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Interview: Auditioning for Colleges? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre Help


Interview: Auditioning for Colleges? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre Help

Auditioning for college musical theatre programs this season and don't know where to start? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre be your guide for CMT Unifieds, taking place October 9-11, 2020!

Cleveland Musical Theatre is your one-stop-shop, 3-in-1 event for VIRTUAL college auditions, school panels, and masterclass workshops! At college unified audition weekend, you'll have the opportunity to individually audition for the most prestigious college musical theatre programs in the country, learn about schools in engaging Q&As with the heads of programs, and work one-on-one in college prep workshops with the chairs of two top musical theatre programs - all without leaving the safety and comfort of your own home. Join Cleveland Musical Theatre for the earliest college auditions available in the country and make this year of virtual auditions the easiest process possible!

Below, BroadwayWorld checks in with Education and Artistic Director Miles J. Sternfeld to learn even more about the advantages the the Cleveland Musical Theatre program brings to auditionees.

How exactly has the process changed now that it's happening virtually this year?

After listening to the advice of vocal health experts about the dangers of COVID-19 transmission with in-person singing during the pandemic, we've decided that the only way to operate a safe unified audition experience for the students and faculty is to go virtual. The silver lining is that we're actually going to be able to offer so much more on our virtual platform - more schools to audition for, more workshops, and more talkbacks/panels with heads of programs, college audition experts, and college advisors.

The process for the student has changed drastically in that they need to learn how to properly set-up for a virtual audition. This is something we teach our students in advance to ensure their auditions go as smoothly as possible. We anticipate every high school student will need to learn this method as the whole college audition process starts to switch to virtual platforms. As we're the first college unified audition offered in 2020, we're really pioneering the virtual process for these students.

Interview: Auditioning for Colleges? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre Help

Can students still expect to get a 'personal' experience?

Absolutely. What makes our event different is that it's exclusive (students must be accepted through an audition process) and we offer private, individual auditions - not a consortium. The difference is that a private audition is a one-on-one audition with the head of the school you're auditioning for vs. a consortium which is doing one audition for multiple schools at the same time. You run the risk at a consortium of not being satisfied with your audition and only getting one opportunity for 20 schools. The individuality and private nature of our auditions give the students that personal experience of speaking directly with the college auditor. We have also designed a system with Zoom which allows us to run our program nearly identically online without losing any of the personal experience.

Can you tell us more about which colleges are involved?

Interview: Auditioning for Colleges? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre Help We have a wide range of colleges audition with us - well-known, established programs like Baldwin Wallace University, Marymount Manhattan College, Wright State University, Webster to name a few, but we also have some new and very exciting programs joining us this year that students will get to learn all about during the school talkbacks and Q&As. The event is a great opportunity for students to learn about new programs they might not have known about otherwise. A lot of them actually end up choosing these newer programs for their final acceptance which is exciting!

What advantage do you think participants gain in auditioning so early?

Auditioning early for students puts them at a major advantage. As you may know, auditioning for college musical theatre programs is highly competitive. Some students audition for forty different schools and some programs only accept fourteen kids out of thousands of applicants. We are currently the earliest college audition available in the country which allows students to get early acceptance to programs before any other students have even auditioned. It puts them at a huge advantage when they go to audition for other schools and already have 5 acceptances under their belt. They also have the confidence that they've already been accepted to some great schools and have real options for next year. It really helps them prepare for their future auditions by taking the stress off of the audition process.

Do you find that participants are generally satisfied in participating in a unifieds experience rather than pursuing schools individually?

According to our post-event surveys, the vast majority of students say this was the easiest, least stressful college audition experience they had all year which I am very proud of. Additionally, 100% of our students recommend our program to future seniors auditioning for college musical theatre programs. The workshops help them audition at their best, the talkbacks give them insight into each school, and the auditions are very organized and relaxed. Of course, they're going to have the advantage of auditioning for a large number of schools in one weekend which makes their lives so much easier but they're also going to create a support system of friends and coaches to help with their audition process, learn about new programs, achieve early acceptances, and gain confidence moving forward with the rest of their auditions.

Interview: Auditioning for Colleges? Let Cleveland Musical Theatre Help

Are other programs available for high school underclassmen?

For freshman, sophomores, and juniors who are not ready to audition for college musical theatre programs yet, we also offer a virtual college audition prep intensive. Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with professors from the top musical theatre programs to prepare for their auditions which have included Carnegie Mellon University, Baldwin Wallace, CCM, Wright State University, Point Park University, and more. Parents and students gain invaluable information on the college audition process in a 3-hour seminar from College Audition Coach expert Mary Anna Dennard. This event also takes place in conjunction with our unified weekend which gives students additional insight into the college audition process.

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