Audition & Portfolio Review
We ask each prospective student to demonstrate their readiness for intensive artistic study at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Students must submit a completed application via Slideroom prior to an audition or portfolio review as part of the admission evaluation process.
Each art department has its own guidelines. Please review the guidelines carefully for the major you are applying to prior to scheduling an audition or portfolio review. This will ensure that submissions meet each art department’s requirements. Submission instructions for each art department are listed in the drop down menus below.
- Dance Audition Requirements & Submission
- Music Audition Requirements & Submission
- Theater Audition Requirements & Submission
- Visual Art Portfolio Requirements & Submission
- Writing, Film & Media Arts (WFMA) Portfolio Requirements & Submission
Welcome to Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill. All dancers seeking admission to our program need to complete a dance audition as part of the application process. Please read the instructions carefully!
When applying to Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill, you must submit a completed application and complete a pre-audition video. Both must be uploaded using Slideroom. After we review your submission, you will be notified if you have passed your pre-audition and will be instructed with your next steps.Your audition video should be recent (within five months of submission), should not exceed 10 minutes in length, and must include the following components:
Preparing your Ballet Audition Video
Prior to beginning your barre work, please introduce yourself briefly by saying your name, age and where you are from. Make sure to complete all exercises listed below.
- Complete barre (only one side necessary)
- Center floor work:
- Pirouette combination
- Small jump combination
- Grand allegro
- Men- Grand Tour
- Pointe work (if applicable)
- Relevés in arabesque
- Pirouettes on pointe
- Diagonal turning combination
Your Live Audition
Live Auditions are by invitation only for Dance Major Applicants who have passed their pre-audition video and submitted an online application. More details will be shared with dance major applicants who have been invited to proceed in the admission process.
Audition dress code
- Female students: black leotard, tights closest to your skin tone or what you are most comfortable in, pointe shoes
- Male students: black or gray tights and a white shirt or leotard
- Skirts, leg warmers, and warm-ups are not permitted
- Hair must be pulled back neatly and securely off the neck
Students applying for the music program have two options for auditioning:
Option 1: Schedule an in-person audition using the Faculty Interview link below. Your audition should follow the listed guidelines for the music concentration to which you are applying (Jazz, Vocal, etc.).
Option 2: Submit a video audition via Slideroom and schedule a music faculty interview* with the Director of the Music Department, Jennifer Elowitch. Use the link below to schedule this interview after submitting your video. When submitting a recording please do not alter the sound of your recording or add reverb. We prefer to hear your natural sound as if you were auditioning in person.
*Please keep in mind that an interview with your admission representative is a separate requirement of our application process.
Two or three original compositions in neat manuscript form. At least one of these should be written by hand. In addition, we require a demonstrated level of proficiency on your major instrument.
Two or three contrasting movements or short works. The works should include selections from at least two different musical periods (ex: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, Contemporary).
Two contrasting pieces, with at least one of the two pieces composed by a jazz musician such as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, etc.
Play the written melody once at the beginning, then improvise on the form of the tune for 1 and 3 minutes. If you play a chord instrument (like piano or guitar), demonstrate your ability to accompany someone else’s solo. The composed melody should only be played one time at the beginning. If you play bass, demonstrate a walking bass line in one piece, and a different rhythm in another piece (such as funk, bossa nova, ballad, ostinato, or Afro-Cuban, etc.). If you play drums, demonstrate a swing feel on one piece and a different rhythm in another piece.
Recording guidelines: You may submit a video of you playing with a live small jazz ensemble or a “play along recording” consisting of bass, drums and chord instrument (guitar or piano). Please use the guidelines above.
Please Note: If you have no previous small jazz ensemble experience, you may audition by playing two contrasting pieces in any style. At least one of the pieces should demonstrate your ability to play in a strict metric style (no rubato, no tempo shifts).
- Sing two Classical Art songs from memory.
