands of proud SFU Theatre Alumni.

    Contact for more information
    Jim Donovan

    World Drumming Ensemble

    The World Drumming Ensemble is a performance group made up of students, faculty, staff and members of the local community. Our repertory includes traditional drumming music from all over the globe. The ensemble was designed to create opportunities for each member to learn, express, perform and, most of all, enjoy playing music. Unlike most university performing groups, we have no prerequisites or auditions — all you need is a willingness to learn. The World Drumming Ensemble prides itself on providing interactive, multi-cultural benefit concerts that support music programming in schools K through 12 throughout the region.

    SFU Singers

    The SFU Singers organization is open to any Saint Francis University student, and sometimes includes members of the faculty or staff, or individuals from the surrounding communities. Our singers usually perform one concert each semester, occasionally in conjunction with a local church choir. Although SFU Singers is not an audition group, more advanced vocalists have opportunities to perform solos or small-ensemble numbers from time to time. Most semesters, the Womenʼs Select Ensemble prepares several numbers for performance.

    Arts in the Mountains
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    Jim Donovan

    The Arts in the Mountains Summer Music and Arts Festival is a rejuvenating four days of music workshops, master classes, impromptu jam sessions, and energizing concerts on the pristine mountain campus of Saint Francis University.

    • Summer Rhythm Renewal, a drumming and wellness retreat
    • Universe of Song, a songwriting retreat for everyone, directed by Paul Berkobin
    • Guitar and Bass Retreat, featuring programming for beginners and advanced guitar, bass and tap guitar players, directed by Bill Burke

    We take pride in welcoming beginners and creating a safe and supportive space for everyone to learn and grow.


    STAR Productions uses the JFK Student Center as both a classroom and laboratory for those engaged in theater arts. Indeed, many SFU alumni consider this space nothing short of sacred because they spent so much of their college life creating art in this space.

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    Café Voltaire
    Chuck Olson

    Café Voltaire

    An urban-style club set down in the post-industrial atmosphere of the Universityʼs converted power plant, Café Voltaire is an alternative space for music performance, visual arts, dramatic readings and poetry. Traditionally staged four times each semester, the café presents top regional musicians and offers opportunities for student performance as well. With changing art exhibits and decor thatʼs redesigned for every performance, the café attracts large student audiences.


    The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Loretto facility at Saint Francis University serves as headquarters to the complex of four Museum facilities and is a repository for the permanent collection of works of American art. Exhibitions are developed from national collections, as well as from the Museum's permanent collection.

    Students are encouraged to seek internships with the museum to enhance their fine arts education with real-world experience.

    Study Abroad

    Semester in France - While in Paris, the academic focus is on art, history, language and culture. From their centrally–located dormitory in Paris, students will visit working artists in their studios, museums, landmarks, architectural wonders (even the department stores are works of art!) – indeed, everything that makes Paris the magical city that it is.

    The core academic program offered in France is 10 credits: French Language (3 credits), Religious Studies elective (3 credits), Culture and Values (3 credits), and Exploration in the Arts (1 credit). Additional courses are offered by visiting faculty. Students may also take on-line courses to help maintain their progress toward graduation.

    Springtime in Italy - The trip takes place following the Spring semester and is under the direction of Mr. Charles Olson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Fine Arts Department.

    Students may take up to 7 credits (minimal of 5 credits) while studying in Parma. Classes include Fine Arts, Italian I & II, Exploration in the Arts, Photography, Guitar, Hand Drumming with Jim Donovan (drummer from Rusted Root), and several others.