UConn School of Fine Arts Extends Partnership with Dublin Institute

Students in the University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts may soon have more opportunities to study and perform at Ireland’s prestigious Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

The Dublin Institute of Technology’s Conservatory of Music and Drama and Faculty of Applied Arts and Tourism offers Ireland’s most comprehensive range of programs in music performance and composition, drama, design, fine art, broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, multimedia, journalism, and public relations. The DIT is the largest and one of the most popular higher education institutes in the Republic of Ireland.

UConn and the DIT have enjoyed a long-standing exchange program since 1995. On Aug. 23, officials from the two institutions formally extended the program by signing an Agreement of Cooperation and Collaboration in a brief ceremony at the Nafe Katter Theatre on the Storrs campus.

Past interactions between the two schools have included joint performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Dublin in 2008, which was attended by former Ireland President Mary McAleese, and a performance of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 2006.

In the 2010-2011 academic year, UConn associate professor of music and coordinator of vocal studies, Constance Rock, together with UConn voice and opera students from the Department of Music will travel to Dublin as part of the exchange. Rock will teach master classes and the students will be involved in dress rehearsals and performances of Candide with students from the DIT.

The Dublin Institute of Technology’s director of academic affairs Frank McMahon said the two institutions’ new collaboration will go far beyond periodic joint performances. He envisions the two schools engaging in more student and faculty exchanges, joint seminars through video conferencing, and potentially even joint and/or dual degrees.

“We hope to foster student exchanges at all levels,” says McMahon, who came to UConn to sign the formal partnership agreement. “DIT offers bachelor’s degrees in music, master’s degrees in music, and Ph.D. studies. Student exchanges at all levels would enrich the student experiences.”

David G. Woods, dean of UConn’s School of Fine Arts, shared McMahon’s enthusiasm for the program.

“Over the past 15 years, the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut has been involved in numerous programs in art, music, and dramatic arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology,” Woods says. “This official collaborative agreement will be of benefit to both institutions as we pursue cooperative partnerships, not only in the fine arts, but in other areas of the two universities. As Dean of School of Fine Arts, I am very honored that Dr. McMahon has made the trip from Ireland to sign this significant and important agreement with us.”

For more information:

Colin Poitras, (860) 486-4656, Colin.poitras@uconn.edu