Stress Test

Author: 
Danielle Lowe, Student Journalist

Each year, the GRAMMY Camp audition process becomes increasingly selective, adding more pressure to aspiring music industry professionals. Because of the enormous number of high school students trying to break into the industry, it's expected for many students to feel stressed and overwhelmed with the process. Between song selection, article pieces, video essays, deadlines, not to mention end of the year homework rush, the pressure is definitely on. 

Audio and Video Engineering student, Shelby Locke, says she doubted herself daily whether she would actually get accepted. To increase her chances of getting accepted, she auditioned for all three Camp locations and was accepted for two out of the three. Other GRAMMY Camp students, Emma Simpson and Brody Mills leaned on each other for support by auditioning together. But between final essays and homework to turn in, their audition came down to the last possible moment. "My video essay was literally sent in at 11pm right before the deadline. We had so much going on," says Mills. Simpson and Mills were also met with panic when acceptances were released and Mills was accepted two days before Simpson. Thankfully, she soon got her call and the two of them were ecstatic.

Siblings Emma Depuy and Jack Depuy were accepted into the Songwriting and Bass track respectively, but didn't actually intend on auditioning. "Another one of my friends asked me to play bass in his video and I did. I didn't really know much about GRAMMY Camp at the time,” Emma says. “Then, the GRAMMY Camp people called my mom because they had somehow gotten our info from my friend and they just said 'Hey, we need bass players!'  I'm not really a bass player though, I was just hitting a couple of notes. And so then I told them my brother was a bass player and looked him up and found our jazz band and then they said they would love to have the two of us audition. It was super crazy and random and we really had to rush to get everything together because it was really close to the audition." Like many others, she was dubious about her acceptance, but is extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Surprisingly, the video essay portion of the audition seemed to worry more students than the actual music or written component. "The video essay made me kind of nervous because I'm just not a really on camera person,” says Electronic Music Production student Heather Rivas. “But I just tried to go on You Tube and watch some auditions and be like 'Okay, this person didn't really do a good job and this person didn't do a good job or I should be more like this person.' In terms of sending in the materials, I felt confident about them and I just made sure to get my point across and I felt good about it.”

As for tips campers have for students thinking of auditioning for GRAMMY Camp 2013, Alto Saxophone student, Brandon Bowzer (who also goes by the name of Ducky, spelled, "D-U-Ducky!") says, "Just go for it! Just do it." Concert Production student Hayley Corbett's advice is one of the most important things to consider during the audition process and throughout one's music career. "Believe in your work. Too many people don't and I think it really might surprise you what people think."

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