Conservatory certificate students attend sophomore juries

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Juhi Muthal (10) practices her monologue in front of fellow sophomore jury participant Simran Singh (10).

by Sindhu Ravuri

All sophomore conservatory certificate students were required to participate in sophomore juries on September 19 and 20 to showcase their abilities in the artistic discipline of their choice.

Each sophomore conservatory student who wishes to continue onto the Certificate Program performed a piece in front of all the performing arts mentors. For example, while those pursuing dance choreographed a minute-long routine, musical theater students presented a monologue and sang a song.

The sophomore juries not only provide the students with a chance to receive feedback on their work, but also give an opportunity to the performing arts mentors to check in on the progress of their students.

“Sophomore jury gives both the student and the certificate advisors a chance to assess where the students skill sets are relative to their peers,” Performing Arts Department Chair Laura Lang-Ree said. “Are their skills where they need to be for a 10th grader in that discipline? […] Will the student, from this point on, naturally grow at a pace that is healthy for them, not too overwhelming, while being intensely creative?”

Many students were very excited for juries, as they believe that the chance to perform in front of an audience is both beneficial and exciting.

“I think [the juries] allow certificate candidates to get a critique of how well they’re doing and what they need to improve on,” said Simran Singh, a sophomore who presented her jury in musical theatre.

The experience has been helpful throughout the high school careers of veteran participants of sophomore juries, according to Apurva Tandon (12).

“The juries give a really good chance to go out there and […] show [the mentors] what you can do,” Apurva said. “It is definitely a very good aspect of the performing arts program. I remember it being very fun to just get a chance to perform and […] put yourself out there. It was great to get feedback from such supportive teachers, and it truly helped me as a performer.”

The mentors, who include Jeff Draper, Laura Lang-Ree, Karl Keuhn, Amalia De La Rosa, Christopher Florio, Jennifer Sandusky, Susan Nace, and Catherine Snider, plan to return their feedback to each of the sophomore certificate candidates in the weeks to come.