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Any Questions?

RSP9404RSP9404 Posts: 19Registered User New Member
Hi all! I'm a freshmen MT major at Penn State and I ABSOLUTELY love it here! If you have any questions about the program or the audition please feel free to PM me! :) Break legs this year!
Post edited by RSP9404 on
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Replies to: Any Questions?

  • ATLASTATLAST Posts: 140Registered User Junior Member
    Since this is the first year for prescreens at Penn State, could you please let us know the process for submitting these, and also what date you recommend they should be submitted by? Thank you!
  • monkey13monkey13 Posts: 624Registered User Member
    And how long it takes to hear back once you've submitted the prescreen....? Thanks!
  • md311mtmd311mt Posts: 154Registered User Junior Member
    My son heard back in 24 hours. We were surprised that it was so quick.
  • classicalbkclassicalbk Posts: 767Registered User Member
    RSP9404- Can you tell us about your freshmen experience? Your schedule, your training, etc?
  • RSP9404RSP9404 Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    Sure! So far things have been truly incredible. Penn State was always where I wanted to go personally, so being here thus far has been a dream come true. For those who want a conservatory style B.F.A. MT program in a large university setting, this is a true fit. I desperately wanted to branch out into a large college community, so I really couldn't be happier! The faculty here is absolutely incredible. I have already seen so much improvement in myself and my classmates in the short two months that I've been here. As a freshmen, our first semester schedules consist of Class Voice, Private Voice, Music Theory, Ballet I, Acting Foundations, Theater 100 (Art of Theatre), English and Theatre Freshmen Seminar. Our second semester schedules consist of Class Voice, Private Voice, Sight Singing, Ballet I, Acting I, Voice and Speech, Movement Studio I, Fundamentals of Design, Production Techniques, and MT Form and Analysis. I consider myself a singer first, and the voice faculty here is absolutely phenomenal. As a freshmen, you have class voice twice a week with both Dr. Beverly Patton and Mary Saunders-Barton, and then a private lesson each week as well. I take lessons with Dr. Beverly Patton. So far, they have been laying the foundation of our voice training in classical music with both italian and english art songs, as well as expanding our Broadway repertoire. The Penn State voice faculty operates under the assumption that by the end of senior year, MT students have incredibly broad ranges both vocally and stylistically. They truly prepare you for almost anything. Just recently, they had Sheri Sanders, a rock musical specialist, do a three day master class with the upperclassmen to help them increase/improve their rock repertoire. As for dance, Spence Ford and Michele Dunleavey are heads of that department, and are wonderful as well. The freshmen take ballet their first year to lay a strong foundation in dance. Students at a beginning level take ballet three times a week, and those with an advanced background take it five times a week. Sophomore year we begin jazz and tap, in addition to ballet every week. Then junior and senior year, in addition to ballet, you take MT Styles class, which is basically a class that teaches the original choreography to multiple iconic musicals (A Chorus Line, The Wiz, Chicago, Fosse, Oklahoma) in order to give students a taste of each MT style, and to give students an upper hand in those specific auditions. Another awesome class is MT Studio, which starts sophomore year. It's basically a class designed to increase your MT repertoire, where students are given solos, duets, ensemble numbers etc. to perform. As for the season, this spring we are putting on Leonard Bernstein's Mass, Spelling Bee, All Night Strut, and Love Labour's Lost. Sorry for the huge essay I could just write all day about PSU! :) Overall, I am so incredibly happy here and feel as though I'm a part of a huge family. Everyone here has been beyond welcoming, and I couldn't have asked for a better freshmen experience thus far! Please let me know if you have any more questions!
  • monkey13monkey13 Posts: 624Registered User Member
    Wow, thanks RSP9404! The program sounds truly incredible! My d was just invited to audition, and she is very excited. How are the acting classes at PSU?
  • classicalbkclassicalbk Posts: 767Registered User Member
    Good job, RSP!! We've needed a "freshmen experience" essay for PSU on CC. This was very helpful. (If you have a spare moment, you might copy your essay into the MT thread called "The Freshmen Experience." Thanks so much!
  • RSP9404RSP9404 Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    Hi monkey13! Acting classes here have thus far been great! We first semester freshmen have started out with Charmian Hoare in acting foundations. She's really been having us do some interesting and collective ensemble work, really working to develop our core instincts as actors. What's great about PSU is not only do they focus on acting, but we take classes in voice, speech, and Shakespeare as well. The acting faculty here is really phenomenal. We take numerous classes throughout our next semesters in both Shakespeare and Acting, and junior year we eventually take acting with Susan Schulman (2 time Tony Award nominated director).
  • psucatpsucat Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
    To add to the acting question--most of our acting classes are taught by the MFA professors, so we truly have incredible teachers guiding us. The acting portion of the program is stellar and very strong! As a graduate, I always feel like my acting is a strong point in my auditions and feel very confident going to any type of audition with my training (not just MT). I didn't go into the program thinking acting was my strong suit, and after four years, it was definitely my strongest suit!
  • monkey13monkey13 Posts: 624Registered User Member
    Thanks SO much RSP9404 and psucat!!! PSU certainly sounds phenomenal. Now if only my D can get into the BFA program! :)
  • takeitallintakeitallin Posts: 2,123Registered User Senior Member
    My D is a senior in the MT dept. this year and would agree whole-heartedly with psucat! She felt like acting was her weakness when she started out as an MT. I am continually amazed at her progress in all areas- but especially in her acting. She has a confidence on stage that was not there when she started out. Her acting originally was exactly that-acting- 4 years ago. Now when she is on stage, she melds with and becomes the character- I sometimes forget it is my D on the stage. While voice was always her strong suit, I am also amazed at her progress in that area. As far as dance, she feels like she has progressed from a "mover" to a real, live dancer. PSU's MT program has been phenomenal for her, and the small class size in a large university atmosphere has been the perfect setting for her.
  • bklynBridge95bklynBridge95 Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    Do you happen to know how many people will be invited through the prescreens? When I went on a tour they told me that they wanted to make sure that whoever was auditioning was serious because last year they got of people who really didn't care but I'm concerned it might hinder us I guess.
  • actsandsingsactsandsings Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    Anyone have an idea of how intense the dance audition is. My S is doing LA Unified audition...he is a singer, actor, dancer in that order with dance being weakest link. Just wondering if anyone can comment on the process as it says students "may" be invited to interview with faculty.
  • RSP9404RSP9404 Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    I can answer that! So on campus and off campus auditions work a little differently. On campus, the dance call is the first portion of the audition in the morning. Then you sing your two pieces and perform your monologue, and if the faculty feels you may be a good fit for the program you are invited to interview with them. However, at the unified audition, you sing and act first. Then if they feel you may be a good fit for the program, they will invite you to dance and may ask you some questions in an interview like fashion. Don't have him freak out about the dance call! They really look for personality and potential in dance, not just precise technique. They do both a ballet combo and a jazz combo. Although they are challenging, as I said before they look for personality and potential to learn. I myself am a singer first, along with many others in my class. Tell him to not freak out and just do the best he can! :)
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