Gavin Blonda '25

How do you choose a major at UNH? Our How I Chose My Major blog series highlights students from different colleges across UNH and explores how they chose their majors and minors, what they've learned through their programs, the coolest places they get to study and so much more!

Today, Gavin '25 talks about combining a Musical Theatre degree with a Business Administration degree, and the benefits of finding a school where you can pursue multiple different passions at once

gavin blonda '25, musical theatre & business administration
Gavin Blonda

Gavin Blonda

What is your major?

Business Administration: Management B.S., Theatre: Musical Theatre B.A.

Performing in "Little Women" at UNH

Performing in "Little Women" at UNH (spring 2023)

What did you think you wanted to major in before you came to UNH?

I always knew I wanted to study business as I’m passionate about live entertainment and the performing arts, and wanted a degree that could support a career working in producing and management in the theatre industry. I believe that since the theatre industry is a business, it should be viewed as and run like one as well. Since most producers and leaders in the field don’t have a background in business, I find there is often lost potential for the projects they’re trying to accomplish.

Why did you choose your major? 

There aren’t too many schools where you can accomplish two full-degree programs that have absolutely no overlap. Usually, people are double majors within their own college or specialty, but as someone who is passionate about both performing onstage and in the business side of the industry, I wanted to make sure I had both of those disciplines under my belt before graduating.

I initially came to UNH as just a business major and figured I could perform in shows on the side, but after being cast in the spring production of "Into the Woods," I discovered there was the capacity within myself and within my schedule to pick up the second performance degree. I have a lot of thanks to give to Tom Alsip, the head of Musical Theatre at UNH, for all the time he’s spent with me making this work. I have also utilized the help of my Paul College advisor, Tegan Smeltzer, who takes on the challenge with me of navigating a course schedule every semester.

Performing in "Bye Bye Birdie" at UNH (fall 2022)

Performing in "Bye Bye Birdie" at UNH (fall 2022)

What are some of the top places on campus you frequent for your major?

This is an easy question for me, as most of my nights throughout the semester are spent at the Johnson and Hennessy Theatres on campus. I’ve been in a Theatre and Dance department musical just about every semester so far in college, and with rehearsals about every night from 6-10, the Paul Creative Arts Center is easily the building I spend the most time in. I also spend a good amount of my time in Paul College as well, usually when I need a nice place to focus, relax or meet with people. The Paul breakout rooms are definitely my favorite place to get group project work done on campus.

What’s the coolest part about your major?

I think the coolest part about my major is that I get to explore a lot of different sides of the theatre industry, as well as myself. It’s not uncommon to go from ballet straight into finance or accounting, and need to completely reframe where my brain is at when I walk into class. It’s really cool and special for me to get to explore multiple majors, colleges and disciplines simultaneously, which can keep my work and studies from ever getting stale.  

Performing in "Songs for a New World" at UNH (spring 2023)

Performing in "Songs for a New World" at UNH (spring 2023); Photo credit: Ron St. Jean

What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing a major?

I would say don’t limit yourself into what paths you believe you can and cannot pursue. UNH makes it really easy to take on multiple majors, or focuses at a time, and if you have the drive and passion for a few things in particular, I would work to combine your loves in any way. If you’re a nursing major who grew up dancing, a dance minor and even the dance company can be the best way to supplement some arts into your day. It’s really easy to sculpt your time in college to what fits your needs. As long as you can make it happen for yourself, it can really make a difference!


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