Meet Our Students!

Sadie Wuertz, she/her/hers

Music Performance Major, Vocalist

Hi, I’m Sadie! I’m a junior English and Music major working on a vocal performance focus from Denver, Colorado. I’ve taken voice lessons at UP from Dr. Nicole Hanig and Dr. Lisa Actor for almost four semesters now. I’ve grown tremendously over these short two years, and I’ve had countless opportunities to perform--from performance workshops and music at midweek concerts to NATS competitions. I’ve also been involved with University Singers since my freshman year. Though being in an ensemble is a requirement for my music major, Singers cultivates such a close and exciting community that I would join even if I didn’t have to.

Outside of UP, the music program offers tons of exciting opportunities! This summer (July 2020) I’ll be traveling to Italy with a couple other UP students for almost a month to participate in an opera intensive program called Music in the Marche. The voice staff at UP helped greatly in making this opportunity available to students as well as overseeing the audition process. UP offers so many events, clubs, and opportunities outside of classes that it’s easy for me to find ways to get out of the practice rooms every once in a while. For example, I’m an editor for UP’s literary magazine, Writers, and I’m involved in the honors program! As someone who has grown up with music their entire life, I’m grateful for the opportunity to develop my craft and push my boundaries at UP’s music program. In the future, I hope to be able to use both of my majors in the future as a music journalist and editor, but no matter what, I can’t wait to see where my music degree takes me! I can be contacted at and I’d be happy to answer any questions!


Maddie Southard, she/her/hers

Theater Major, Design and Dramaturgy

Maddie, a junior, spends her time working on design projects and acting as a dramaturg on UP productions. She also spends time working in the scene shop building and painting sets. When she's not in the theater, she can be found reading a good book or exploring the beautiful outdoor spaces around the city. Below is the Scenic Design Note from her design for Wolves Eat Elk by MJ Kaufman in Dec. 2019. 

"The future of the environment and the fight against climate change seems bleak.  Reports emerge every day about how time is running out and there is little hope in changing our course.  Big businesses continue to control legislation regulating emissions and it feels like we as everyday people are powerless.  Yet, there are so many little things we can do to ease our own impact on the environment.  For me, this play specifically encourage me to look at what I could do in my own life to make positive change and to keep an optimistic outlook on the future.  That is what inspired me to design this set with sustainability in mind.  Almost everything you see before you was repurposed, recycled, or saved from life in the landfill.  None of the major materials were purchased new.  Upon further research, I learned that not many theaters and designers practice sustainability and the industry as a whole, is far behind in climate consciousness.  Although this is just one set in an entire world of productions, I hope that by practicing sustainable design, I can encourage other designers to do the same elsewhere.  International sustainability is the best way forward.  How can you sustainably alter your daily habits and choices?"


Jade Ward, she/her/hers

Music Performance Major; Instrumentalist

I chose UP because I loved the small school feel and tight knit community. Having smaller classes really helps further my education by allowing me to be a more active participant in class. I really love the opportunities being in a small school environment presents and the community it provides. 

A class I enjoyed: Liturgical Music. It was a really in depth look at music in the Catholic Church and introduced me to something I had previously only had surface level experience with.

Jade Ward

Grant Hobbs, he/him/his

History and Economics Major, Music Minor

UP, especially the PFA department, is a very friendly and tight knit community. There's a huge sense of comradery I have felt in my time in the Jazz Ensemble that makes playing with the group that much more fun and rewarding. Inside and outside of PFA, all professors I've had are very welcoming and friendly, and I always feel like a valued part of whatever academic circle I pass through.

I really enjoyed the "History of Jazz" class offered at UP. Besides being incredibly fascinating stories of cultural history, studying jazz history helped me to better understand my own playing and become a better jazz musician.

Grant Hobbs

Olivia Sloss, she/her/hers

Theatre and Psychology Major; Gender and Women's Studies Minor

I chose to attend UP because there is flexibility to peruse multiple degrees, as I am interested in intersecting multiple fields of study. The small class sizes allow for a focus on each student's theatrical growth, and for students to develop a connection with each other over their four years. 
I really enjoyed my Directing I class. Even though the course was held virtually, we were presented with projects that still allowed us to think creatively about staging, blocking, marking a script, and developing detailed approaches to shows.
Olivia Sloss