BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Shenandoah Conservatory in 2019/2020
With college theatre program auditions just around the corner, we're highlighting some of the country's most prestigious theatre programs and chatting with the schools' faculty to give you insight into what to expect from their programs, from audition advice to real world experience and more. Today we're looking at the Shenandoah Conservatory. Check out info on the school and answers about their program below!
Shenandoah Conservatory, a part of Winchester, Virginia's Shenandoah University, offers degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, artist diploma and doctoral levels and produces more than 400 performances each year. Their program has more than 100 professionals in music, theatre, dance, and performing arts leadership and management acting as the program's teachers. Students are able to cultivate, practice and apply their professional skills through regional, national and international service experiences, training programs, and conferences.
What is the audition process for performing arts majors?
A pre-screen submission is required for approval (along with complete application package) in order for a live audition for the program. We audition on campus, in NYC, in Dallas and in Atlanta.
What tips can you offer to auditioning students?
Perform material that you do well RIGHT NOW. Do not try to be something you are not. You go to College to learn, so you don't have to show everything at once. Preparation is so important. You should know the material inside and out. Most importantly, have fun and be yourself.
What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?
Any notable alumni you would like to mention?
Do you see more students interested in working on stage or off?
The way that our curriculum and recruitment is structured, we aim for students that are eager to concentrate on the performance side of theatre. We do have students that learn as they progress through the curriculum that they have stronger interests in producing, arts marketing, etc. Most of our graduates enter the field as performers.
What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?
Every year we bring 12-14 NYC Industry based professionals to campus to work with the Seniors. They get quality one-on-one time with Talent Agents and Casting Directors, as well as Broadway Directors, Choreographers and Actors. We have a faculty with 4 Broadway Veterans with close ties to the Industry who provide mentorship. We encourage our students to work professionally in the summer. Shenandoah has its own resident summer theatre company - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. Finally, a Senior Showcase is presented for Industry Professionals.
What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?
We have an incredibly strong network of alumni. Our faculty use their connections in the Industry to help guide the students. We teach a class called "Preparation for the Theatre Profession" which helps the students understand all aspects for the life of a performer - everything from paying your taxes, to networking, reels, headshots and anything else an actor may deal with when first moving to NYC. We also provide access to Agents and Casting Directors through our Master Class/Audition series on campus.
How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?
Our Broadway Professors keep close ties with their connections and continue to work on new projects with Broadway professionals as to be up-to-date on current trends. We are the first University to utilize the teaching of healthy pop/rock singing for the MT. Matt Edwards, the head of our MT Vocal Department, wrote the book "So You Want To Sing Rock 'n' Roll" and is asked by several other MT Programs to present Master Classes every year. Additionally, we send our students on theatre trips to DC, NY and London to take classes and view the current trends in the theatre. Our professors continue professional development yearly as well.
Learn even more about Shenandoah Conservatory's program here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/32ppUXb4s4lDV/