Happy New Year! It’s #twentygreatteen, and as you might have guessed from the title, it’s still very much winter in the frozen climes of Adirondack Park. Temperatures over the last few weeks have barely crawled above freezing, but lots of beautiful snow has made Schroon Lake look magnificent (from indoors with a cup of tea and a blanket, of course). The ice on Schroon Lake is thick enough for ice-fishing, and now and then you see trucks driving out where in summer only boats would tread. Town is verrrrry quiet – the yearlong population of Schroon is only about 1,700, a fraction of what it can grow to in the height of summer.
Even though it’s the off-season, our full-time staff (Darren, Tony, and Jim Koehnle, technical director) are hard at work doing all the things that keep Seagle up and running. This includes drumming up financial support for future seasons through in-person appeals and grant writing, designing next summer’s productions, hiring directors, production staff, and musicians for the coming season, and maintaining the Colony’s presence in town as well as upkeep of our home on Charley Hill. But (perhaps) most importantly – it’s audition season!
Every January, Darren and Tony embark on their annual trip to hear auditions around the country in search of the 32 talented young artists who will be engaged at Seagle in the summer. Before these auditions take place, a few other steps have to happen. First, the season is announced via YAPTracker, a website that is well-known and love-hated by those of you pounding the audition pavement. Seagle’s advertisement for 2018 went up mid-fall. Next, applications are submitted by aspiring “pumpkins.” An application consists of a current resume, a headshot, and prescreening recordings that give us an idea of a singer’s voice and stage presence. Finally, after many hours of listening and reading and evaluating applications, a number of singers are selected to appear for live audition. In the audition singers are asked to provide a list of 3-5 arias and musical theater songs they are prepared to sing. They choose their first piece, and then the panel selects a second piece, usually one that contrasts with the first number. A door monitor, usually a Seagle alumna/-us, is at the door to escort singers in and out and to manage the flow of singers in the waiting room, and singers take heed – the door monitor hears everything you say! 😉 Seagle has already received 244 applications and counting for the 2018 season – applications will continue to be accepted through February 2.
At the end of the day, and if the schedule allows, Darren and Tony will spend time visiting with local friendly faces to unwind. One of my favorite experiences last year was going out to dinner with Darren, Tony, Seagle Guild members Dick and Joan Lomnitzer, and several other alumni to catch up, eat, drink, and laugh together. I think one of the best parts about the Seagle family is the engagement you find with everyone, no matter where or when.
This year, the team will travel to Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and Fort Worth. Overall they will hear about 200 singers and the competition is FIERCE. If you want to know what life is like on the road or on the other side of the audition table, check out the daily updates from Darren’s travelogue on our Facebook page. It’s an exciting and exhausting trip for everyone, but the reward is great – soon we’ll be welcoming 32 artists into (or back to, for returning singers) the Seagle family.
That’s all for now – stay warm out there!