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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Seniors pursue fine arts educations

While most seniors were busy filling out questionnaires and writing essays for colleges this past fall, a few took a different path. Seniors Vivian Fu, Candace Kao and Lisa Clark are among the handful of students who have decided to pursue a career in the arts, meaning they had to send portfolios to colleges.

Fu, a violinist, has applied to the New England Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Cincinnati’s Manhattan School of Music, and others.

Fu heard about these programs through a summer camp that she has attended for the past four years.

“For the past four summers I’ve gone to the Aspen Music Festival, and they have college conservatory day there, and in every single one of their programs, they advertise school,” said Fu.

Unlike most college applications, Fu was required to send in a CD of her music, as well as a formal application.

“First you send in a CD for screening. They have a required recording, so you send it and your application in by Dec. 1, which is the deadline,” said Fu. “Then you get a callback around April.”

Clark, an aspiring graphic designer, applied to Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons New School of Design, the University of Arts, and others. Her application process was also different from others’.

Clark said, “You don’t have to do essays, but you do have to do portfolios, and at some schools you have to do some assignments for them and then you mail them.”

The most enjoyable part of Clark’s application process was looking through past projects.

“My favorite part was going through the work I have done throughout [the years] and being able to see how much I have improved,” said Clark. “My least favorite part was when you have to write paragraphs about certain pieces because I really don’t like to describe my processes.”

For Kao, though, the application process for an architecture major is more similar to regular programs.

Said Kao, “The schools have some extra forms and stuff that you have to send in with the portfolio but ultimately you just pack pictures inside a bound book or on a disk you just send them in.”

Throughout the application process, Kao was filled with worry as well as confidence.

“Throughout the whole process, I was worried I would get something wrong. I had a bunch of people like my parents and my college counselor check over my applications,” said Kao.

Although Kao felt pressured by her applications, she didn’t feel as much stress as most seniors do.

Said Kao, “Overall it was pretty relaxing. The program I chose isn’t available at a lot of schools, so I didn’t have that many colleges to apply to.”

She applied to USC, Carnegie Mellon and Rhode Island School of Design.

Kao found these schools through a family friend as well as through several websites.

“I talked to a friend of my mom’s who is an architect, and she recommended me a couple schools,” said Kao. “There are also some websites that have architecture rankings, so I checked those out and picked some schools that I felt were right for me.”

Kao always had a feeling that she wished to go into an art-related major, and finally decided to become an architect because of its functional use.

“I’ve always been into art and creating things so I decided that I didn’t just want to do art,” said Kao. “I wanted to do something that had a practical application to the real world and incorporated elements such as culture, philosophy and something that people could use or see in their everyday lives like a building.”

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