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2020 Audition and Interview Tips and information

ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
Hi All - we did the round of conservatories last year. My son made it through 4 of 5 prescreens and attended 2 auditions/interviews (NEC didn't have audition/interview for BM Composition, and he didn't get to interview stage with Curtis).

We'd be happy to share his Berklee and Boston Conservatory Interview/Audition experience if anyone would find it helpful.

Also our experiences of staying in Boston (he had to go twice).

Thanks! ClassCompMom
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Replies to: 2020 Audition and Interview Tips and information

  • ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also anyone can feel free to share their experiences with the process for others, ask questions, etc.

    Just wanted to provide a thread separate from Prescreen one to keep it clean :smiley:

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  • ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Where to stay? Book FAR ahead.

    We stayed at the Verb for the first interview - excellent location, fun hotel, lots of things to walk to, including walking distance and easy Uber from Boston/Berklee. Nice breakfast.

    Second interview - Midtown Hotel. I didn't stay - my son and his dad did. Said it was nice and great location.
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  • ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Travel?? We took the train from Philadelphia to Boston. It was easy, convenient and gave us time to relax. I'd splurge for the first/business - it's more comfortable :)
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  • raincatraincat 210 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @ClassCompMom thanks for starting the thread. We are currently in Miami for a visit to Frost. Does anyone have any restaurant recs in the area of the school or around Coconut Grove? We are scheduled for a tour of Frost, should we also do the tour of the U? Anything else fun to do in the area? We drove to Miami Beach this afternoon and put our toes in the water, that was nice to do in Dec!
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  • Musicmom2twoMusicmom2two 49 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @raincat we we’re just there for D’s audition. We went to Havana Harry’s which was right in Coral Gables one night. It was an amazing meal. Cuban food. The next night we went to Shorty’s in Kendall. It is probably the best bbq place In the state of Fl. It’s been around since 1951. My Mom went there when she was a child.
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  • raincatraincat 210 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @Musicmom2two thank you! Sounds great. I hope the audition went well, how exciting to be done with one, right? That's how S felt about it. Was it your D's first?
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  • compmomcompmom 11549 replies81 threads Senior Member
    @ClassCompMom sent you a PM
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  • Musicmom2twoMusicmom2two 49 replies3 threads Junior Member
    You are welcome. We think D’s audition went well. It was a long and intense day. This was her second audition. The first was Berklee a few weeks ago in Miami. This was much more than Berklee. D said the assessments were harder. We were there from 8am until 6pm. But it was because D is auditioning for a CAM minor.

    I think it would be a fantastic fit for D. They seem to celebrate all mushrooms not just performance majors. They also really appreciate multi genre musicians.

    We shall see! Fingers crossed.
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  • khill87khill87 94 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    For any future visits people schedule to Miami, we stayed in the Hampton Inn, Miami-Dadeland, which is one of the closest hotels to the U, and was clean and comfortable, with a free hot breakfast. It's possible to take the Metro from near the hotel to the University stop, and I wish we had done that, but we tried the hotel shuttle instead, which was not a great experience. (The hotel shuttle is supposed to be able to take you back and forth to the University, nearby restaurants, and the airport, but we had bad luck with the driver getting lost -- didn't use GPS and insisted he knew where he was going when we offered the street address -- and we also had difficulty reserving the shuttle, not because it was in use, but because the front desk made it difficult to sign up, so I would not count on it). I'm usually all about using whatever the local train or bus system is, but since this was a high stakes visit, after our not-so-great shuttle experience we stuck to Uber for the rest of the time, just to be sure we could get where we were going directly and without hassle.

    We ended up going to a restaurant in the downtown Dadeland area near the hotel (The Brick, a farm to table restaurant) one of the evenings, and it was lovely -- they turn the street into a pedestrian zone at night and put cafe tables out, and the street is beautifully lit, with holiday music. Food was good, if a little over-priced, and service was excellent. Although we walked all through the cute areas of Coconut Grove we were not there at meal time, so I don't have any restaurant recs from there, though there were lots that smelled amazing, with tons of sidewalk cafes. We mostly ate on campus, and I'd recommend the restaurant Lime, next to the outdoor pool on campus, for fresh, delicious tacos and Latin American fare. We also ate in the Hecht-Stanford dining hall -- nice space, but food was meh -- a couple of things decent, a couple of things definitely not good, but the tres leches cake was worth saving room for. (If you're not familiar with Tres Leches, it's a cake that looks like it's soaked in milk or cream. I've had it a lot and love it, and this was one of the been the best I've tasted).

