Scapa Auditions During The Pandemic



SCAPA piano student Grace Anne Preston practices piano.

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the world last year. Many in-person events had to be canceled or moved to an online platform such as Zoom or Google Meets. Auditions for SCAPA Lafayette also had been moved online. SCAPA Lafayette is for students in 9-12th grade who are identified as gifted in Band, Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Drama, Literary Arts, Piano, Strings, Visual Arts, or Vocal Music. They help gifted students further develop and enhance their talent. SCAPA students have won numerous awards and honors over the years. To be identified as gifted in one of these areas, going through an audition process is required. Student auditions during the 2020-2021 school year took place during the worst part of the pandemic. How would they go through with the auditions? Would they do it at all? Though it was a difficult time, they did push through it with Zoom as a virtual option.

Auditions on Zoom were very frustrating with wifi problems, miscommunication, etc. I was one of those students auditioning last year as a piano major. It was a new experience for everyone, especially the teachers/judges who supervised the auditions. The auditions would usually be in person but, because of the pandemic, the format had to change to an online platform. Though it was nice being in a familiar setting (my home) while auditioning, and I found it less nerve-racking, there were several problems that I had. Some of these problems included the wifi connection, setting up my computer to where the judges could see me and the piano, volume trouble, and finding a quiet location in my house. I could tell it would have gone much smoother in person, but of course, we didn’t have that option at the time. Doing an audition during a pandemic was very hectic, but it was all worth it in the end since I now go to SCAPA Lafayette as a Piano major.

Another person who auditioned during the pandemic was Parker Bell (Freshman), who attends SCAPA Lafayette as a Vocal Music major. “I was actually pretty okay with it considering I wouldn’t have to deal with the nerves I would usually get if it were in person. But I definitely struggled with how little time the audition had to be, along with just how isolating it felt to not be able to see my vocal trainer in person or to formally meet any of the SCAPA judges.” Bell had a similar situation auditioning as many of the students did last year, including myself. This included not being able to fully experience in-person auditions like many previous students auditioning for SCAPA. There are always upsides though. “The process was a LOT less stressful knowing that I could have multiple tries on singing the two pieces I had considering those were sent by video, and just being able to feel more comfortable in a better-known environment definitely calmed down the situation a bit.” She, as well as other students, considered the online auditions to be less stressful. With being at home and having video or zoom auditions, it made the audition process much easier for many students. “But all in all, it was a good experience for me!” Bell proclaims.

Auditioning during a pandemic was a challenge in so many ways. There were both positive and negative experiences by students during this difficult time. Based on positive student experiences, auditioning at home was a less stressful experience because you were in a comfortable environment. On the other hand, a negative experience was the frustration with computer technology. In the end, students feel it was well worth it. The experience was fantastic for many, and it was such an honor to get chosen to represent a terrific program at a great high school in our district.