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 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
- Music Audition Requirements & Submission
- Theater Audition Requirements & Submission
- Visual Art Portfolio Requirements & Submission
- Writing, Film & Media Arts (WFMA) Portfolio Requirements & Submission
Students applying for Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill are required to audition by following the steps below.
All dancers seeking admission to our program must first complete a pre-audition dance video. After submitting, select students will be notified about moving forward by participating in a live audition.
Pre-Audition Video Submission Instructions
- Go to our SlideRoom home page and click Boston Ballet School's Professional Division at Walnut Hill Pre-Audition Submission
- On the following page, click APPLY NOW.
- Afterwards, make a SlideRoom account.
- Fill out the application form, and upload your pre-audition video.
Pre-Audition Video Recording Requirements
All videos should not exceed 15 minutes in length. We will be looking for the following components in an pre-audition video:
- complete barre (one side only)
- center floor work
- pirouette combination
- petit allegro
- grand allegro
- pointe work (based on experience/years en pointe)
- releve in arabesque
- pirouettes en pointe
- diagonal turning combination
Women are encouraged to wear a black leotard and tights in the color closest to their natural skin tone or in which they feel most comfortable. In addition, women will need both technique and pointe shoes.
Men should wear black tights and a white t-shirt.
The above dress code should be modified as needed so that the student can be seen as clearly as possible. For example, girls who will be recorded in front of a dark wall should wear a lighter leotard, etc.
Live Audition Information
After we have reviewed your pre-audition video, you will be notified if we would like to invite you to a live audition.
Live audition dates and details for Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill for the 2024-2025 school year will be announced shortly.
Options for those invited to a live audition:
- Walnut Hill will be hosting an on campus live audition in early November.
- Boston Ballet School will be hosting live auditions around the country throughout the month of January for their Summer Dance Program audition tour. Students invited to a live audition for the Professional Division may utilize one of these auditions instead of coming to campus.
Students applying for the music program have two options for auditioning:
Option 1: Schedule an in-person audition on our campus using the link below. Your audition should follow the listed guidelines for the music concentration to which you are applying (Jazz, Vocal, etc.).
Option 2: If you are unable to travel to campus, please submit a video audition via Slideroom at the link below. 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.
Videos and in-person auditions are given equal consideration during the application process. We do strongly encourage in-person auditions as they include one-on-one meetings with the Director of Music and an Admission Representative. It's also a great time to see our campus. The Office of Admission can help you arrange a tour of campus during your visit.
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, showcasing your best strengths in artistry, expression and vocalism. It is recommended that the pieces contrast in tempo, character, or style, to allow you to demonstrate range in musicianship.
- 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.
- If you have any questions or are unable to find an audition date on the Calendly listing, please email Teresa Winner Blume, Head of Voice, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An accompanist will be provided for live auditions. Please bring a copy of the music in the correct key for the pianist to play from. A 3 ring binder with clean, double-sided copies of your music is acceptable, or the original score or anthology.
SLIDEROOM 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 should schedule an audition in-person on our campus using the Calendly link below. If you are unable to make it to campus, you can also choose to Zoom by reaching out 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 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
Slideroom Portfolio Submission Note: There are five document slots available to you on your Slideroom account. Please don't let that limit how many works you submit. If you would like to submit more than five, add several pieces to one document and upload that.
Drawing FROM OBSERVATION
Please also include an original drawing from observation. Not from a photo. 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). If you feel that your best work is a work-in-progress, you can submit it in draft form.
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.
Up to 4 pieces of work that are a mix of Options A, B and/or C.
Click the button below to schedule your portfolio review on Calendly.