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Center for Performing Arts

Stage performance

The McDowell Center for Performing Arts (CPA) Program is the most comprehensive and fully integrated high school department of its kind in northwestern Pennsylvania. The Millcreek Township School District recognized the need to enhance the arts education of its large student body and established the department in 2003. Since then, we have experienced tremendous growth and now serve the needs of over 1,000 students each year!

We offer curriculum in the Performing Arts (with a focus in musical theatre), Choral Music, Instrumental Music, Music Theory, and Dance. We also offer elective course offerings in piano and guitar. Within the Department, we offer five instrumental music ensembles (including our award-winning McDowell Marching Band), three choral ensembles, and produce four major theatre productions a year. Our students also have the opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District, Region, All-State, and All-Eastern Festivals. As a department, we have graduates performing and working in the industry all around the world. Our graduates have attended The Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Otterbein University, Shenandoah Conservatory, Ithaca College, and many more.

Interested in getting involved? There is a place for everyone in McDowell's CPA Program. If your interest is in dance, theatre, instrumental music, or vocal performance, please consider one of our many offerings. No matter what your interest is in the Performing Arts, we can help you achieve your goals. Take a few moments and explore our website and learn about all the opportunities we have for you to get involved. We are confident you will find something that will interest you as we Sing, Dance, Act, and Play!


Brent D. Johnson
Director, Center for Performing Arts