Many rites of passage for both Hyde students and faculty have stood the test of time. One of them is the Hyde audition. For an audition, a student or faculty member stands in front of the assembled school for at least 45 seconds and sings a song unaccompanied by music. (Veteran students and faculty can jazz their audition up with instruments, sing in duets or trios, or even dance.)
For most of us, the thought of doing this gives us a pit in the stomach. Speaking in public is tough enough, but singing in public can really challenge us. What we have learned, however, is that when everyone is expected to sing, we all lean in and support each other.
We gathered this week to continue the Hyde auditions tradition. Before we began, Performing Arts Director Nava Schorsch '19 asked the community, "Why do we do auditions?" Some of the responses included:
"We do this to get out of our comfort zone and test ourselves."
"It is another public speaking type of challenge."
"It is an opportunity to empathize with each other, show respect, and celebrate the courage it takes to get up and do this."
"Many Hyde alums have said this challenge really helped them later in life."
For the next hour, the school listened, cheered, and clapped along as each person or group summoned the courage to belt it out. While many students were not ready yet, everyone was there for each other, and we also had a lot of fun. In the wrap-up, we asked those who had completed this challenge what they had gotten out of the experience, and comments included:
"I was really afraid but am glad that I did it!"
"I can see how it was easier this year than my first year."
"I started out a bit tentative but then felt that this was my time to shine!"
Overall, this year's auditions, as always, have been a powerful learning experience--not only for those singing but also for those listening and supporting.
Laura D. Gauld '76