Music Scholarships: The Audition Process
By: Felisha Rodriguez, Grade 12
My name is Felisha Rodriguez and I’m a senior at Clemente High School. I recently applied for a musical education scholarship to Columbia College in Chicago, IL. As part of the application process, I’ve had to perform two musical pieces of a genre of my choice. The pieces I chose were Chant and Tribal Dance, a classical piece by David Schaffer and African Marching Song, a South African folk song by John O’Reilly.
The auditioning process has proven to be a difficult one, both mentally and physically. In the initial stages of my planning, I chose the song Gavotte by the composer Gossec. Around the same time, I sprained by thumb and pinkie finger. This made playing this particular piece especially strenuous and painful. At this vulnerable time, I felt that the easiest choice would be to just quit and forget the entire auditioning process. I began to feel worthless and that my skills would not be good enough to attain this scholarship.
I decided to explain my situation to Matt McCanna, my mentor through the PRCC College Pipeline. My former senior seminar teacher, Mr. Van Loon, partnered me with Matt because Matt has a background in the visual arts and he could assist me with narrowing down my college prospects. When Matt mentored me throughout the process, he gave me information about his alma mater, Columbia College. Based on what I learned from Matt about the exemplary music program and the individualized attention provided at Columbia, I decided this school was the best choice for me. When I told him that I felt discouraged about the auditioning process, he helped me understand the pros and cons of persisting through and completing the scholarship application. Matt told me not to give up on myself, and I listened. With my new-found sense of determination, I successfully completed my audition that very day.
I’m so excited to hear back from Columbia about whether I’m awarded this scholarship. Whether or not I obtain the scholarship, I learned to never give up on myself and to keep my hope alive.