- One song should be in English
- One song should be in another language, preferably Italian (for example, songs from collections such as “24 Italian Songs and Arias”). French, German, Spanish or Latin are also welcome.
- OPTIONAL: You may sing a third song of your choice. For example, Golden Age Musical Theater, or a classical song representing your native language or culture.
- Please do not sing operatic arias or contemporary pop.
- Our voice program is strongly committed to diversity of representation in our performance projects. We welcome and encourage you to include repertoire from underrepresented composers and poets (works by women, Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx or People of Color, or other underrepresented groups).
- Please contact Head of Voice, Teresa Winner Blume, with any questions about your repertoire selection at email@example.com.
VIDEO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
- Submit one short introduction video: Say your name, age, current grade, and hometown. Include one short statement about why you are interested in classical singing and our voice program at Walnut Hill.
- Recording with a smartphone is acceptable.
- Ensure that the volume of your piano accompaniment does not overpower your voice. If using a speaker and a pre-recorded accompaniment track, place the speaker near you so you have as much auditory support as possible.
- Record in landscape orientation, and try to capture from just above your head to your hands when at rest. Ensure your face is well lit and that your background is clear of clutter.
- You may not edit the recording for audio or video enhancement of any kind. We would like to hear you as naturally as possible, as if you were auditioning for us in person.
Students applying to the theater department may choose to audition in-person or live via Zoom by using the audition scheduling link below.
If you are unable to find a time that works for you, please speak to your admission representative.
Theater applicants should prepare one monologue from a published play, and one 16-32 bar section of a song from the musical theater repertoire (no more than 2 minutes each). You may dress casually in clothes that allow freedom of movement. There will be a brief question and answer session between the applicant and theater faculty prior to the audition.
Schedule a time to audition on-campus or via Zoom with one of our theater department faculty members.
Students applying to the visual art department are required to create a portfolio of work that will be reviewed by an arts faculty member. There are two steps for a student having their portfolio reviewed:
- Schedule a Zoom portfolio review using the link below.
- Submit portfolio via Slideroom at the link below. Submissions must be sent through Slideroom one (1) week in advance of your scheduled review.
Portfolio submissions should consist of the following:
Amount of works & information
Portfolios should contain a minimum of four works. Please include the following information for each piece of your portfolio:
1. Title of work
2. Scale of work
3. Materials/media used
4. Description of work and inspiration behind it
Please also include an original, freeform drawing. Arrange clothes or shoes from your wardrobe in a clear space in front of you. Using graphite or charcoal, sketch what you see.
Sketchbooks offer important insights into the creative process of an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to bring their most recent sketchbook at the time of a portfolio review.
Students applying to the WFMA Program must follow two steps:
- Submit your portfolio via Slideroom using the link below.
- Schedule a portfolio review with our Writing, Film & Media Arts Department. This review will take place over Zoom and is an opportunity to speak more in depth about the work you have submitted. Submissions must be sent one (1) week prior to your scheduled review. Schedule your portfolio review using the link below.
Option A: Writing Submission
A writing portfolio consisting of original work that best represents who you are as a writer. It should contain 2-4 pieces of writing total from one or more of the following genres: poetry, fiction (short stories or brief excerpts from novels), playwriting/screenwriting, or creative nonfiction (personal essay or reflective essay—not an academic essay).
Option B: Video Submission
A short film or video (no longer than 10 minutes in length) in any style including live action, experimental, documentary, or animation. Please accompany the submission with a statement that clearly describes your personal contribution to the film (for example you might have written the screenplay and directed the film, or perhaps instead filmed and edited a film that a friend directed).
Option C: Storyboard Submission
A series of 10 to 15 still images arranged in an order that you feel tells a story. The images can be drawings, photographs that you took yourself, found images (from magazines, the internet, etc.). Please submit a short accompanying paragraph that illuminates or explains the story that you are trying to tell and credit any images that are not your own.