Music prospectives attend School of Music overnight


Anyone who walked into the Green Center for the Performing Arts on Monday would have felt the excitement in the air. Prospective students for the School of Music hovered over music binders, instrument cases and cookies from Café Allegro, talking quietly.

This weekend was one of four School of Music overnight auditioning programs that the university holds every year. Each month from December to March, prospective music students can combine a visit with their admission audition. Director of Admission Earl Macam said the exact number of students who visit varies.  

"It depends on the weekend — you could be auditioning 20 kids, it could be 40 kids. It could be 50 kids, or 60, it just depends on the weekend," Macam said. "So there really is no set number that's out there. In fact, like yesterday and in the previous weekend last month, they started auditions on a Sunday. That's how busy they can get."  

While students have the option to schedule an individual interview instead of participating in the overnight program, Macam said most students choose to come for an overnight visit.  

"Many of our students, a good majority of them, maybe even 90 percent of them, come to one of the audition weekends," Macam said.  

This program has been going on for a while — Macam remembers being a prospective student for the School of Music and hearing about the weekend.  

"I started searching for DePauw back in the fall of 1991 and spring of 1992, and although I didn't come to one of the prospective student weekends I remember hearing about them," Macam said. "So it goes way back, back before I was a prospective student."  

A typical day for the visiting students consists of an audition, a practice lesson with a professor specific to their desired area of study and attending a rehearsal for an ensemble. Students are also encouraged to attend a staff recital or any of the other music events that go on during the the weekend.  

Colleen McArdle, a prospective student from Fort Wayne, Ind., enjoyed the events she went to after arriving Sunday.  

"I attended two of the concerts here, one put on by the choirs and the band and orchestra and then also the faculty recital, and both of those were very impressive," McArdle said. "It's clear that DePauw's music is very well done, very well orchestrated."  

McArdle's mother, Jennifer, also praised the events planned by the program.  

"The events were so well planned yesterday from start to finish. She was busy, which was very important," Jennifer McArdle said.  

This full schedule is a part of the experience, and while it can seem bustling at moments, prospective student Rudy Lagunas said his campus experience also gave a glimpse of everyday life at DePauw.  

"I met my host who was actually in the 21st Century music concert . . . he showed me that his experience is exactly like mine — you're not always doing exciting things. We did homework the entire night but it was fun," Lagunas said. "It was fun, and I met a lot of his friends."  

Lagunas is considering transferring from Columbia University in New York, where he is a freshman. He hasn't made a decision, but he said DePauw offers a more relaxed atmosphere that he enjoyed while staying with a host this weekend.  

"I love the campus. It's very different from what I have now, but it's a good different," Lagunas said.  

This weekend offers the students many different opportunities. Attending classes and sample lessons gives the prospectives the opportunity meet both faculty and current students. For Lagunas, his classes gave him something to take home as a reminder of his time at DePauw. 

"I went with [a friend] to percussion tech and I learned how to play the timpani," Lagunas said. "It was awesome because I had never touched a percussion instrument. It really shows me that there is so prepares you for basically anything which you do in the education field."