Electives Add Application Process

Nick Johnson, Staff Writer

Courses such as Yearbook, Chamber Choir, Advanced Drama and Drama II, and Journalism challenge students before they even enter the classroom. These classes require applications or auditions.

Junior Matthew Zurnacian, a student in Chamber Choir, said that the auditions are helpful in determining the best singers for the Chamber, which only accepted 22 singers this year. “It’s the top choir at Campo and it’s a small choir. A lot of kids try out for it, but only a few can make it,” he said.

Drama II student Lauren Raff agrees that, as the classes become more competitive, auditions are necessary to determine who gets a place in each class. She also notes that as the classes increase in difficulty, it is necessary to hold auditions. “I don’t think auditions are necessary for Drama I, but I think they are for Drama II and Advanced Drama because the demand to be in drama at Campo is heating up,” she said.

According to choir director Mark Roberts, auditions allow him to place students based on skill level. “The goal is to put students in a class where they are challenged the appropriate amount,” he said.

This is the first year auditions have been implemented for Drama II and Advanced Drama. Raff recently had an audtition to determine whether or not she would move on to Advanced Drama. She used her past Drama training to help with the monologue she performed for the audition. “I took what I learned from audition prep classes and applied them to how I would prepare and do this audition,” she said. She also was able to seek help from other people when preparing. “I had other people critically analyze my monologue. They told me how to portray the emotions that I felt,” she said.

Yearbook student Sarah Chu said  that the application process did not deter her from wanting to take the class. “I did Yearbook in middle school and the thought of having to do an application did not really hinder me, but it made me think twice about my decision,” she said.

According to Zurnacian, although the audition was difficult, it was worth the effort since it got him a spot in choir. “I had to sing a classical song in a different language, (Aro Miobien, Italian). I had to use pitch recall and do sight reading,” he said. Zurnacian compared the choir auditions to a test, saying that they help teachers learn the strengths and weaknesses of students trying out. “It’s necessary, but it’s also a lot of hard work to prepare for it,” he said.

Chu added that applications help teachers assess student investment. “They show a certain amount of commitment so students who are joining aren’t thinking that the class is an easy A,” she said.

According to Zurnacian, having auditions for choir is important. “A good choir consists of kids that are individually musical and good singers,” he said.

Roberts agreed with Zurnacian, adding that removing auditions “would be like not having tryouts for a sport.”