One of the wonderful hidden treasures of Johns Hopkins is how passionate, dedicated, and active students are in the arts. From theater productions to dance to the visual arts, Johns Hopkins students show that we are not only strong in research and great on the lacrosse field, but that Homewood is a true center for the arts.
The theater program at Johns Hopkins is a fun, thriving community. Just look around backstage at any production, and we guarantee you everyone is having a great time. You can even minor in theater arts and studies, get an arts certificate in theater, take a class with John Astin, or join one of several student theater groups on campus.
These student groups range greatly in how they approach theater – we have the more professional groups, such as the Barnstormers and the Johns Hopkins University Theater group who put on a few large productions each year. The Barnstormers, specifically, run a special program in the fall called the “Freshmen One-Acts”, a fun way for new freshmen to get involved early in theater.
“I loved my time in the freshmen one-acts! I had so much fun, met great people, and now – just a few months later – I’m the lead in the spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone! I couldn’t be happier with the theater programs here on campus.” – Kathleen Lewis, ‘15
On a more relaxed level, we also have a number of groups which write and perform their own shows, such as Witness Theater and DBH, the African American-interest group on campus. We also have two sketch comedy groups, Throat Culture and the Buttered Niblets, that will make you laugh with their crazy antics.
Whether you’re a free-spirited jazz improv trumpet player, a classically trained cellist, or an a cappella enthusiast (or you’re a pro shower singer), you’ll find your musical niche at Johns Hopkins.
We have a number of a cappella groups here on campus, and they are really popular! Each one hosts many shows over the year and each group varies widely in their styles and dynamics. The Vocal Chords and Octopodes are co-ed, more traditional a cappella groups and are very competitive in inter-collegiate competitions. There are many groups organized around a specific style: Ketsev – Jewish. Kranti – Indian/American Fusion. The Allnighters – Men in vests. Adoremus – Christian. Sirens –All girls. Then last but not least, the self-described “painfully sexy” Mental Notes, our comedy A Cappella group!
“We rehearse three times a week for seven hours total so it’s a huge time commitment, but even so, I love going to rehearsal because we know how to have fun!” – Lucie Fink, ‘14
However music does not end there. We have a number of instrumental groups such as the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz bands, Flute Choir, and Pep band! Students at JHU can also sing in the three choral groups on campus: the Gospel Choir, ECCO, and Choral Society.
Hopkins students also can take advantage of the Peabody Institute, our music school located in Mount Vernon area of Baltimore. Even if you’re not in the dual degree program, you can take voice and instrumental lessons at Peabody or join one of their performance groups. For example, anyone can audition for the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and continue their passion for music performance. Check out Margaret’s blog entry to get a better understanding of the relationship between Peabody and Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins students are always on the move—and sometimes it’s choreographed! Though the styles and cultures differ widely from one to another, the passion they all share makes for great performances and fun activities to take part in.
Some groups focus on a specific type of dance. For example, Jaywalk performs jazz routines, while Stop! Look at Me (SLAM) performs hip-hop at their concerts. Other groups blend all different types of dance. The Eclectics perform anything and everything, often at the same time, while the Ladybirds, the school’s official dance team, incorporates all styles of dance to create routines to perform at the sporting events on campus.
Yet Hopkins has many others that focus on different cultural dances from around the world. There is Temps d’Afrique performs a variety of different African dances, VIVAZ performs Caribbean/American-inspired routines, and JOSH, Hareepa, and Shakti all perform different types of Indian dancing. You can also learn belly dancing with Egyptian Sun or learn how to mimic a lion’s movement with the Chinese Lion Dance Troupe!
“Chinese Lion dance is so cool! I never imagined that I would do it, until I saw the group at a student Activities fair. I’ve always loved Asian culture, and signed up on a whim. When I went to practice they were all so nice, I learned a lot of moves, and I’ve been going ever since – I’ve even performed in front of audiences! “ – Marisa Santoru ‘15
Hopkins’ wide and encompassing selection of theater, music, and dance really makes the campus feel lively and cultural. There are a number of shows each year where most groups will all perform, as well as countless performances each group puts on themselves. We also have the Homewood Arts Program, which awards students dedicated to different forms of art on the Homewood campus with a certificate upon graduation which many of our artistically-minded students take advantage of. Check out this website for a full list of student performing arts groups, and to get another glimpse of performing arts here at Hopkins, check out this video!