auditions and tryouts on campus

Posted : March 2, 2005
Last Updated : December 16, 2019

auditions and tryouts on campus

College isn't all about academics. It also gives you the opportunity to be involved in many other activities. Perhaps you want to be on a college dance team? Maybe you are interested in auditioning for a campus choral ensemble? Here are some general guidelines to help you prepare for campus auditions and tryouts.

Choral/Band Auditions

Colleges and universities have a variety of choral and instrumental groups available for student involvement. These groups can range from a cappella ensembles to jazz bands and usually require auditions. Choral/band auditions are usually held during the spring. For most vocal auditions, you will be tested on tone, pitch, range, sight reading, and song performance. For band auditions, you will usually be tested on style, tempo, dynamics, scales, tone, range, and sight reading. Be sure to have scales memorized and be prepared for sight reading; these two facets are the most important when auditioning for band. Most colleges and universities also have scholarships available to students who participate in or have a background in band and/or a choral ensemble. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you will typically have to audition. Keep these tips in mind when audition day arrives:

  • Dress for success. No jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers.
  • Arrive to the audition early.
  • Warm-up before you begin your audition.
  • Bring a CD of your performances to give to the judges.
  • Continue to play/sing even if you make mistakes.
  • Take the time to concentrate on your performance. Don't rush through.

Theater Auditions

Most colleges and universities have a theatrical department. If you are interested in majoring in drama, you may or may not have to audition in order to be accepted into the major. However, you will definitely have to audition for plays, and often times you will have to audition for scholarships. If you do have to audition in order to be accepted into the major, then you will probably have to set up an audition appointment. Most campuses will have a couple of dates set for on-campus auditions, and some campus reps may even travel to regional cities to hold auditions. Auditions for plays are usually advertised on school websites and social media accounts. Often, these auditions are open call. You may be required to come prepared with a monologue, or if you are doing a musical, you will need to come prepared with a song. Check with your school to see if there are guidelines on the kind of performance you should present, such as contemporary, classical, dramatic, or comedic. Sometimes you may be required to perform a cold reading, which is where you will have no prep time to study a script prior to reading it on stage. For play auditions, you are usually tested on how well you can read, project your voice, memorize lines, and follow directions. Judges will also look for whether or not you have the potential for growth, a sense of humor, and the ability to identify with the character(s). Remember these tips for audition day:

  • Choose a lesser known monologue/play and be ready to answer questions about the whole play.
  • Wear clothing that gives you freedom to move around but still remember to look neat and professional.
  • Try to show that you are eager and ready to take risks.
  • Don't go over the time limit set for your audition.

Dance/Drill/Cheerleading Tryouts

Tryout requirements for dance, drill, or cheerleading will vary between teams. For most dance/drill/cheerleading tryouts, you will be tested on flexibility, posture, correct execution of movement, proper alignment, and body weight transfer. Find out as much as possible about the squad you are interested in before you audition. Know their skill requirements, tryout curricula, style, required stunts and jumps, costs, travel obligations, any orientation activities, grade requirements, weight limits, time expectations, and so forth so that you can prepare accordingly. Tryouts for dance/drill/cheerleading are usually held in the summer or early fall. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for tryout day:

  • Dress appropriately. Try to find out if there is a dress requirement. Do you need to wear certain colors? Is active wear appropriate?
  • Make sure your hair looks neat. It is often required that you tie your hair away from your face with a simple hair accessory.
  • Wear minimal make-up and no jewelry.
  • Keep your facial expressions relaxed.
  • Speak loudly and distinctly to the judges.
  • Concentrate on showmanship, form, and execution.
  • Stay positive. Never say you can't do something.

Athletic Tryouts

Intercollegiate athletics are an integral part of many colleges' extracurricular activities. Some athletes are recruited by coaches, and others must tryout as walk-ons. If you want to tryout to be an athlete, you will first need to find out if your school belongs to a certain association, such as the National College of Athletics Association (NCAA), the National Junior College of Athletics Association (NJCAA), or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). For NCAA Division I and II schools, you will have to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center in order to be able to tryout for any team. Other schools may not require you to go through the Eligibility Center process. You need to check with your particular school to find out what is required. Keep in mind that you still have to apply to your college of choice even if you register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. If you will be attending a junior college and want to be an athlete, you will need to see if your college requires athletes to meet the basic eligibility requirements of the NJCAA. Here are some tips for being a college athlete:

  • Talk with your high school coach as soon as possible to see if he has any contacts with college coaches.
  • Don't rule out any school that wants to recruit you. Keep your options open.
  • Visit the school you want to attend and watch a practice. Notice how the athletes interact with the coaches.
  • Make the first move in contacting a college coach. Coaches recruit athletes who want to be at their school.
  • Send a video showing your athletic skills to the coach at the school you want to attend.

Audition and tryout requirements and guidelines will vary between each college/university. Since the above-mentioned guidelines are general, you will need to talk with someone at the college you want to attend in order to find out what specific guidelines pertain to your school. Good luck with your auditions and tryouts!

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