The Arts are Back at Napa Valley College this Fall

Singing, dancing, acting and playing music are all back at Napa Valley College, with performances and an immersive music festival this summer, followed by a variety of classes and a full-scale musical theater production on the schedule for fall semester.  

Since spring semester ended, the Performing Arts Center has been busy hosting dance recitals by the Dance House Napa, as well as Festival Napa Valley’s Blackburn Music Academy, a summer festival conservatory for emerging professional musicians. The immersive, 17-day experience includes workshops, sectionals, and a variety of professional development activities, as well as public chamber and orchestral concerts at CIA at COPIA with some of the most respected musicians from around the world. NVC’s Theater Department also presented a sold-out run of “Shakespeare Summer Stroll” with outdoor performances at di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. This week, the Performing Arts Center is hosting the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

The Arts & Humanities division is offering a variety of in-person and online classes for fall semester, which begins August 13. For example, students looking to satisfy some of their general education requirements can enroll in “Art History: Prehistory to Medieval” or “The American Mind,” a fascinating examination of philosophical, religious, scientific, economic and political ideas that have shaped America, from the mid-1800s to today.

There are a variety of dance classes available, including evening classes for enjoyment and practice as well as appreciation and theory courses. The dozens of musical offerings range from vocal training and chorale to piano and jazz ensemble. In-person visual arts classes will include both drawing and ceramics classes.

Selected courses will require participants to be fully vaccinated due to the nature of the course. “Our first priority is to assure a safe and healthy environment for everyone,” said Robert Van Der Velde, NVC’s senior dean of Arts & Sciences.

“Although it will be the fall semester, it feels like springtime with the rebirth and resurgence of the cultural life of Napa Valley,” said Van Der Velde. “It is exciting to hear music in the Performing Arts Center again, as well as to prepare for the return of indoor theatrical performances.”

A highlight of the fall semester will be a production of the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” directed by NVC theater adjunct instructor Olivia Cowell, with musical direction by Dr. Christina Howell, program coordinator for Music and director of Vocal Studies. This funny, touching show will mark the return of live indoor theater to the Performing Arts Center, with performances November 5-7 and November 12-14.

A variety of roles are available for performers 16 years of age and older, and audition videos are accepted through August 17. For more information, visit and click on the Events tab.


Arts and Humanities classes this fall include Archaeology, Art History, Fundamentals of Drawing, Ceramics, Digital Arts, Drawing & Typography, Multimedia, Humanities, Women’s Ethnic Heritage, Filipina(o)-American Heritage, Culture and Gender in the Theater, Voice, Musical Theater, Piano, College Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Feminist Philosophy, Photography, Stagecraft and Musical Theater Production (the production will be “The 25th Anniversary Putnam Spelling Bee” with enrollment by audition).

Visit NVC’s website to see class descriptions and the entire fall class schedule.

Photo courtesy @carltf

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