Program Spotlight: West Chester University Music Professor Randall Scarlata Q & A

04/13/18

Program Spotlight: West Chester University Music 

Interview performed by Acceptd Marketing’s Amy Overturf and Larissa Bateman

Nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, West Chester University is a picturesque and historic community that offers small-town charm with cosmopolitan flair. The West Chester University School of Music offers students an opportunity to perform weekly under the direction of world-class teachers and musicians. With 16 undergraduate programs and over 24 ensembles to choose from, you can find your perfect fit.

This week, we sat down with Professor Randall Scarlata, Associate Vocal Professor and an acclaimed vocal performer, to learn more about his life as a singer and a professor. Read on to learn more about Randall’s accomplished career, his advice to aspiring musicians, and the highlights of his time working with students at West Chester. Read more

Joan Pinnell | Assistant Director, Communications & Outreach, Northwestern University Transportation Center (Evanston, IL)

Joan Pinell Acceptd Careers in the Arts
04/02/18

Careers in the Arts : Education & Graphic Design

It’s been a potpourri of artist interviews on the Acceptd blog, and it smells like Spring! Fresh perspectives are blooming, and we’re living for it. Today we talk to Joan Pinnell, freelance graphic designer and Assistant Director, Communications and Outreach (assistant-imagination-person) at Northwestern University’s Transportation Center in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago).

Joan has catalyzed her creative, ambitious spirit into an innovative career in the education sphere, at one of the most renowned schools in the country. Read on to learn her story, and what advice she has for young artists interested in a similar future. If you’re eager for education and your creativity is matched by a thirst for knowledge and lifelong learning, this interview is for you!

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Dave Kowalski: Senior Production Manager at Boardriders Inc (Huntington Beach, CA)

Dave Kowalski
03/22/18

Careers in the arts cover a lot of ground. While there’s someone to fluff up wardrobes between acts, there’s someone who first created the costumes, and of course someone who orchestrated and wrote all the music. There are singers, dancers, and acrobats; wildly powerful writers, and photographers whose imagery takes your breath away. There are the ticket takers, the planners, and the audience to cheer them on. There are truly infinite opportunities to work and be involved in the arts!

One thing we hear all the time from parents and skeptical art students is that an arts degree “won’t get you anywhere.” While we can say this is not true, and remind you how many jobs are available for artists, we know the best way to get this point across is to show you firsthand. Today we’re sharing a real-life example of someone who studied the arts in college, and has made a career in the business sphere using his arts background. With no further adieu, Senior Production Manager at Boardriders, Inc, Dave Kowalski. Read more

James Keene: New Haven Symphony Orchestra Fellow & Violin Phenom

James Keene NHSO Fellow
03/09/18

Interview performed by Acceptd Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amy Overturf.

New Haven Symphony OrchestraLast week, we shared an interview with NHSO Fellowship recipient and viola player, Gabrielle Skinner. This week, we’d like to introduce you to James Keene, another New Haven Symphony Orchestra Harmony Fellowship recipient. James is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and music pedagogue. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy, he received his B.M. from Rutgers University, and he received his Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. James currently works as a violin teacher & performer. Read more

Gabrielle Skinner : New Haven Symphony Orchestra Fellow & Viola Extraordinaire

Gabrielle Skinner
03/02/18

What is the NHSO Fellowship?

New Haven Symphony OrchestraThe New Haven Symphony Orchestra has introduced a brand new fellowship that could change your life. The two-year program is open to promising, diverse violinists, violists, and cellists pursuing an orchestral career. With the intention to include more diverse backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in orchestras, the NHSO strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply and join the ranks of some of the best professional strings players at this program.

Two key differentiating factors of this program are community outreach and mentorship. Fellows bring classical music into the New Haven, CT, community through hands-on work in local high schools, and merging language arts and music through hip-hop. Fellows also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside the orchestra, receiving invaluable career development and audition preparation. This direct, hands-on enrichment within the fellowship encourages generational inclusion and one-on-one learning that is truly in a class of its own.

