William Jewell College senior Katheryne Baker, vocal performance major, has been accepted into all four graduate programs for which she auditioned. Baker was offered auditions at The Boston Conservatory, University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, University of Colorado Boulder, Westminster Choir College at Rider University and Florida State University (FSU). Baker decided not to audition at FSU due to a change in faculty.
Baker explained the audition process as “dual-step.” First, a student must apply and be accepted to the university itself, and then he or she may apply to the music department. Baker said this supplemental application was the difficult part, due to the varying requirements among schools. What every school did require was a formal video submission of Baker, and her accompanist, performing about 20 minutes of music.
“It’s super hard, because you can’t edit your recording, so they have to be nearly perfect in one take,” said Baker.
The specific requirements for the repertoire sung in these videos varied among schools, but in general, Baker said that within 20 minutes of singing, her music had to represent four languages, three musical eras and specific types of song requirements, meaning arts songs and arias.
After Baker submitted her videos, she was accepted to five schools for live auditions, which consisted of 15 minutes of singing. This acted as an audition both for the school and for scholarships.
“You get no feedback about any of the music. You just either get accepted or declined. It’s pretty cutthroat,” said Baker.
Baker has not decided which school she will attend next year but has until April 15th to do so. She knows she will be continuing her study of vocal performance and emphasizing in opera studies. Baker says she plans audition for professional opera companies after receiving her graduate degree.
“My future goals don’t involve settling down; in fact, just the opposite. My dream is to travel the world singing opera,” said Baker.