NJPAC Seeking Talented Teens for Auditions
Deadline to sign up for Young Artist Talent Search is Friday.
Whether you’re a teenage singer, a dancer, an actor or a musician – the New Jersey Performing Arts Center is looking for you.
Friday is the deadline to register for the Young Artist Talent Search — an audition program being held on March 12 and 13 — which pairs talented teens with professionals in their chosen fields through intensive arts training programs.
Bass player Ian Kenselaar is a junior at Columbia High School in Maplewood who takes group lessons, studies music theory and performs in an ensemble through NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program. He auditioned for the talent search four years ago and has been participating in it ever since.
“It has been a great experience,” the 17-year-old said. “I didn’t know too much about jazz but I’ve learned a lot about it.” Kenselaar performs in a funk band called “Scratch ‘N Sniff” and plans to study jazz at a conservatory in the Netherlands this summer.
“I think the coolest part of the program is being able to play in a band,” he said.
Other teen artists include Max Tischio of Verona and Austin Gengos of Millburn/Short Hills.
The Young Artist Talent Search program began in 2001 and has honed teen performers who have gone on to perform on national show tours, attend well-known musical conservatories and record music professionally.
“The Young Artist Talent Search provides the opportunity for young artists to audition for some of the top arts training programs in the New Jersey/New York metro area,” Sandra Bowie, NJPAC’s vice president of Arts Education said in a statement.
“Judges identify not only the most talented of these exceptional young performers but also those with the highest artistic growth potential for acceptance into our rigorous programs that hone their skills in vocal music, instrumental music, acting, musical theater and dance.”
Thirteen-year-old Isaiah Thompson of West Orange is a jazz pianist who spends his Saturdays at NJPAC’s jazz for teens program. “It makes you a better musician,” he said. “I would tell students it’s hard, but it’s all worth it in the end.”
Thompson said he’s made new friends through the program and plans to become a jazz and rhythm and blues musician in the future. But the talent search isn’t just for jazz musicians, there are auditions for actors, singers and classical musicians as well. Students can audition for the teen jazz program, for a summer musical theatre program, for a summer youth performance workshop, the young artist institute and for a music scholarship.
Students are allowed to audition for more than one program, but there are specific rules governing the auditions that can be found here: http://bit.ly/YATS11.
The programs are open to youth ages 13 to 18 and the auditions are held at NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education at 24 Rector St. in Newark. The auditions are open to students throughout Essex and other counties.