Female student playing cello

Music alumni and student complete virtual audition training

Two Penn State School of Music alumni and one current student were selected to participate in the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) Online Audition Intensive Training hosted by the Sphinx Organization, a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Mariana Alcântara and Fábio Saggin, School of Music alumni, and Stella Carolina Pedroza, a current graduate student, took part in the first virtual edition of the program.

The NAAS is an initiative run by the Sphinx Organization to increase diversity in American orchestras by offering mentorships to Black and Latinx musicians. The online intensive training is an example of one of the mentorship opportunities. Over the span of 10 weeks, participants completed various activities, lessons and auditions from the safety of their own home.

“It gave me goals to work towards, since we have two mock auditions. Feedback from the faculty is in the form of comments about the mock auditions,” said Pedroza. “Also, private lessons are focused on each individual, through which you get so much insight about the areas that you as a performer can improve.”

Pedroza said she’s grateful to the Sphinx Organization for providing opportunities for traditionally under-represented populations in the field of classical music.“I think it is worthy to spread the word of what they are doing so that more people can take advantage of these opportunities.”