Visual and Performing Arts Talent Awards recognize high school seniors with exceptional talents in the arts including instrumental or vocal music, visual arts, theatre performance, technical theatre, sound design/audio production, and/or music composition.
Incoming first-year students pursuing any major at Michigan Tech who plan to actively participate in musical ensembles, stage productions, take coursework in visual arts, or work toward a degree, second degree, or minor offered through the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Department are welcome to apply.
Multiple students will be awarded annual scholarships valued up to $2,000 per year. The awards are in addition to other financial aid and scholarships awarded by Michigan Tech and are renewable for four years (eight semesters) of study based on active participation in the VPA Department.
Who Should Apply
High school seniors who have been accepted to Michigan Tech may present work in music (instrumental and vocal), theatrical dance, acting, sound, visual art, music composition, and technical theatre. If selected for a Talent Award, students must actively participate in musical ensembles, stage productions, take coursework in visual arts, or work toward a degree, second degree, or minor offered through the Visual and Performing Arts Department to retain the award.
How to Prepare
Whether you're planning to audition in person or electronically, prepare the following elements for your audition(s).
- Visual Art: bring a simple portfolio of original art work; if applying electronically, submit a
4-6 minute video of you addressing the following
- Show one or two of your works of art and discuss your art, your creative process, and your interests
- Explain if your projects were assignments or self-directed works of art, how you make creative decisions, and what areas of your work you feel are strong or need improvement.
- Show one other work of art by a different artist (not your own work) and tell us why you respond to this artist and this work of art.
- Theatre Performance: perform or submit a short monologue (1-2 minutes) from a play or film
- Technical Theatre: bring or submit photos or other materials showing your experience working in technical theatre (sets, lighting, costumes, sound, backstage management)
- Sound Review: share audio recordings and/or experiences you have in working with live or recorded sound
- Music Composition: bring or upload an original composition for review
- Vocal Performance: perform or submit a vocal solo (art song, aria, or musical theater) that highlights your voice; an accompanist will be provided for in-person auditions, videos may include an accompanist if desired
- Instrumental Performance: perform or submit a solo and scales on your selected instrument
- Woodwinds: 3-5 minute solo; one major scale, two octaves; one chromatic scale, two octaves
- Brass: 3-5 minute solo; one major scale, two octaves; one chromatic scale, two octaves
- Strings: 3-5 minute song/etude/concerto movement; one major scale, three octaves; one chromatic scale, three octaves
- Piano: 3-5 minute solo; one major scale of your choice, four octaves, hands together; one chromatic scale, four octaves, hands together
- Percussion: Play a solo or etude on your selected instrument, a demonstration of time is important
- Snare: Rudimentary awareness and dynamic control
- Timpani: Tuning, dynamics, and ability to move around the drums
- Mallets: Facility (scales may be used in addition to the solo) and multiple mallet technique
Applying in Person on Preview Day
COVID-19 Update: In-person auditions have been canceled. You may submit a video or digital audition by March 31. See the Applying by Video or Digital Submission section below for details.
Applying by Video or Digital Submission
- Complete the free online application for admission.
- Prepare your audition materials—additional details are provided on the file upload portion of the application and in the How to Prepare section above.
- Submit your Talent Award application and electronic audition materials no later than 11:59 p.m. (eastern time) on March 31, 2020.
Application Deadline and Other Important Dates
- Mid January: Application opens for in-person and electronic auditions
- Mid February: Confirmation emails for in-person auditions begin to be sent.
- March 31: Last day to submit an electronic audition by 11:59 p.m. (eastern time).
- April 15: Award recipients are notified; applicants not selected for an award will also be notified.
What We Are Looking For
The faculty of the Visual and Performing Arts Department is interested in hearing and seeing artistic work by students who have been accepted into any major on campus. Students are evaluated on artistic quality and proficiency of presented work. Faculty will consider needs in programs and ensembles and the ways in which student abilities can be utilized in the department.
Additional Scholarship Details
See our Financial Aid VPA Talent Award page for additional details.