CMA Voice Student Overcomes the Odds

Auditioning for college music programs is often a stressful process. Those fifteen minutes can determine a person’s career trajectory! At CMA we work closely with students to make sure they are choosing the right programs, the right audition material, and practicing effectively. Often things don’t go exactly as planned, but as Sydney Schultheiss describes, things often work out for those who work hard.

“Musical theatre has been my passion since I was 5 years old. My parents claim that I was singing and dancing along to Barney when I was little. When I saw the tour of Phantom of the Opera in the front row, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I started community theatre and voice lessons when I was 12 years old, and from then until I was 16 I had two different teachers. The summer before my senior, I was fortunate enough to study musical theatre for four weeks over the summer at CAP21 in New York City. When I got there, I thought I was ready for the college process and that it wouldn’t be as hard as everyone was making it out to be. After the 4 weeks, I learned that I was wrong. My voice teachers in the past taught me the basics, but I was lacking on technical aspects of the voice. When I got back from New York, I started working with David Urbon at Cincinnati Music Academy. With David, I learned more about the voice and how to use it within 2 or 3 lessons than I ever did with my previous voice teachers. David encouraged me to take a year and train more before auditioning for musical theatre programs because he didn’t think my voice was where it should be. It wasn’t a decision that I was ecstatic about at first, but I trusted David and knew he could train me and get me to where I needed to be. After that year ended, the audition season began. I auditioned for 9 schools in person and submitted 4 prescreens (which were turned down). Auditioning was a stressful and tiring process, but after months of traveling and 12 rejections, I finally got good news. Next fall I will be attending The University of the Arts in their BFA Musical Theatre program. Without the help of David pushing me to be a better performer, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”