What you need to be prepared for virtual auditions

School starts in less than a month! September 14th is just around the corner and all of us here at Encore are getting ready for the big day. One of the important events for the start of the school year is virtual arts conservatory auditions. These are happening on Thursday, August 27 starting at 10 am. If you want to sign up for auditions, these will be done virtually via Zoom and will be scheduled by your arts teachers. You only need to schedule an audition if you are trying to get into a conservatory or if you are trying to level up in a conservatory. You can register for virtual auditions by visiting https://www.encorehighschool.com/calendar .

A few days ago, our arts teachers had a meeting online to make sure that we could share with all of you what you need to be ready for your audition on Thursday, August 27. The following information will help you be prepared.

Auditions will be done virtually through Zoom on Thursday, August 27 2020. They will be conducted as individual auditions (not as a group). The purpose of the audition is to introduce each other and to decide what level classes would fit you best, to ensure a successful school year. No matter the level you are applying for, the structure of the audition would be very similar within each conservatory.

The audition assessment forms for each conservatory will be shared over the coming days as they are being modified for virtual auditions. The following information has been provided by the teachers that will conduct the virtual auditions on the 27th.

DANCE - Students should be in an area with space to move and good lighting. Each student will be assessed by at least two of Encore’s dance teachers. Students will be leveled based on their mastery of skills. Specific assessment forms will be shared over the next few days.

CIRQUE ACROBATICS - Students will be asked to demonstrate specific stretches and workouts based on their auditioned class. They will be judged based on the technique of their movements and number of workouts. Students will also be asked to demonstrate a coordinated flow of movement to music. Specific assessment forms will be shared over the next few days.

VOCAL MUSIC - Students should have a song prepared to sing a cappella and by memory. The choir teacher will also lead the student through various vocal exercises. In addition to hearing their song and the vocalization, the choir teacher will teach the student a short excerpt of a choral song to determine the student’s skill level at holding their own choral part while other parts are played, as well as their skill level of choral blend.

VISUAL ART - Students will be asked about color theory/schemes, elements of art, principles of design, and artists in history. Students should have artwork to be evaluated by the instructor. The artwork can be in a portfolio, sketchbook, or just separate art pieces

PHOTOGRAPHY - There will be three parts to the process; A portfolio review, a quiz and an interview.

The portfolio: Please submit a collection of five to twelve of your best photos. These can be on a website, a powerpoint or even a Google Drive folder. They can be prepared for online viewing and do not need to be overly large file sizes. Please no social media links. Choose one photo and write a two paragraph description of the image. One paragraph is whatever technical information you know about the image. Such as, what type of camera you used, any processing or filters used, what programs. The second paragraph is why you created the image. Where were you? What you wanted to show. Any specific decisions or thoughts that went into creating an image. How did it make you feel? how do others respond when they look at it.

The quiz: Both new incoming students and returning students will have to take a brief quiz. Before or during the assessment. Incoming students should be prepared to answer questions about why they like photography, what their goals in photography are, more interview or essay style questions. What about the camera inspires you to create photographs. Returning students looking to raise their level should be able to answer questions about light, exposure and composition.

FILM - Students will be asked a series of questions covering film industry terminology and vocabulary. They may also be asked to explain the basic concepts of composition and framing as well as common filmmaking techniques. An example of previously filmed material is recommended, even cellphone footage is acceptable. Students entering film for the first time will need to have a basic understanding of movie genres, simple concepts of visual storytelling as well as be able to name some of their favorite films and directors. All film classes are high school level classes for grades 9-12.

CULINARY ARTS - To audition for Restaurant Occupations the student will need to submit a resume, a letter of recommendation and a portfolio. The audition will consist of an interview and a portfolio presentation. During the interview the student will be asked Safety and Sanitation questions. The portfolio should consist of 3 dishes the student has made. The portfolio should include the recipe of the dishes they made along with pictures of their mise en place, pictures during cooking and pictures of the end product.

COSTUME DESIGN - Prior to the audition students will be sent a character description and will be asked to create a design for a costume for that character. During the audition we will discuss the design and how the costume and accessories represents the various aspects of the description given. The student will also be asked a series of questions regarding terminology and technique to assess your skill level. We will discuss the students costume/sewing goals to determine the proper level placement to ensure a successful year.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC / BAND AND ORCHESTRA - Band and Orchestra auditions on zoom will be based on two parts. Part 1 will be a music terms and symbols test. You will be shown pictures and pieces of sheet music while you are asked questions about what you are seeing. (Ie. What time signature is this piece in, What dynamic level should you be at here, What's the second note?)

The second portion will be a playtest. You will be asked to play a short piece of your choosing, a few scales, and sightread a short piece of music. If you do not have your own instrument or access to one at the moment, your audition will be based solely on the 1st portion but it will be made longer and more in-depth.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC / PIANO - Before your audition you should warmup your fingers before you join the audition.

During your audition:

1. I will ask questions to get to know you.

2. We will cover some music basics – basic music theory include note reading, rhythm, chords, scales etc

3. You will play a piece (or pieces) for me – I may stop you in the middle of your piece due to time restrictions. Please do not be concerned if you do not have the opportunity to perform all of your pieces from beginning to end.

4. We will discuss your placement.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC / GUITAR AND DRUMLINE - The purpose of the audition is to introduce each other and to decide what level classes would fit you best, to ensure a successful school year. No matter the level you are applying for, the structure of the audition would be very similar:

· Brief intro with Q & A. I might ask you about your background with playing the guitar, why do you choose it as your instrument etc.

· The second section would be covering some basics:

Guitar: position, rhythms, notes, tabs and chord charts reading, as well as playing a scale or two.

Drumline: position and basic rudiments – single stroke, double stroke, paradiddle

· In the last section of the audition, I will ask you to play sections of two preferably contrasting songs of your choosing, that represent you and your abilities best (same for drumline).

This would conclude your audition and we will discuss your placement.

ACTING - Students auditioning into the Theatre Conservatory are required to memorize and prepare two contrasting monologues in any style OR one monologue and one contrasting musical theatre song. Monologues should be between 1-2 minutes. Musical theatre pieces should be about 30 seconds or 16 bars, performed acapella or with a self-provided karaoke track. Be prepared to answer questions about your performance pieces in the format of Stanislavski's 7 Questions, and be familiar with general theatre knowledge, stage directions, and basic techniques.

If you have any questions about the upcoming auditions, you can reach out to the teacher that will be conducting the audition via email. They will be able to respond to specific questions. The offices are closed this week so you may experience a slight delay.

Dance - Ms. Haley - hwhiting@encorehighschool.com

Cirque Acrobatics - Ms. Kylee Moats - kmoats@encorehighschool.com

Vocal Music - Mr. Bob Hekel - bhekel@encorehighschool.com

Visual Art - Ms. Alejandra Gomar - agomar@encorehighschool.com

Photography - Mr. James Quigg - jquigg@encorehighschool.com

Film - Mr. Josh Barkdull - joshuabarkdull@encorehighschool.com

Culinary Arts - Ms. Eileen Radzik - eradzik@encorehighschool.com

Costume Design - Ms. Sandi DelSole - sdelsole@encorehighschool.com

Instrumental Music / Band & Orchestra - Mr. Brian Forbes - bforbes@encorehighschool.com

Instrumental Music / Piano - Dr. Grace Choi - gchoi@encorehighschool.com

Instrumental Music / Guitar - Mr. Nikola Chekardzhikov - nchekardzhikov@encorehighschool.com

Acting - Mr. Brandon Hill - bhill@encorehighschool.com

No matter how the year starts out, we are preparing for another fantastic school year. Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.


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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.

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