You know those experiences where you leave and think to yourself, “That was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. When can I do it again?”? That is how I felt when I left College Audition Advantage just a couple weeks ago, right as the Berkshires were starting to feel like home.
Anyone reading this is probably wondering...uh...what is College Audition Advantage?
I am glad you asked! I will start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start. College Audition Advantage (CAA) is an intensive ten day summer program that develops all areas of the performer and their audition techniques. It is located on the beautifully rustic Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut. If you are a musical theatre or classical voice performer in high school or college, you will want to look into this hidden gem. Two summers ago before my senior year of high school, I was accepted as one of the fifteen students to attend the College Audition Advantage summer institute, and the connections I made did not stop there. This summer, I was asked to return as the Program Coordinator! This means I was in charge of making all of the personal student schedules, RA duties, social media work, and basically making sure each day was running as smoothly as possible, all while having private coaching and performing myself.
Here is what a typical day at College Audition Advantage looks like:
- Morning movement in the "Big House."
- Ensemble rehearsal for our two group numbers.
- Lunch, provided by our farm-to-table caterer.
- Private coaching with one of our four faculty members or guest artists.
- A masterclass given by a guest artist, an industry professional in the opera or musical theatre world.
- Audition playback, which means watching the recordings of our performances and analyzing how they could have been improved for an audition.
- And every once in awhile, a night out! My personal favorite is going to Tanglewood for any of their concerts.
If you would like to take a look further into a day-in-the-life of a student, and the setting of our program, check out my vlogs.
What makes this program so special is that our directors care about you developing into an incredible person just as much as an incredible performer. I believe the key to success for any young performer is to find a mentor that allows you to let down all guards and blossom. That is what I found at College Audition Advantage; mentors that I now consider family.
After the program concluded, I realized how blessed I am to receive an arts education from Western Michigan University and how far I had come in my two years away from Music Mountain. I choose Western because I felt the same connection with the professors as I did with the faculty at CAA. After a year in the BFA Music Theatre Performance program, I can say that every aspect of this school has exceeded my expectations. I am more than excited to jump back into class and continue learning about my art and its importance in this world.
I will be forever grateful that College Audition Advantage helped me discover my dream school, and I encourage others to consider the summer institute too!