Music Theatre Overtures

July 3 – 8, 2016

For high school juniors looking for the best college music theatre audition preparation.

Fifteen hand-chosen high school juniors will join Victoria Bussert, director of BW's nationally recognized music theatre program, for an intensive week of training including private voice lessons, daily workshop and monologue and dance classes.

Spend a week at BW and prepare for your college auditions.  Vicky Bussert has jumped-started dozens of Broadway careers; let her jump-start your college career.  Applicants must be current juniors planning to graduate high school in 2017.

Typical Daily Schedule

  • 8:00 am - Breakfast
  • 8:30 am - Dance class with Greg Daniels
  • 10:30 am - Workshop class with Victoria Bussert
  • 1:30 pm - Lunch
  • 2:30 pm - Monologue class with Scott Plate (Tuesday and Thursday) and private voice lessons with a member of BW's voice faculty (Monday and Wednesday: two 45-minute private lessons)
  • 5:30 pm - Dinner 
  • Evening activities

Wednesday evening MTO participants will attend a production at Cleveland's Playhouse Square, the nation's second largest performing arts complex.

On Friday afternoon, parents, friends and family are invited to attend a short performance showcasing each of the participants at 2:00 p.m. The performance will take place in the Kulas Musical Arts Building, Chamber Music Hall, 96 Front Street, Berea, Ohio.

Faculty

  • Victoria Bussert - Artistic Director of Music Theatre Overtures, MTO music theatre workshop instructor
  • Scott Plate -  MTO monologue class instructor
  • Nancy Maier - MTO music theatre workshop coach, accompanist
  • Greg Daniels - MTO dance instructor
  • Sara Whale - MTO dance instructor
  • Benjamin Czarnota - MTO voice teacher
  • Cynthia O'Connell - MTO voice teacher
  • Joanne Uniatowski - MTO voice teacher
  • Marc Weagraff - MTO voice teacher

Cost

Tuition, room and board – $1,350

Tuition includes all lessons and extra-curricular events.  A $200 tuition deposit must accompany the application and will be applied toward tuition.  The deposit will be refunded for those students not admitted to the program.  The deposit is non-refundable to those accepted to the program.  Payment in full is due by May 13 and no refunds will be made after that date.

Students will be housed in the newly renovated and air-conditioned Davidson Commons. The Commons are located within close proximity to the Conservatory. MTO students will live in suite-style housing which includes units with two-person bedrooms, a shared bathroom and small common area.

Auditions

Application is due April 1, 2016. 

In order to be considered, applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application
  • A recorded video audition
  • A $200 deposit

Auditions are required for all Music Theatre Overtures applicants. The audition should include: two memorized 32-bar selections, one each from a ballad and an up-tempo, all from the music theatre repertoire AND one age-appropriate monologue from either classical or contemporary drama, not to exceed one minute in length.  The 32-bar selections must be accompanied.  Including full songs is not acceptable; 32-bar cuts are required.

Audition pieces must be uploaded to YouTube. You may choose to make your video ‘public’ or ‘unlisted’ (private videos cannot be viewed). Once uploaded, provide the link to your audition within the application. If you choose to create two videos (one for each audition piece), provide both links within the application. DVD and CD audition videos mailed to our office will NOT be accepted. Due to the selection process, all videos must be uploaded to YouTube.

Deposit

A deposit of $200 via check must be mailed and received before the audition is reviewed. The deposit must be postmarked by April 1, 2016. Checks should be made out to Baldwin Wallace University.

Please mail your check to:
Music Theatre Overtures
Community Music School
Baldwin Wallace University
275 Eastland Road
Berea, OH 44017

If the student is selected to participate in Overtures, the deposit will be credited toward the total cost of tuition – not refunded. If the student is not selected to participate in Overtures, the deposit will be returned.

Comments From Previous MTO participants:

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for the amazing week last month during overtures. I had the absolute best time of my life! Within one week, I really felt myself grow as a performer and a person. Without all of your wonderful help, there is no way that I would have been able to accomplish that. Also, I would be in no way ready for college auditions so thank you very much! I really look forward to auditioning for BW this fall!" 

"I knew this week would be a challenge, but I didn’t expect how much I’d learn and grow. I can’t imagine attempting my auditions without all of the advice and tools I received here. I’m in love with this program, but no matter where I end up going, this has been an invaluable week that helped reveal to me more of who I am as an artist and a person. Thanks for everything."

"I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you put into teaching us at Overtures! Your hands-on method of teaching and knowledge as a director taught me each day to push myself, take risks and be ready to make changes. I now feel fully prepared and more confidant to start the process of auditioning. I still have so much I want to learn and many goals to reach, and I can’t wait to find the school that will help me reach them. Overtures has already helped me start that journey and I can’t wait to start auditioning in the fall!"

“I wanted to make sure I took the time to contact you and say 'Thanks!' for an absolutely amazing week. All in all, it showed me just how much I still need to learn, but that only made me so much more anxious to jump in head-first. If Musical Theatre school is anything like the week I just experienced, I am so ready to be submerged. College just can't come soon enough… The impression the staff left on me is HUGE… Going in, I knew I'd enjoy myself, but not nearly as much as I did. So, SO impressed.”

"Thank you for making Musical Theatre Overtures such a wonderful experience for the whole group. Thank you so much for really pushing me and not accepting anything but my best. I feel much more comfortable now thinking about my college auditions after working with you. I can not wait for my audition later this year!"

Success of Past Students from the MTO program.  

  • 2008 MTO and 2013 BW Music Theatre grads Sophie Brown, James Penca, Mack Shirilla and Jude McCormick are featured in this article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • BW Music Theatre major Hanna-Jo Weisberg '15 and 2010 MTO participant wins scholarship pageant.

The Baldwin Wallace University Community Music School can be reached by phone at (440) 826-2365 or by email at cms@bw.edu.