Former Catholic University’s head of music theatre joins Metropolitan School of the Arts

Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) Performing Arts Academy welcomes Tom Pedersen, singer, conductor, baritone, producer and retired head of music theatre from Catholic University of Washington, D.C., to lead its new postgraduate program, for the 2019-2020 school year, beginning Aug. 19 through May 8.

The program is geared toward students looking for additional performing arts preparation, before attending college.  Pederson will also support MSA Academy recruitment and business development as well, according to a news release.

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Pedersen, of Silver Spring, Md., began his career at a young age, appearing as Rolf in Sound of Music, Freddie in My Fair Lady, and appeared in Hello DollyOklahomaCarousel and The Pirates of Penzance. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University in California and studied with Martial Singher at the Music Academy of the West and completed graduate studies at the University of Michigan with Eva Likova. 


He continued a 10-year span singing with the Detroit Symphony, The June Opera Festival and The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival on National Public Radio. He was a soloist for conductors like Maurice Abravanel Leonard Bernstein, Antal Dorati and Robert Shaw. He also worked with well-known television shows and actors, like Gary Sandy of WKRP in CincinnatiThe Bold and the BeautifulAll My Children, Barbara Eden ofI Dream of Jeannie, and Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop. Pedersen served as artistic director of Theatre Ten Ten, New York City’s oldest off-off-Broadway Theatre, where he produced and directed more than 20 productions and co-produced for legendary, country singer, Mel Tillis and his daughter Pam Tillis. Most recently, Pedersen has worked with creative teams on the world premiere of Kleptocracy and Jubilee at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage.


MSA’s Academy offers a new, postgraduate performing arts program in response to the increasingly competitive landscape for college acceptance and professional work. Created for the recent high school graduate, the MSA postgraduate program allows students to focus on in-depth artistic preparation before entering a performing arts college, university, conservatory or professional company. Students will be able to sharpen their performance skills, expand their professional networks, gain confidence in auditions, and cultivate artistic resilience. Tuition is $19,200 per year for new students and $17,200 per year for returning MSA Academy students.

Located just outside Washington, D.C., the second largest performing arts community in the U.S., MSA offers an opportunity to train alongside working artists and cliniciansWhile concentrations in classical dance and music theatre are offered, all students train in a cross-curricular and individualized manner, with 20 or more hours a week of performing arts instruction. Based on assessment, students will be placed in appropriate levels for each discipline and for maximum growth potential. The admissions process includes an application, audition and personal interview. Guided by professional teaching artists, collegiate level faculty and nationally recognized guest artists, the postgraduate program culminates in a showcase that is recorded and available for students’ portfolios. 

“When we decided to offer a postgraduate program for high school graduates, we knew we’d have to find a program director that had the breadth and width of performing arts experience that our students would need; performer, singer, conductor---Tom had it all,” said Melissa Dobbs, executive director and founder of Metropolitan School of the Arts of Alexandria, Va. “We’ve always been committed to cultivating a faculty with real-world training experience, and Tom exceeds that standard with five stars,” said Dobbs.

The Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts is a college preparatory performing arts program for emerging young artists, grades 7 to 12, who are dedicated to high-caliber academics and pre-professional performing arts education. Their cross-curricular approach to arts training fills each young artist’s toolbox with the dance, music and acting skills necessary to be a triple threat in the arts world. MSA’s approach to education is designed to develop independent, self-motivated, and skilled learners. 

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