Special Reports

MA Top 30 Professional: Connor Bogenreif

December 5, 2023 | By John Fleming

Career Advisor
College of Performing Arts, Chapman University

A perennial question for Connor Bogenreif to answer is: “What can you do with that degree?” Bogenreif is career advisor for the 400 undergraduates majoring in music, dance, and theater in the College of Performing Arts (CoPA) of Chapman University, located in Orange County, CA, with a total enrollment of 10,000. “We do get that from parents,” he says. “The earning potential is higher in other industries than in the arts, and jobs may be more obtainable. Many of our students do have kind of a one-track mindset about only being on stage. For me, it’s mainly a matter of lowering their blinders. I encourage them to explore how many career options are actually available to them.”

Bogenreif’s own profile is a good model for students. A cellist, he graduated from the school’s conservatory in 2015, and then went on to earn a master’s in cello performance at California State University, Long Beach. Now he balances his time between his CoPA work and his cello, freelancing as a sub with orchestras. He is also on the board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras

 “After finishing my studies, I still wanted to perform, but I also realized that I liked the administrative part,” says Bogenreif, who worked at the Long Beach Symphony in operations and education before returning to Chapman. “I tell students that having a performance background is really valued on the administrative side of music, dance, and theater institutions.”

Students hone their artistry from faculty practitioners. “Where I can help is with how to manage the business side of a career. I can also be a help in navigating the audition process.”

He sees performance training as a transferrable skill in the job market. “Performing arts students are effective communicators, and being in a music ensemble, a dance company, or theatrical production, they learn how to work as part of a team. Those are skills employers prioritize.”




Law and Disorder by GG Arts Law

Career Advice by Legendary Manager Edna Landau

An American in Paris by Frank Cadenhead



Search Musical America's archive of photos from 1900-1992.