    We also did the info session and university tour (which lasts a total of 2.25 hours). When we were planning our visit, we thought that timeslot was awfully long and were a bit skeptical (and made a plan in advance to skip out early if it was not great) but we found it to be the best such session we've been to on any campus, and well worth the time.

    edited December 2019
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  • raincatraincat 210 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @khill87 thanks for all the tips. We found good places to eat in Coconut Grove (Panther Coffee shop, Greenstreet Cafe, LoKal, Farinellis pizza) but if S gets an audition we will try the places closer to the school. Also probably stay at Hampton Inn, which was recommended by a friend.

    I saw Lime today but it wasn't mealtime. Watched the divers practicing, I'm always fascinated by diving, I don't know how those kids ever learn to do that, it's amazing.
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  • ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    We actually decided we're going to go up to Boston and back in one day. It's cheaper than staying over. We're flying - which is cheaper than the train and only a little over an hour flight. I know it's risky with Boston and weather, but worst case if weather bombs we'll go up the day before. Very glad for regional audition options for SFCM!
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  • runninglaterunninglate 65 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I have a question for the northerners on the board. We will be traveling to Indiana in either January or February, and with some luck, my daughter will have a few more auditions up north. What kind of shoes should I bring for walking around outside? Something like duck boots?
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  • LendleesLendlees 256 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @runninglate - duck boots aren’t insulated. Your feet will get too cold. I have some Sorels that are super warm and another nicer pair of boots with “thinsulate” lining. And wool socks are a must. Our audition last year at IU was sooooo cold so be prepared. Your D will need warm shoes/socks as well and then bring nice shoes to change into for the audition.
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    @runninglate If you only have duck boots and don't want to buy something heavier, layer wool socks and another pair of insulated socks. Unless you plan on hiking for 3 hours at a time, it should be fine for a walk cross campus and navigating residual slush. But be warned, last winter there were several -20 days in Chicago and nothing would keep you warm through that! You have to minimize time outside. Accept that winter is not the best time to tour campuses and if your D is accepted and needs a second look, going back for additional sample lessons (to help choose studio) and in depth campus exploration in April might be considered.
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    For warm and cute, Sorel wedges. There are some for around $150 on-line...as long as you don't need the newest models.

    For IU, you can check out IMU (Indiana Memorial Union) for their hotel. It's on campus fairly close to the audition site. There is also a shuttle bus from the airport to campus that many students use. In that way, you don't have to worry about driving in winter weather. IMU does fill up fast if there is a basketball game etc. Just a thought... If you can't stay there it's probably best to rent a car as the hotels in the town are a good hike away especially if it's cold. It's more expensive to stay in Bloomington (as opposed to on the outskirts where it's pretty reasonable) but if it's a quick one night, it could be worth a little extra to be closer to the action and get a feel for the town.
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1274 replies37 threads Senior Member
    We did seven auditions in bitter cold without snow boots! If you don't need them anyway, you will be fine with regular boots or even sneakers and maybe insulated/wool socks. Chances are you won't be doing that much hiking; walks and roads will be plowed. Bring your fancy shoes in a bag and don't worry!
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  • LendleesLendlees 256 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also IU gives a parking pass for auditions so if you can't get the close hotel you'll be able to park pretty much across the street from JSOM.
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  • runninglaterunninglate 65 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Such good advice. Wow! Thanks, everyone! I hate being cold, and the thought of having to walk cross-campus in my flats is too much. I think I'll wait to see if more northern auditions come through, and then decide how much to spend on boots. I love the Sorels, but they'd be used only a couple of times a year here.

    -20 below... I would never leave the house!
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  • ClassCompMomClassCompMom 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Just booked Cleveland and Boston travel. Flying both. Had to leave Monday morning to accommodate audition schedule :( but got a very early flight so won't miss work :)
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