Calling all Gleeks and triple threats! The Arts Edge, an educational consulting firm, is offering a Broadway-inspired Scholarship for Arts Edge Summer, a unique two-week musical theater and college prep boot camp in New York City. Scholarship applicants will be reviewed by top-tier performing arts and education professionals including “Rock of Ages” star and former American Idol Finalist, Constantine Maroulis and “Memphis” headliner Chad Kimball.
The elite Arts Edge Summer program, offered August 9 through August 20, 2010 will give aspiring singers, dancers and actors specialized guidance on the admissions process from prestigious performing arts schools while helping students hone their performances. High school and college transfer students seriously considering a college major in musical theater will learn how to make their college applications, portfolios and auditions stand out so they can get in.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer the opportunity for a student to showcase their talents in front of Broadway superstars, while competing for the chance to attend a unique program that combines musical theater with college prep,” said The Arts Edge founder, Halley Shefler.
The Arts Edge Summer program incorporates daily performance-based classes with one-on-one college planning sessions led by top industry professionals from schools such as Boston Conservatory, University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Miami’s BFA Theater Program.
The Arts Edge Summer program and scholarship are open to high school students who will be sophomores through seniors in fall 2010 and to college transfer students. Applicants must submit a brief application online and a video of themselves performing two short, contrasting and age-appropriate songs from the Broadway repertoire: one ballad and one upbeat selection. Candidates will be judged on stage presence, repertoire choices, interpretation, tone quality, diction, musicianship, acting and intonation. The applications and videos will be reviewed by a panel of professionals that includes Shefler, who is the former Dean of Admissions at The Boston Conservatory, and Broadway stars Chad Kimball and Constantine Maroulis.
The Arts Edge Summer scholarship, with a value of $1,950, covers the full tuition of the summer program. Students must submit their application and video by July 12, 2010, and scholarship recipients will be announced the week of July 19, 2010. The scholarship does not include accommodations, meals or transportation. Additional information and the application for The Arts Edge Summer can be found at: www.theartsedge.com.
About The Arts Edge and Arts Edge Summer
The Arts Edge is an educational consulting firm specializing in helping high school students in the visual and performing arts navigate through the unique college application and audition process. The Arts Edge Summer Program was developed by Halley Shefler, founder of The Arts Edge education consultancy who was Dean of Admissions at The Boston Conservatory for more than 11 years. Ms. Shefler brings 30 years of experience in higher education including admissions and academic positions at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and The Longy School of Music. She has also served on the faculties of private and public schools in New York and Boston, including The Dalton School and The Rhodes School.
Reprinted from The Boston Herald, January 1, 2009, from The ARTS EDGE Website:
Q: Why did you decide to form The Arts Edge?
A: Students who are interested in the visual and performing arts are not always well-served by the resources at most high schools. Guidance counselors are spread thin, and they often lack knowledge about colleges with good programs in the arts. And, as public schools have cut back on arts education, students don’t have access to arts faculty who can provide advice and mentorship.
Q: What kind of guidance do students need?
A: First, many aren’t sure if they want a conservatory or art school education or whether they are looking for a more general university experience. Also, students often focus on just the half-dozen best-known schools and overlook other institutions with excellent programs that aren’t as well known. Then, once they have settled on a few target schools, they often have no idea whether they have a shot at their top choices, and how to package themselves to best effect.
Q: What do you mean by “package themselves”?
A: Competition for admission is intense these days, and it’s important for a student to stand out from the crowd. Admissions officers are looking for grades and test scores, of course, and evidence of outside interests and activities. They are also looking for a well-written application and essays that are thoughtful and compelling. This is true for any student.
But students in the arts have the added responsibility of preparing a portfolio or audition materials, and many have little or no guidance on how to do that. At The Arts Edge, we have that experience and can work with the student to prepare a package that shows himself or herself off in the best light.
Q: What kind of students will benefit from working with The Arts Edge?
A: The kind of students I like to work with are those who are passionate about what they do. I expect students I work with to be sincerely interested in finding a school that is the best possible match – not students who are interested only in the “name” schools or “party” schools, or students who are being pushed into college against their will.
There is so much emphasis these days on standardized testing, and many young people who are enormously talented artistically do not do especially well on those tests. I’m particularly interested in helping those students, as well as those who may be non-traditional or unconventional in background and outlook.
Q: Do you work with students from outside the US?
A: Absolutely! With email and internet resources, it’s possible for us to work very effectively with students in other countries who are interested in applying to schools in the US. In fact, we have quite a bit of international experience and can help students and their families navigate some of the logistical challenges involved in studying in the US.
Q: Why would a family choose The Arts Edge over other educational consultants?
A: Well, first and foremost I really love working with young artists, and am sincerely interested in making sure the student is matched with a school that’s best for them. My working style tends to be friendly and open, encouraging and nurturing, but I place responsibility for following through with the process squarely on the student. I know that the college admissions process can be stressful for families, and I work hard to keep everyone calm as the process unfolds.
I also bring an unusual and varied background to my work. I’ve been head of admissions at several institutions, including both academic university and conservatory environments. I’ve been both a teacher and counselor in secondary schools. I’m a performer myself – I’ve played the flute with several professional ensembles – so I understand the challenges of pursuing the arts. And, I’ve been through this process as a parent too!
Q: What are your expectations of the students you work with?
A: I expect them to be truly committed to their art, to be passionate about wanting to make art an important part of their lives. I expect them to be open and honest about their needs and wants, and to be receptive to my advice and guidance. I expect them to take ownership of the application process – keeping track of the process, keeping appointments, meeting deadlines. College is in many ways a young person’s first step into the adult world, and I expect students to approach the process of selecting a college like an adult.