What it’s like to apply, win, and then experience life as an NHSO fellowship recipient? To find out, we spoke with one of this year’s inaugural award winners, 24-year-old Gabrielle Skinner. A dedicated grad student at Rice University, Gabrielle is based in Houston and travels to CT regularly to participate in her fellow ship at NHSO. A kind person, lovely conversationalist, and an incredibly talented viola player; Gabrielle has earned every bit of this fellowship. Read on to learn why and hear her story. Read more

Program Spotlight: Powerhouse Theater Training [Playwright Review]

Interested in attending the Powerhouse Theater Training Program? Then be sure to continue reading to hear first hand from a student about their life-changing summer at Powerhouse!

I stumbled into The Powerhouse Theater Training Program almost by accident. The spring before my final semester of college at Central Michigan University, as a Musical Theatre major, I spent all my free time auditioning for summer theater companies and generally trying to figure out how I fit in the world as an artist and soon-to-be college graduate. After attending an informational call-back with Producing and Education Director Michael Sheehan, I found out about the Powerhouse playwriting program. The timing of this meeting was nothing short of serendipitous. I had just finished writing a script that turned out to be the first of many, and I used that work to apply to (and ultimately be accepted into) the program as a playwright.

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How to Nail Your Songbook Academy Audition: Be YOU! Tips from a Songbook Academy Mentor

We’ve shared advice on selecting the right audition material, which is a critical part of any audition, but the next step, once you’ve found that perfect piece is how to make it your own and nail your audition. If you would like the inside scoop on how to make your video a standout, meet Songbook Academy Musical Director and Coach, Beckie Menzie. Read more

Careers In The Arts | Music: Joel Cummins (Umphrey’s McGee)

Joel Cummins, Umphrey's McGee
02/05/18

Joel Cummins | Umphrey’s McGee

A common misconception about careers in the arts is that they’re all fun and games. But to truly make it as an artist, it takes countless hours of hard work, optimistic thinking, and a voracious love for your craft.

After playing over 2300 shows in 20 years with his touring rock band Umphrey’s McGee, keyboard wizard and vocalist Joel Cummins knows a thing or two about spirit and drive. Since creating the band back in their college days, Umphrey’s has accumulated a rich history with 10+ albums, a devoted fan-base, and a can-do attitude that allows them to take musical risks like no one else in the music business today.

But how did it come to be? What does it take to be a successful rock star? Read on to learn why education is crucial for musicians, how Joel has used his music to raise thousands of dollars for Alzheimer’s, and a fun story about how Umphrey’s wrote their fan favorite tune and named it, “The Triple Wide.” Read more

Careers In The Arts | Graphic Design: Christie Casselring (Destination Imagination)

Christie Casselring Acceptd Careers in the Arts Blog Graphic Designer
01/29/18

Careers In The Arts: Graphic Design

One of our favorite aspects of doing what we’re passionate about at Acceptd is meeting other people and organizations who are just as passionate about the same things! Every day we’re excited to help connect young artists with opportunities that help them learn, thrive, and succeed. With school break on the horizon, we’ve recently shared the Acceptd Summer Guide which includes camps, programs, internships, and information about careers in the arts.

To really dig into what it’s like working in the arts as a graphic designer, we talked to the fantastically creative Christie Casselring for the scoop. Christie is the Senior Graphic Designer and Merchandise Manager at a Cherry Hill, NJ, non-profit organization whose vision truly aligns with our vision here at Acceptd, called Destination Imagination. As international programming, represented around the world and in almost every US state, you can live anywhere to get involved! They are awesome. Read on to see why.

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Careers In The Arts | Elaine Pond (MusicNL, Newfoundland, Canada)

Elaine Pond : MusicNL
01/22/18

Newfoundland Recently we shared our Acceptd Summer Guide, which includes information on internships, programs, camps, careers in the arts, and study abroad opportunities. If you’ve considered this educational adventure, but don’t want to be more than a short flight from home, Canada is a beautiful place to consider. Most Canadian provinces speak English, and the local culture will offer you something different and unique. FYI: a passport is required to travel into Canada. For passport information, click here.

While the first Canadian cities to mind may be Toronto, or maybe Vancouver, there are lots of other gems hidden across our vast neighbor to the North. To learn more about careers in the arts and what it’s like working in the arts in Canada, we spoke with Elaine Pond, Volunteer and Youth Engagement Coordinator at MusicNL. This musical mission is located in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.   Read more