Commercial Entertainment Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What programs are available in Commercial Entertainment? A: A general transfer program designed for those students who plan to complete a four-year degree in Commercial Entertainment (Music/Singing or Dance) is offered. Students may obtain the Associate of Science or the Associate of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Commercial Entertainment. Technical Certificate programs are offered for those students who do not intend to transfer to a four-year degree program. These students will be prepared to seek employment in the entertainment industry. Certificates are offered in the following areas:

  • Performance option: designed for students who wish to enter the entertainment field as a performer (singer-dancer-actor) and provides a balanced approach to the skills needed to succeed.
  • Songwriting option: designed to provide the skills to allow students to set up a home studio, produce and record their own demo CD, as well as set up a website.
Q: Who can enter the Commercial Entertainment program?
A: To enter the general transfer program in Commercial Entertainment, the student must meet all the usual requirements for Columbia State Community College, including the ACT or SAT minimums. In addition, it is expected that the student has experience in either dance (ballet, tap and jazz) voice or the dramatic arts. The student may be admitted to the Technical Certificate programs by obtaining high school graduation or the GED. Dance, vocal or the drama experience is expected, except in the case of Commercial Entertainment (MIDI) applicants. They will be expected to be able to have some basic music reading skills.
Q: Can I take a few of the Commercial Entertainment courses even though I am not seeking entry into this program?
A: Generally, the courses offered in this program are limited to those students seeking either the degree or the certificate in Commercial Entertainment. Special cases may be considered by the program coordinator.
Q: How do I sign up for the program or get more information?
A: All applicants must contact Cathy Hudnall, the program director via phone (615.790.4420), email ( or in person at Columbia State’s Williamson County Campus.

Q: On which campus(es) are classes offered?
A: All Commercial Entertainment classes are taught at the Williamson County Campus.
Q: Who will my teachers be?
A: Students work in a performance-oriented environment under the direction of faculty members who are, themselves, practicing professionals in their respective art forms.
Q: What courses will I take?
A: Singers will study dance as well as voice and drama. Dancers will study voice and drama as well as dance. Performance students will study all aspects of the business of music. In addition, classes are taught in digital audio recording, music production and editing, ballet, tap, and jazz technique, fundamentals of music, stagecraft, dance history, history of musical theatre, musical keyboarding, performance and production, choreography, MIDI, dance studio operation, entertainment business, dance pedagogy, choral lab, audition techniques and class voice. All Commercial Entertainment majors may take any of the classes offered in the department.

Q: How does this program differ from others?
A: This is a career-oriented program established to prepare students for careers as professional performers and teachers in “show business” and in the entertainment industry. Consequently, the program differs substantially from “ballet/modern” programs at other colleges and universities. The MIDI program does not follow the usual “classical” studies. Its focus is on jazz/rock/country and musical theatre techniques. It is a lean and concentrated program aimed at the study of the “real world” of commercial music
Q: Will these courses transfer to other schools?
A: General core courses in the Associates Degree program will transfer as usual. Efforts are in progress to secure articulation agreements for other dance and MIDI courses. The Commercial Performance Certificate program is so new and specialized that only a very few universities and colleges have similar courses. The two most obvious are Oklahoma City University (OCU) and University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Articulation agreements are underway with OCU.

Q: Where can I expect to work after I complete this training?
A: Talented and well-trained graduates can expect to find interesting and rewarding employment as performers in musical theatre (Broadway and road shows), theme parks (Disneyland, Six Flags, etc.) and cruise ships (NCL, Carnival, Cunnard, etc.). Columbia State is included in the national audition tours of many of these employers.

Q: How long will it take to get an associate degree?
A: The catalog displays a plan for graduation in two years although many students take slightly longer by reducing their load and/or adding electives that are appealing.

Q: How long will it take to get a certificate?

A: Certificate programs are designed for completion in one year with very concentrated study. Students are encouraged to reduce their load, take additional electives and extend their time in the program in order to be better prepared for the competitive climate of this profession.

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