GSA arts program accepting applications

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GSA arts program accepting applications

By Sophie South, Reporter

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As you’ve heard on the announcements throughout the day, students around Greenwood have heard about the GSA program, but aren’t actually sure of what this is. GSA stands for Governor’s School of the Arts, a three-week summer program for outstanding students. Upcoming sophomores and juniors for next year are eligible to fill out an application and try out, but you have to go to a Kentucky school or be homeschooled in Kentucky.

There are several different programs at GSA, which include Architecture and Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Musical Theater, New Media, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. All applications are to be turned in by December thirty-first, and If you advance, recommendation sheets will be emailed to you, and are to be filled out in February. Also, you will be emailed a date and time to show up for the next round of auditions and the program starts during the summer. Each program they offer has a different process and different requirements. All of the areas require you to be at your scheduled review to audition.

For Architecture and Design, you need to prepare a portfolio of nine different art works you have created. You need to take your prepared portfolio with you to your audition.

For Creative Writing, there will be two rounds to you audition. You will need to turn in a manuscript with your application, and results from your applications will be back around January 29th of next year. For your manuscript, you can write fiction, poetry, playwriting, and/or creative nonfiction piece. If you are seriously being looked at at your audition, you will be reviewed with four other applicants, and this review in the spring will last around 45 minutes.

For Dance, you will be dancing ballet, modern, and composition for your audition. Additional classes might be taught in jazz, hip-hop, character dance, and flamenco depending on schedule in the spring. They will also have two parts to their audition. The first part is a three hour master class in the ballroom, which you should be experienced dancing in this scene before trying out for this program. The ballroom will be open thirty minutes before for anyone to come in and stretch and practice. You will be learning modern and ballet techniques in the class, and you don’t have to prepare a piece for the audition. The second part of the audition includes a interview twenty-thirty minutes prior to the class about yourself and your dancing. Women attending the audition need to wear pink convertible tights, a dark-colored leotard, your long hair secured in bun, and ballet shoes for the ballet portion of the class only, the modern class is taken in bare feet. Men need to wear dark tights, a white t-shirt, ballet shoes for the ballet portion only, modern class is taken in bare feet. For your interview, dress in casual but professional clothes. Don’t wear dance or warm-up attire for this portion of the audition.

For the Drama portion, you must prepare a monologue from an actual play. They recommend you to not perform a monologue from Our Town, Brighton Beach Memoirs, St. Joan, or anything written by Wade Bradford. Don’t download a script from the internet, and you should pick a character close to your age without a dialect. Your monologue should be memorized and shouldn’t exceed ninety seconds. You are not allowed to use technical props, but they do provide a chair to use. You shouldn’t use a monologue with offensive language or material, and you need to provide a current headshot of yourself for the judges to keep. Make sure to attend the spring audition, and the tryout will last around 45 minutes. Your order of the audition will be warm-up exercises, participating in improvised scene work, presenting you prepared monologue, and given a brief interview about yourself and your acting. You will be evaluated at your audition on your vocal and physical expressions, emotional honesty, intellectual understanding, collaborating with others, and expressing your imagination as an actor.  For more information and tips for this section of GSA, click here.

There is also a section in GSA for Instrumental Art. This program introduces students to broad music styles, and helps teens become better musicians. The instruments include piano, guitar, percussion, woodwinds and brass, and strings. For helpful tips on your solo audition in the spring you could potentially receive, click here.

For the Musical Theater portion, you will prepare a one minute monologue and two songs. One song needs to be a ballad and the other an upbeat, one from a contemporary musical (1970 and after) and one from a standard musical (before 1970). For more information on this portion, click here.

In the category New Media, the focus is on communicating through photography and videos. You will learn more technical material, and you will approach media you may have never knew about. You have to submit a portfolio of ten works if you were accepted. The works include scripts for movies and/or storyboards, videos (documentary, narrative, or shorts), still photography (without extreme Photoshop alterations), audio files, prints, drawings, paintings and 3D works that may apply, and any relevant digital art (this includes, but is not limited to computer generated music, altered images, or designs). For more statics on your possible audition, click here.

For Visual Art, GSA offers three different concentrations: drawing and painting, sculpture and ceramics, and traditional printmaking. You are required to prepare a portfolio of nine of your works you’ve created, and you also need to bring a sketchbook or box.

Lastly, you can enter into the Vocal category at GSA. This vocal category is designed to develop each student’s fundamentals in music and to teach and encourage healthy and natural tone. You will be learning music theory from the past, and learning how to become a better sight singer.  To turn in with your application, you will need to prepare a solo that is around two to four minutes long. Memorizing your solo is suggested, but not required. You want to chose a song that will showcase your skills, without being simple. Your selection doesn’t have to be in a foreign language, and rap selections are not appropriate for this program. Make sure to attend your audition in the spring, and you will need to prepare another solo. You will also perform a sight-reading exercise and a pitch memory exercise the judges will present to you. In the pitch memory exercise, a series of notes will be played by the accompanist, and you will need to sing the pitches back unaccompanied. You will also be participating in a brief interview over your singing career and talents. For your solo, there will be an accompanist provided for the auditions. You have to use the provided accompanist, and you need provide music for the accompanist. GSA accompanists are not allowed to rehearse with you for rehearsal or in the practice-rooms. You may bring an accompanist of your own or tape an accompanist playing the music to bring along with you for the warm-up and rehearsal. You are not allowed to use your accompanist or your taped recording of the accompanist for your audition. In addition to the accompanist’s music, you must provide a copy of the score for the judges also. You will be assessed on vocal potential, accuracy of pitch and rhythm, tone production, diction, proper musical interpretation and sight-reading. For more information on the vocal audition, click here.

If you are interested in entering into the GSA program, you can fill out the application here. A part of the application due in December are two essay questions you can chose to write about. One of the essay questions is “Explain your commitment to the art form or forms you are applying for, and what has it meant to you in the past and how do you see it impacting your future development and career goals.” (If auditioning in two art forms you can either speak specifically to each art form in separate paragraphs or address the two art forms in a combined response.) The other essay question is “Describe a significant experience that has had a significant effect on your life and/or your work as an artist.”  You have to complete the application in one sitting, and you can’t change it after you submit it. They recommend that you fill the application out online, but you can also send it in. There is a limit of 1,700 characters including spaces, and there is a application fee of ten to fifteen dollars depending on if you are entering into one or two the possible categories.

If you need any feedback or need help choosing a song for your audition, Mrs. Osborne is more than willing to help you for your audition for the Vocal Music. It is never too late to prepare for this audition, but starting early might lessen your nerves for the final audition. I asked Mrs. Osborne for advice for future applicants for the programs, and she states that it would be a good idea to get a professional or a coach and listen to their advice. “Students all over the state audition for this program every year and very few are selected to participate. It is in your best interest to start your preparations early and practice regularly, as it will help set you above the rest.” Make sure to take this program seriously because you might not even have the chance to try this again. This is a great program to join in for sure, and you will learn many aspects that you’ve never known about.

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