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First Class of Musical Theatre Majors Graduates
May 5, 2017

The first graduates of Walters State’s unique Musical Theatre Program are ready for the world.
For Sevierville native Santana Wright, that means moving to an arts-centered college in Chicago.  
“I am ready for the next level. My time at Walters State has not just made me a  well-rounded performer, but also a well-rounded person. I had never taken theatre or dance before I came here. My first theatre role was last year’s ‘The Crucible.’ I’ve learned to dance and I’ve improved my voice,” Wright said. 
The concept of that triple threat – singing, dancing and acting – is the premise behind the musical theatre program. The ability to do all three improves a student’s chance for success.   
“When students arrive, most are usually good at one of the three and want to make the other two stronger,” said Amber Williamson, instructor of music. 
“For this campus, we transitioned some of the classes from the performance major in the professional entertainment program. Now, the classes transfer. If students want to continue their studies of musical theatre, the classes provide a solid freshman and sophomore year.

“Students are also ready to get on stage and audition for local or regional shows. The program is still able to meet the needs of the entertainment sector in Sevier County,” Williamson said. The college is one of very few community colleges in the country to offer the major. 

The program also gives students a solid classroom foundation, individual attention and plenty of chances to perform. Wright has been in numerous choir performances and had great roles in several theatre productions.

While the Musical Theatre Program attracted Wright to Walters State, another program cemented her decision.
“I had always heard great things about Walters State, but, with the Tennessee Promise, I knew I would go to Walters State,” Wright said. 
Wright plans to continue her studies at Columbia College Chicago.