Gifted Performers & Creators
In the gallery, the dance studios, the concert hall, the recital hall, and the flexible theatre, a rich and diverse arts season awaits you at Belhaven University.
Singing Christmas Tree
This annual event held during the first weekend in December. Started in 1933, the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree is considered to be the world's oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree tradition. Members of the Belhaven Concert Choir, along with alumni, faculty, and staff, typically perform the outdoor Singing Christmas Tree concert on the first weekend in December. A large new 35 foot tall wooden and metal tree structure accommodates up to 100 singers.
1/3 Student Artists & Performers
One-third of Belhaven’s traditional undergraduate students participate in arts classes and events
Over 50 Arts Events Annually
Dance and music recitals, plays and musicals, film screenings, holiday concerts, and more
4 Art Galleries/Exhibitions
Belhaven’s student artists display their craft in modern, high-tech arts facilities in the heart of campus
Bitsy Irby Visual Arts & Dance Center
The 42,756-square-foot Bitsy Irby Visual Arts & Dance Center is a best-in-class facility featuring five professional dance studios, a fully equipped dance performance theatre, computer design labs, photography studios and darkroom, painting, drawing and sculpture studios, faculty offices, and a beautiful art gallery.
Award-winning author Angie Thomas earned her BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University. Her first published novel, The Hate U Give, started as her senior project. It debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was adapted into a critically acclaimed film.
After Kris earned his bachelor’s degree from Belhaven, he apprenticed under the famous artist Thomas Blackshear. He’s now an award-winning art director with Penguin Random House, one of the world’s largest publishing houses. Kris and his wife Cheri were co-winners of the 2022 Belhaven Alumni Award for Arts Excellence.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate at Belhaven, Cheri performs with the Ormao Dance Company and teaches dance in Colorado Springs. In addition, she shares her passion with dance students at the University of Colorado and Ormao’s Dance for Parkinson’s program. Cheri and her husband Kris were co-winners of the 2022 Belhaven Alumni Award for Arts Excellence.
Shellie, a principal violinist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, was appointed as Acting Concertmaster for the 2021-2022 season following nationwide auditions.
Alberto works in sound design, video production and editing, and live event streaming at NewStage Theatre, Mississippi's only professional/regional theatre.
Since graduating, Seth has worked in film/video production in and around Nashville. He was the assistant director of a feature film in the summer of 2022 and is currently Content Creator of The Homestead Channel/The Homestead at Hardison Mill.
The Center for the Arts
The Center for the Arts — home to Belhaven’s music and theatre departments — features piano and computer labs, soundproof practice rooms, a flexible black box theatre, costuming and technical design areas, and numerous teaching studios, classrooms, faculty offices, and performance spaces.
The 800-seat concert hall holds weekly chapel services as well as numerous performances throughout the year.
Academic Degrees: The Scholarly Approach to the Arts
Belhaven University is one of only 34 colleges or universities in the U.S. nationally accredited in all four major areas of the arts: Visual Arts, Dance, Theatre, and Music.
Art + Design Events
Verse of the Year
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.