MT Certificate Auditions

<p>I was just wondering how difficult it is to get into the MT Certificate program once in the school as a BA Theatre major! I believe they take around 20 per year and I know that VPs audition too (though I know not all VPs audition for it and that not all Theatre people audition for it either), so I’d imagine it’d be very competitive. Can anyone comment on this? I’m worried about going to Northwestern and not ending up getting into the MT Certificate program.</p>

<p>Also, what is the audition like? Is there a dance audition or just acting and singing? Are there cuts/callbacks? What’s the process like? Any answers would be much appreciated!</p>

<p>There are others here who can answer this better than I, as D is a freshman and hasn't had her MT audition yet.</p>

<p>There is one important aspect of your question that I CAN speak to though.</p>

<p>Whether or not a student gets in to the MT Certificate program (which is very competitive), one can get incredibly rich MT training at NU. As a freshman D is not yet in the MT program, yet she sings with an amazing a cappella group 3 times a week, has been cast in two musicals plus a musical development project called Waa2, is in an MT voice class, has private voice lessons, is in an MT Performance seminar and has had dance classes every quarter.</p>

<p>She REALLY (really really really) hopes to get in to the MT Certificate program when she auditions in May, but based on what she's seen she is very comfortable that even if she doesn't get in (you can audition any/every year) she will have gotten some of the best MT training available in the country... so in her opinion the risk of not being admitted to MT is not nearly as worrisome as you might first think! </p>

<p>D says there are amazing talents at NU every way she looks, so whatever classes you are in (in ANY subject area) you will be surrounded by incredible people - peers, professors and alumni.</p>

<p>My daughter is in the MT program from Freshman year and she is now a Junior. I believe they take around 30 kids each year; more boys than girls - just the reality of the industry. Probably around 100+ kids audition each year. You can only be a Freshman or Sophomore to audition. </p>

<p>Generally speaking the audition is just one part of the acceptance process. The teachers have had a full year (or two) to observe and work with each student so their decision is based on that year, not 5-10 minutes which has its' pluses and minuses. From my daughter's year it seems as if they do call it right most of the time. A good friend of my daughters' (male) had done amazing things musically his Freshman year but didn't get in. He went to speak with the appropriate people for the reason and they said they didn't really think he wanted it. After the discussion he realized they were right. He has since transferred out of the SoC (not because of not getting into the MT program) but still performs regularly in their musicals. He enjoys the whole process much more now that it is a "hobby." Another girl is currently a Senior and she was rejected her Freshman year and waitlisted her Sophomore year. This girl was able to take all the MT classes and if she "proved" herself, she was in; they just wanted her to see how hard the program would be for her. She did prove herself and is very happy right now.</p>

<p>I do believe this is a great way to do things but it does color Freshman year a bit, making it somewhat more stressful Spring term. There are ways around not getting into the MT program and still having productive MT training, the teachers want everyone to succeed and be happy so they do work with you but it can be scary if MT is the only thing you will accept. There was a girl my daughter's Freshman year who was very panicked about getting into the program and her mom said she was talking about dropping out if she didn't get in, etc. She was admitted so all was fine.</p>

<p>I'm not certain what the audition itself is like but I'm pretty sure it does not include dancing and I'm also pretty sure there's no callbacks. I do remember that when we went to Wildcat Welcome (admitted students days) it was right when the list was up for the auditions and they were coincidentally holding an info meeting for the kids because there were rumors flying around and they wanted to calm everyone's nerves. My husband and I asked if we could sit in on the meeting and I was very impressed that they heard the panic and decided to deal with it immediately. They spoke specifically to some of the rumors and squashed them and also explained more thoroughly what would happen both before and after. That was when I fell in love with NU and David Bell.</p>

