Collegiate Creativity


Natalie Suh, Co-Feature Editor

The college application process is one that many seniors know all too well: essays, recommendation letters, test scores, college visits and transcripts. The whole thing can be dreary or exciting, but for the fraction of students who decide to pursue a more creative major, the process can be more complicated due to auditions and portfolios.
Campus life and class size are a few things to consider in addition to a major. For music students, the relationship with future professors is an important aspect to consider. Senior Tyler Bouque will attend the New England Conservatory in the fall to major in voice, and plans to add a second major in music composition during his second year.
“You have to feel an instant draw and personal connection with the professor,” Bouque said. “I had a lot of private lessons at schools to see who I click with, so NEC had the professor that I felt totally at home with.”
The audition requirements differ for those pursuing different disciplines.
“You take videos of yourself singing three different pieces in three different languages and send it to the college,” Bouque said. “For composition, you have to upload all of your scores, audio files, videos and essays online for preliminaries.”
If students make it past the preliminary round, they are invited to do a live audition for the professors. Senior Timothy Grieme went through this process when applying to schools for a major in music education.
“It’s very stressful knowing that whether or not you will be accepted is based upon a single performance,” said Grieme. “This is unlike other application processes where you have months to revise an essay and perfect every single sentence. I only had one shot at each of my auditions. If I messed up, I didn’t get a redo.”
Grieme will be attending Grand Valley State University for music education.
“I’ve known that I want to major in music since I was young,” said Grieme. “I can remember sitting in middle school band and telling myself, ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’ It was through the inspiration of band directors that made me come to the realization.”
When applying to art schools, students must put together a portfolio. It shows the college the student’s artistic skills as well as her or his originality. The process of creating an art portfolio can be long because of the time and effort going into each piece of work.
“I have a real passion for photography,” senior Deonte Newsome said. “Last year was when my passion for photography started, so over the summer and this year [my portfolio] just got better and better.”
Newsome has plans to attend the Art Institute of Atlanta next fall and then transfer to a fine arts school in California.
“I considered what would be best for me and how I could start off as my own person in the photography business,” Newsome said.
Senior Cheyenne Stage aspires to be a makeup artist, so instead of college, she is going to a cosmetology school.
“I’ve heard really good things about the Multimedia Makeup Academy,” she said. “I like them because they have different aspects, like beauty or something more gory and special effects. They teach you how to market and how to become a successful makeup artist.”
Her decision to pursue makeup was slightly delayed by her previous plans.
“I filled out eight applications halfway, and then I thought, ‘why am I doing this? I don’t want to go to college. I want to do something fun,’” Stage said.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 80 percent of fine artists were “very satisfied” with the opportunity to be creative in their work, while only 8 percent said the same about their income.
“People always told me to have a back up, but when you’re passionate about one thing and one thing only, how could you choose anything else?” Bouque said.