Audition Introduction and Purpose
To select incoming students for placement at the Idaho Fine Arts Academy (IFAA), West Ada School District employs an audition process at all grade levels. The purpose of the audition is to provide a system for selecting students when more applications are submitted than there are seats available.
Application Process – before the auditions
- Parents of currently attending students return an intent to re-enroll letter indicating their intent to return for the coming year. This response sets the number of seats available within each artistic major at each grade level. Responses are due to IFAA in December. All students who are currently registered at and attending may continue to attend the following year.
- Parents of new applicant’s complete applications from the district website and get an audition appointment time (with the exception of Visual Art Major, they will submit a portfolio prior to the audition day). Siblings of current students are considered new applicants and must complete applications and auditions. The application period runs from the week after Winter Break through the 1st week in February. Exact dates are set yearly and published each November. Online applications must be time stamped by 11:59 pm on the due date to be considered on time.
- At the time of application, parents and/or students identify the ONE or TWO artistic majors in which the student will audition for placement: Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts, Vocal Music, or Instrumental Music. Parents and students follow the directions provided within the application to sign up for an audition day and time.
- A spreadsheet of those applying and seats available for all grades is created at each site. These are downloaded directly from the online application data.
Audition Process – establishing priority
- IFAA’s primary attendance area includes the entire West Ada School District boundary. All applicants from the primary attendance area are given an equal opportunity to audition. Out-of-district applicants may apply and audition, and will be considered for placement after in-district applicants.
- Applicants must live in the residence from which they are applying at least 50% of the time with a parent or legal guardian.
- IFAA selects students using a specific set of criteria in the discipline of audition/study. Given the audition requirements, siblings and children of IFAA faculty and staff do not receive priority placement.
- Because the school is filled via audition, late applications are not given priority over timely applications.
- Auditions are held at IFAA in late February. Exact dates vary year to year and are published each November on the district’s School of Choice website. Parents and/or students sign up for an audition as part of the application process. In most cases, digital applications are accepted and are considered equally with live auditions.
- Audition requirements are articulated in a separate document posted on the district’s School of Choice website and IFAA’s Audition Information page. These documents may be updated yearly in November.
- Each audition is evaluated by at least two West Ada school district employees, one of whom is the IFAA lead content teacher in the major area. All audition judges are content area specialists. District or building administrators do not participate in evaluating auditions.
Audition Requirements and Evaluation
- Each audition is evaluated using a district-developed rubric specific to that content area major. Rubrics are posted each November on the district’s School of Choice website and IFAA’s Audition Information page.
- Judges score auditions and rank them by content within each grade level.
- Based on the rank of each audition and the available space within each grade level and content area, students are identified for placement and/or wait list status.
Parent and Student Notification
- Parents and students are notified of placement or wait list status via email in March. Exact dates vary year to year and are published on the Schools of Choice website in November.
- Parents must respond to the placement invitation by the date given in the email by completing online school enrollment and submitting valid proof of residency (a copy of a utility bill dated within 30 days with the customer’s full name and service address clearly visible, a home purchase agreement, or a home rental agreement). Proof of residency will be confirmed and checked against the address provided at the time of application. Any preference given at the time of the audition is contingent on valid proof of residency.
- Once parents respond, IFAA becomes the student’s home school. School records are sent to IFAA from their former school once the former school is notified of students’ commitment.
- Once placement occurs, a family must follow the in-district transfer process if they change their mind. A transfer back depends on space availability and a principal and director signature.
Placement During the School Year
- If seats become available during the school year, the wait list is accessed. If there is no wait list at a given grade level, then a secondary application may be opened and an audition may be held in late fall for 2nd semester. Open seats and audition times will be communicated through the homepage of the IFAA website.
- In the event of grade acceleration or retention after the time of application and prior to placement, parents need to contact the School of Choice Coordinator at the district office to update their child’s application to the appropriate grade level. Failure to do so will jeopardize placement in the appropriate grade.