<p>I hope this helps.</p>

<p>Thank you so much; that completely helps! I feel a lot more comfortable about it all now - although I'd still be very nervous about it if I did go to NU (which, as it's one of my top choices and a PERFECT fit for me, seems extremely likely right now). Still, I'm planning to work extremely hard, so hopefully, if I'm not good enough already to make it into the certificate program, I will be by the end of freshman (or failing that, sophomore) year. Also, what a relief to know there's no dancing (I'm not a dancer in any sense of the word) - although I'm planning on taking three dance classes per quarter so I can whip myself into shape to be alright at a dance call by the end of school. NU is the only one of my schools where I can do that and get a well-rounded education at the same time, so it really is perfect!</p>

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<p>NU held MT auditions this weekend, so now I know a bit more about the process.</p>

<p>Singing auditions were held on Saturday (2 songs, but I'm not sure what length the cuts were), then on Sunday there was a Dance call and a short Monologue audition. There were no cuts or callbacks. I think there were 4 auditors on the panel, but I'm not sure. Hopefully others here can fill in more detail. </p>

<p>Apparently kids are supposed to hear by Thursday night. D says it was a large and very talented pool this year. Good luck to all who auditioned!</p>

<p>A bit of added detail. </p>

<p>In addition to singing, dancing and acting, there was also an essay component to the audition.</p>

<p>This year I think they admitted 15 freshman and 13 sophomores, for a total of 28. They took 9 freshman females (D was among them... hoorah!) and only 6 males, so apparently that ratio varies year-to-year depending on who auditions, or maybe depending on who graduates? </p>

<p>D said that with a couple exceptions most of the expected people were admitted (kids who are very serious about MT and have the training and talent to be professionally competitive). The one sophomore girl she knew who people had expected to be admitted last year did get in this year, so she assumes those who didn't get in this year will be admitted as sophomores if they re-audition. </p>

<p>Hope this helps!</p>

<p>One added bit that may or may not be relevant in future years. Apparently NO freshman Vocal Performance majors were admitted to the MT program this year. I'm not sure if there were any sophomore VPs admitted.</p>

<p>Congrats to your daughter, MomCares!</p>

<p>@soozievt - Thanks! She wasn't too worried either way, since she's already been able to get great training even outside of the formal MT program, but I'm sure it's always a relief to get those high-stakes auditions behind them. And also -- thanks for your great advice when I was unsure about NU last year! I know D is hoping she's able to meet your D when she's on campus. Do you know when she arrives?</p>

<p>MomCares,
My daughter will be attending the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern which takes place June 18 to 23. She has to book tickets but the plan is to go June 17 to 24. I believe it ends with a big concert she'll be in. Maybe your daughter could attend that. My D is looking forward to this opportunity. Right now, she is rehearsing and performing a show in Sydney, Australia.</p>

<p>FYI:

[quote]
The intensive six-day Evanston campus program of master classes and workshops will culminate in a showcase of new works by participant songwriters and a star-studded celebration concert.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Rehearsals for D's summer show start on the 11th, so they may be passing each other in the NU theatres, depending on where the Mercer folks work.</p>

<p>Hope your D has an amazing time in Australia!</p>

<p>OK, so maybe they will meet. Your D would likely enjoy the final concert too. </p>

<p>Which show will your D be in?</p>

<p>Thanks for the wishes for my D in Australia. I JUST got a note from her from Sydney!</p>

<p>She's in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART: THE ROMANCE OF RICHARD RODGERS. She's looking forward to it, as it will be her first legit production. I'm sure she'll attend the Mercer performances unless she has a rehearsal conflict.</p>

<p>Glad to hear that at least some college grads keep in touch with mom, even when they're working overseas. ;-D</p>

<p>It may be important to mention that, as far as we know, no kids at Northwestern leave the school based on not being admitted to the MT program. As has been mentioned earlier, kids in the Theatre program can still get some of the best MT training in the country, plus the whole NU experience is so amazing that very few kids ever leave the school once they've experienced it.</p>

