Fine Arts Scholarship Audition Traditions with Heidi Baehr
By Madison Kobe ‘18
Every year, the Fine Arts department at Carthage offers prospective students the opportunity to visit campus and audition for scholarships. This covers Vocal and Instrumental performance and/or education, Music Theatre, Theatre, Dance minor, Art, and Communication and Digital Media (CDM). The days of auditions and events provide potential students the opportunity to meet and interact with professors and current students, and allow them to go on a tour of campus. As we are going into our fourth week of auditions, I was able to ask Heidi Baehr, the Fine Arts Administrative Assistant who helps coordinate the Scholarship Auditions, questions about the four-day event.
How is the event organized as a whole?
It’s a day-long event. The auditions or portfolio reviews are the mandatory portion, but there are other events. Both students and parents can attend talks by the Dean of the Arts and Humanities Division and by the department chairs. There are tours of the facilities that occur throughout the day, a concert, a music theatre performance in the evening, and the art gallery is open all day as well. This allows candidates and their families to see the wide variety of what we have to offer in Fine Arts.
What are the days like for the scholarship candidate?
It can be a very full day depending on the area of interest. Each department is different. The candidates check in roughly half an hour before their first scheduled appointment. Music and Theatre students have some warm-up time before their auditions. Depending on their major status, the music students may have a keyboard and music literacy test in addition to the audition. Music Theatre students have a dance call in addition to the other components. CDM has an open house where prospective students can meet current students and see their work, and the Art faculty take students on a guided tour through the art studios after their portfolio reviews. In between these mandatory pieces are other optional events for both students and parents.
How many years has Carthage been holding Scholarship Auditions?
Carthage has been holding merit scholarships auditions for decades.
How are the Scholarship Audition Days valuable to Carthage as an institution?
The merit scholarships give us an opportunity to connect with exceptional students from around the country. We want our students to have a challenging and rewarding educational experience, and having exceptional peers for inspiration is part of that.
What are the benefits of this opportunity for prospective students?
The Scholarship Days allow prospective students to meet and interact with professors, staff, and current students which provides a solid picture of what life at Carthage will be like and what opportunities will be available to them. They can begin networking with like-minded students and have friends already here on campus when they arrive in the fall.
How is it beneficial to have current students to volunteer at the event?
Our students can answer questions I would never be able to answer. They are living on campus and going through these programs, so they know everything about it. They can give the candidates very specific answers and advice.
What are some highlights of working this event? What is your favorite part of the event?
It’s great to meet students right at the beginning of their Carthage career. The college years are some of the best years in a person’s life where they grow and change so much in a short time. It’s a privilege to witness.
What are some obstacles you experience while coordinating this event?
Coordinating this event is like a working a huge puzzle. There are so many little pieces that go into it. Sometimes it seems like it’s just too much, but then all the pieces finally snap together in the end.
What advice would you give to a scholarship candidate?
Enjoy the day. While this is an important event, it’s also a fun event. Students sometimes become overwhelmed, because there are so many new people to meet and things to see. Prospective students should know that the faculty and staff are looking forward to their success, and understand what they are going through. We are always here to help.