- In the event of grade acceleration or retention after the time of placement at IFAA, the school cannot guarantee that space is available in the new grade level. Continued placement is contingent on space available. If space is not available, students will need to return to their home school.
- Not all programs are offered at all schools. IFAA does not offer gifted education services. For students who qualify for special education, placement at IFAA is dependent on both audition outcome and the ability of the school to serve the students’ needs. Please contact the school for more information.
Contemporary Music Auditions
Auditions for contemporary instrumental music majors will be conducted in 15 minute time slots. Each student will audition individually. Participants should be prepared to do a short solo (less than 5 minutes), sight read sheet music, and play scales.
Classical Music Auditions
Auditions for classical instrumental music majors will be conducted in 15 minute time slots. Each student will audition individually. Participants should be prepared to do a short solo (less than 5 minutes), sight read sheet music, and play scales.
Auditions will be conducted in two groups. The dancer will audition in a contemporary and classical ballet technique class. The class will consist of ballet barre, across the floor, center combination, and improvisation. The class will be led by a professional guest dancer. The dancer should be prepared to do a short dance solo (less than 2 minutes) of his or her dance style choice. The dancer may sign up for either slot until that audition session is full. The judges are West Ada educators with extensive dance backgrounds and a community guest dance artist. Please be prepared with hair back, fitted dance clothing, and dance shoes.
Dance Audition by Video:
The audition DVD/thumb dive video must show her/him dancing ballet barre combinations, across the floor of either ballet/contemporary/lyrical/jazz combinations, a center combination of either (ballet/contemporary/lyrical/jazz), and a 1-2 minute solo dance of her/his choreography or another's (please state the choreographer's name before the dance starts). Please label the DVD or thumb drive with her/his name, phone number, dance major, and grade she/he is applying for next year. Please follow the application process on the IFAA school website and turn the Audition DVD/thumb drive into the IFAA office before the due date. The audition guest judges will view DVD/thumb drive auditions at the end of the audition process. The judges will use the same audition rubric as they do for the audition class.
Auditions will be conducted in 10 minute time slots. Each student will audition individually. Participants should be prepared to do a short monologue (less than 3 minutes).
Visual Art Auditions
Step 1: Application
Complete the online application before the deadline. The 2017-2018 application link will be posted in early 2017.
Step 2: "Audition" / Portfolio
Submit eight (8) to ten (10) examples of what you feel best demonstrates your talent. Work submitted can be in any style or medium and should show a dedication to and investment in innovation and exploration. Students should select work that best shows their personal style, technical skills, ideas and creative approaches to a broad spectrum of subject matter and materials. This can include mixed media design, drawing, painting, watercolor, ceramics and sculpture. Please include photographs of all 3-D art rather than submitting them along with your portfolio. Only submit finished pieces. Please submit artwork in a black zippered portfolio or something similar that all pieces can be kept together. Include a Cover Page briefly describing yourself, your previous experience with the visual arts, and why you would like to attend Idaho Fine Arts Academy. Also, include your name, grade you are applying for, and your phone number. On the back of each piece write a short synopsis that explains your inspiration, motivation, or process for the piece of artwork.
Submit all art work to the office anytime between Feb. 1st, 2017 and the deadline of Feb 16th, 2017 at 3:00 PM.
Your portfolio may arrive any time before the deadline, but will not be reviewed until your application for admission is complete. Portfolios received after the deadline will not be reviewed.
Step 3: Judging & Notification
Your Portfolio will be judged mid February. You will be notified by email at the end of February, 2017 of your acceptance or position on the waitlist.
Step 4: Acceptance/Confirmation
If you have been accepted you must confirm your acceptance by the officially listed deadline. Failure to confirm your acceptance by the deadline indicates that you are not interested in attending Idaho Fine Arts Academy and you decline this placement offer. All instructions will be outlined in your acceptance letter.
Auditions for vocal music majors will be conducted in 15 minute time slots. Each student will audition individually. Participants should be prepared to do a short solo (less than 5 minutes), sight read sheet music, and perform scales.