Student Experiences in the Arts at UHSP

Published on 11 May 2021

The performing arts programs at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, under the direction of Tristan Frampton, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of music activities and Tim Moylan, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the theater program, develop the “whole student" and prepare them for successful careers in health professions.

“Art is intrinsic to the human experience, and the programs we offer at UHSP give students a unique opportunity to be creative, pursue their passions and connect with others through music,” Frampton explained. “Our music ensembles are very welcoming and accessible to everyone who wants to participate.”

Over the years, countless undergraduate and professional students have been involved in the performing arts at UHSP. Among them are professional students Andrew Sellers, Phillip McRaven and Elizabeth Nash, who have engaged in performing arts activities since their first years as undergraduates, and have enjoyed finding a creative outlet while making friends and developing their leadership skills.

P1 Andrew Sellers

For P1 student Andrew Sellers, playing the trombone in the Concert Band and Jazz Club provides the opportunity to continue working with an instrument he has been playing since the sixth grade.

“Music works the creative side of my brain, which I think is an important part of a college education,” Sellers explained.

Sellers began playing in both bands during his first year and is the incoming president-elect of the Jazz Club for the 2021-2022 school year. He credits UHSP’s close-knit environment with making it easy to get involved in the music program and take on leadership roles.

“Anyone’s welcome to join either band, no matter their experience level,” Sellers explained. “That creates a welcoming, low-pressure environment where we get to have fun together, work on our music and then share it with our friends and families at multiple concerts each year. Although we’re practicing and performing virtually now due to the pandemic, I look forward to playing in person again soon.”

P3 Philip “Gavin” McRaven

P3 student Philip “Gavin” McRaven can’t imagine his life at UHSP without the performing arts programs.

“I need the creative outlet that theater and music provide,” McRaven explained. “I play the baritone saxophone in the Concert Band and Jazz Club, and I’ve been acting in plays since my first year. In my first year, these programs helped me connect with students older than me and learn from them, and now it’s a way for me to help orient first-year students and encourage them to get involved.”

McRaven is also active in the Student Government Association as well as serving as the announcer for on-campus Eutectics basketball games.

“Getting involved on campus is easy here because we’re a small school,” McRaven explained. “Also, Dr. Frampton and Dr. Moylan both understand that we’re going through a rigorous academic program and they are willing to work around our schedules and be flexible. I appreciate the support that both of them have given me.”

P3 Elizabeth “Lizzie” Nash

P3 student Elizabeth “Lizzie” Nash has been performing in the Concert Band, Jazz Club and acting in every stage play on campus since the beginning of her first year. She credits her acting experience with helping prepare her for her pharmacy career.

“Acting has given me more emotional intelligence, which helps me empathize with my patients,” Nash explained. “I have to use my imagination to get into the mind of a character, and this has taught me how to understand my patients’ points of view and communicate effectively with them.”

Nash also credits her music experiences with developing her teamwork skills, and she says serving as the outgoing Jazz Club president has helped expand her leadership skills.

“Bands don’t come together as individuals, they come together as a group, which is a good analogy for how interprofessional work should be done,” Nash explained. “In a band and on an interprofessional health care team, you’re not just listening to yourself, you’re listening to everyone else and joining in with your own part at the right time.”

Moylan notes that many of his undergraduate and professional students have expressed what an important role the performing arts programs at UHSP have played in enhancing their academic experience and preparing them for their future careers.

“Our work in the performing and liberal arts is to give undergraduate and professional students the opportunity to develop their humanity, in concert with their scientific knowledge, which in turn helps them at every stage of their career path,” Moylan explained. “When they practice their music or perform in a play, they are exercising a different part of their brain and tapping into their creativity. In the long run, these experiences also help them function in the professional world, from working on interdisciplinary teams to solving problems to communicating with patients.”

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis provides a world-class health sciences education in a tight-knit community that offers students many opportunities to build life-long connections. Learn more about performing arts programs at UHSP.

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