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Discover the art of underscoring and supporting live theater with music

The UCLA Pit Orchestra Summer Institute is an immersive two-week program designed to equip high school musicians with the skills and knowledge essential for thriving in the dynamic world of playing in a pit orchestra. Participants will embark on a musical journey, learning the intricacies of preparing a musical production, refining sight-reading abilities, exploring the music business and various platforms in technology, and honing a wide array of musical and collaborative skills. From rehearsal techniques and orchestration to networking in the industry, this program offers a comprehensive exploration of the pit orchestra landscape.



Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. The program fee also includes the cost of UCLA Housing (for mandatory housing programs). In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.


Program Fee
Registration Fee
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)
Total Estimated Fees:
* Fees only apply for certain student types

Meet Your Instructors

Noel Cano Hearn


Noel Cano Hearn is an AmSAT-certified Alexander Technique instructor, having gained her certification from the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles in 2017. She was also awarded a Master of Music in Choral Conducting in 2007. Her experience ranges from private and classroom education to public radio programming, production, and hosting. She has taught music and Alexander Technique at various institutions, including Loyola Marymount University, California Institute of the Arts, the National Children’s Chorus, Bloom School of Music and Dance, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ross Chitwood


Ross Chitwood teaches singing for the Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. A passionate teacher and performer, Chitwood constantly strives to foster a creative and open environment for students to learn. He spent several summers with the Aspen Music Festival and has enjoyed performances with Houston Grand Opera, Aspen Music Festival, The Long Island Choral Society and Juilliard Opera, to name a few. He now performs regularly as a soloist, and serves as music director at a church in Los Angeles. He maintains a robust private voice studio in Hollywood and is a member of the voice faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. His students enjoy a high level of achievement, with many signed to major record labels and several performing on Broadway, including the runaway hit Hamilton.

Paul Kay

Musical Director

Paul Kay holds a B.M. in Instrumental and Choral Education from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Paul began his college level musical training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and years later continued developing his craft at Cal State University in Los Angeles, and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Paul resides in Kailua Kona, Hawaii and is currently the music and movement director at Kokua Academy. He has an active private studio of talented music students in Kona. Since moving to Hawaii, he has musical directed shows at the Aloha Theater in Kealakekua, Hawaii.

Recent show credits include The Rocky Horror Show and Seth Rudetsky’s musical, Disaster. Paul has musical directed over 20 fully staged musicals including Grease, The Boyfriend, Annie, Once Upon a Mattress, Guys and Dolls, Seussical, The Drowsy Chaperone, My Fair Lady, Oliver, Damn Yankees, Little Shop of Horrors, Kiss Me Kate, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, Pippin, Now. Here. This. (virtually) to name a few. He is the former director of musical programs at the Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California, former music specialist of Nasri Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the former music department chair and choral director of the Mirman School in Los Angeles, California.

Special honors include a conducting fellowship in 2013 at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with the Cincinnati Youth Choir and a Bravo Award Honorable Mention for Los Angeles music educators. Paul was a quarterfinalist for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award. In his role as an active music director and conductor, Paul has conducted vocal ensembles in some of the finest concert venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Riverside Church in New York, Symphony Center in Chicago, Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County, CA, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Davies Symphony Concert Hall in San Francisco, and the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal, Canada. This is Paul’s sixth year as musical director at the UCLA Musical Theater Summer Institute.