<p>Not sure what you mean by leaving the school - NU itself or the SoC? I know about 6 kids who have transferred out of the SoC after not being admitted into the MT program, some still have major roles in major school musicals. They've transferred into Weinberg for History, Philosophy, some language major, can't remember the others. They realized that the professors and administration were right for denying them admission into the MT program as they prefer acting "for fun" rather than for profession. They are very happy at NU in a different major while keeping the acting there as an extracurricular. Was that unusual? I don't know, I do know they are currently Juniors, Seniors, and graduates.</p>

<p>If MT is important to them and they are denied entry into the program both Freshman and Sophomore years then there are ways to still accomplish much of the program but not all of it and some do go that route. There is also an attrition rate for straight theatre majors into other majors at NU.</p>

<p>Northwestern is a great school, but it's not perfect and it's not for everyone. Both the MT audition process and the program has it's positives and negatives, my daughter thinks the positives are greater than the negatives, but there are clear negatives. Never go into any program thinking there are no negatives, you'll be quite disappointed.</p>

<p>I was referring to people leaving Northwestern, which apparently doesn't happen often (tho of course it happens at every school).</p>

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<p>Absolutely true! The main reason I advocate for it here is in the hope that it might prevent someone from overlooking what might be the perfect school FOR THEM, since BA's tend to be underrepresented here and D could easily have overlooked it, which in her case would have been a shame.</p>

<p>Enough about NU -- back to the getting ready for next year thread</p>

<p>MomCares - thanks for all of the info re auditions.
Have you or your daughter heard any feedback about the "couple of exceptions" who were expected to get into MT but didn't? Are there certain weaknesses that are dealbreakers? Does GPA figure in at all? Faculty recommendations?</p>

<p>@reyshar - I'm not an expert on what goes on behind the scenes in the MT auditions, since I haven't met any of the decision makers AND I haven't seen all of the students perform. Based on what D said about the "expected" kids who hadn't gotten in last year, they were admitted as Sophomores so it could be as simple as having a very limited number of slots for freshman, so some are admitted the following year.</p>

<p>The MT kids I am more familiar with were all admitted as freshman this year, and they're all very talented kids who were also admitted to top BFA programs before choosing NU.</p>

<p>Based on what D says, there are so many great opportunities for everyone that no one has time to pursue them all, so even kids who don't get in as freshman have plenty of great training and performance options. She realized that early in the year, so the MT auditions weren't as important to her as I'd assumed they would be. She would certainly not have left if she hadn't gotten in, as there is no place she'd rather be (which makes me sad as she's staying for much of the summer).</p>

<p>I hope @amtc or others with different experiences can also chime in so you get alternate perspectives.</p>

<p>For those who find this thread in the future, several enhancements to the MT program are being rolled out starting this year. The most significant are that this year's MT auditions will be held during the Fall quarter versus waiting for Spring and additional MT Voice professors have been hired.</p>

<p>Also, for those interested in college A Cappella, a new film by Universal called "Pitch Perfect" opens soon. The film is about collegiate a cappella and was directed by Northwestern grad Jason Moore. </p>

<p>I haven't seen it, but D's A Cappella group is singing at an early pre-screen in Chicago in a couple of weeks. </p>

<p>Pitch</a> Perfect Movie | Official Site for the Pitch Perfect Film | In Select Theaters Sept. 28, Everywhere Oct. 5!</p>

<p>Hello. I am new to CC. Wish we had known about CC last year as D was struggling between pursuing MT BFA or BA. After going through all the auditions, she just couldn't give up her academics. She ended up turning down BFAs to come to NU which had everything she was looking for in a university. We just left her last Friday and she is so excited about the faculty, her PA group, her dorm, the campus, and last but not least, her classes.</p>

<p>D mentioned that auditions for MT will be at the end of Fall quarter as MomCare posted. She is also waiting to hear when a MT voice class will be scheduled this quarter and has her fingers crossed that it won't conflict with her current class schedule.</p>

<p>She thinks that these new changes and additions in the Theatre Dept. are an unexpected surprise and a great opportunity.</p>