Students Participate in Prestigious Summer Arts Programs

By Nicole LoRusso, Editor-In-Chief

Over the summer, three students participated in exclusive and notable arts programs nationally and internationally. Sophomore Mia Higgins traveled to Austria, Hungary for the Salzburg Festival’s Faust Camp; junior Alexandria Principe interned in Los Angeles with Universal Studios and the New York Film Academy; and senior Kyla Whitlock studied with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Sophomore Mia H. “meets” Mozart in Austria, Hungary where she attended the Salzburg Festival’s Faust Camp this past summer. Photo courtesy of Mia H.

Higgins learned of the program through a family friend who had been accepted into the opera camp a few years prior. The exclusive program accepts only 20 applicants out of their expansive international application pool.

“Through the camp, I got to meet so many people from all over the world. My roommate was from Ireland, and I met people from Croatia, as well,” Higgins said.

Her day consisted of choir practice, ensemble rehearsals and theater classes in preparation for the final show: a performance of the Faust Opera.

“The opera we studied was Faust, and as an activity in preparation for the final performance, we made trailers for the opera. I actually introduced many of the other students to iMovie while making the trailer because they had surprisingly never heard of it before,” Higgins said.

The experience provided her with the opportunity to meet fellow opera singers around the world while learning from prestigious instructors and gaining global experience in Austria.

Principe was introduced to her internship in HD Filmmakers in a rather surprising way. “I actually heard of the program from someone I met randomly on a line for a Broadway show. They overheard my conversation about my love for film-making and tech, and suggested that I look into the internship,” said Principe.

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Junior Alex P. (right) and another intern work together to film a scene during her  internship with HD Filmmakers in Los Angeles this past summer.
Photo courtesy of Alex P.

During her time in Los Angeles, Principe stayed at an apartment building where new producers to the area often live, which provided her with the chance to meet international students as well as adults interested in the same field. Principe also created countless networking opportunities and contacts through individual sessions with prominent actors, producers and tech-crew members. 

“My favorite part was definitely the one-on-one sessions with the professionals as well as getting to meet kids from all over the world, even from every continent,” said Principe. “I was most excited about getting the chance to make my own movie.”

Each intern created a silent movie, typically only receiving two actors. Principe, however, was given eight actors for her film about college students preparing for their day of classes. The program enabled Principe to learn from successful professionals in addition to gaining real working experience in film-making.

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Senior Kyla W. and fellow students pose for a photo in front of the Duke Chapel in N.C., where they performed on their last day of the Royal School of Church Music’s summer program. Photo courtesy of Kyla W.

This summer, Whitlock returned to St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina for her one-week music program.

“It was a great experience, even though it was my third year in a row participating. Each year the conductor is different, and the conductors’ distinct personalities change the overall experience,” said Whitlock.

Everyday Whitlock and her fellow students rehearsed a set of music, which they performed on the last day of the camp at Duke Chapel at Duke University.

“The highlight of my experience was meeting new people and getting to sing at a really beautiful church,” said Whitlock. “The conductor was really nice and broadened my horizons, which helped me learn things about music that I didn’t know before.”

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