By Sean Donato and Laura Mortkowitz
Once students graduate, there is usually the initial panic that there is no more school to fall back on. Welcome to the real world. Thirteen graduates from Westminster Choir College (WCC) were lucky enough to have more guidance.
On May 14, WCC held its inaugural music theater showcase for the first students to graduate as music theater majors. The showcase, held in New York City, gave the graduates the opportunity to perform in front of professionals in the field.
Associate Director of Alumni Relations Joseph Capone helped plan the showcase and invited “casting directors and agents and producers to come and see what our students are capable of doing,” he said.
“These students have had classes in all areas so when they step out into the industry they will be well prepared,” Capone said. “Some of them have already done some professional work and this is just to continue the process.”
WCC Dean Robert Annis understands many students dream of Broadway and they need help along the way.
“We had a good number of agents show up at the first show,” said Annis. “That’s the goal, to get these kids on stage, getting experience to get their names, faces and abilities in front of the agents.”
The first students to go through the program at WCC are a small group. Alumna Tara O’Connor appreciated the help the school would give.
“I’ve only been taking lessons and studying this since Westminster,” she said. “I feel like we’ve had a lot of faculty and knowledgeable people come in and point us in the right direction.”
Annis believes that WCC’s unique curriculum helps its music theater majors get to Broadway.
“It’s that musical experience combined with the vocal core which is at the heart of our curriculum,” he said. “In addition, our students have the skill and training that prepare them for this profession.”
Nova Thomas, assistant professor in the Piano and Voice Department, expected good responses from those gathered.
“They’re a very, very talented crew,” Thomas said. “We’ve already collected callback sheets, and already there are two agencies who have asked for materials from every single one of them.”
With such positive responses, perhaps life after WCC isn’t as frightening as O’Connor thinks it might be.
“It’s a scary world,” she said. “You really never know until you get out there how you compare or how it really works.”