Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast is home to Atlantic Canada’s newest performing arts school, the Holland College School of Performing Arts (SoPA). Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada enjoy a culture steeped in the rich traditions of music, dance, and theater. That culture, along with excellent youth and secondary school programming, has produced students eager to pursue post-secondary education and training on their way to professional careers. SoPA provides an opportunity for students to develop their artistic skills, share their passion of music and dance, explore career options in the performing arts, and gain an understanding of the business side of the performance industry.
School of Performing Arts
Formed in 2010 in Charlottetown, SoPA is a unique partnership between Holland College and Confederation Centre of the Arts:
- With a 40-year history of teaching and learning innovation, Holland College has achieved international recognition for its competency-based curriculum and resulting graduate employment success.
- Confederation Centre of the Arts is an award-winning national arts center with the pedigree of one of the country’s oldest musical theatre festivals, The Charlottetown Festival.
SoPA combines the significant strengths and national reputations of these two well-established institutions.
Music Performance Program
SoPA’s two-year music performance program trains musicians for the commercial music and entertainment industry. Students learn to interpret and perform many contemporary music styles such as rock, country, funk, R&B, jazz, Celtic, and world music while gaining a strong understanding of the theory, analysis, and influences of contemporary music styles. Learning the business aspects of a self-managed career in the music industry is a key component of the program. Students:
- benefit from a competency-based curriculum;
- learn with instructors who come straight from the stage and studio;
- perform in a unique environment, including the Confederation Centre of the Arts; and
- may choose to continue their post-secondary education at other colleges and universities.
SoPA music students enjoy musical success while still in the program. SoPA has partnered with Music PEI, the PEI Jazz and Blues Festival, and the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) for promotional and showcase opportunities. Also, music performance students have won and/or received nominations for Music PEI and East Coast Music Awards, including Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz and Blues Recording of the Year, and Male Solo Recording of the Year; bands featuring music performance students as members have wins and/or nominations for Album of the Year, Group Recording of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Rock Recording of the Year.
In addition to music performance, SoPA offers two-year dance performance and theater performance programs and a one-year performing arts foundation program.