Two aspiring stars take on the world of music and theatre

Tyler Roberts ’18 and Paige Lang ’18 stay busy this month with auditions for musical programs


Nora Verdier, Staff Writer

While most students are frantically cramming in time to study for finals this month, two senior girls are preparing for something bigger. Tyler Roberts ‘18 and Paige Lang ‘18 will be traveling across the country to audition for collegiate vocal musical programs and musical theatre programs, respectively.

Roberts, who plans to attain a Bachelor’s in music with emphasis in Opera, will be auditioning at Michigan State University and Oberlin College, with possible visits to Boston University and Eastman School of Music.

While the auditions may seem simple, there is a lot of preparation that leads up to them.

“You have to bring certain art songs – a German, French, Italian, and English song,” Roberts explains. “It’s demanding, but fun in a way too.”

With a challenging repertoire, Roberts hopes to get accepted into these ambitious programs not only to grow as a singer herself, but to be surrounded by others who share her passion.

“I do the auditions to go to good schools and because I want to be around talented kids who are really working hard,” Roberts said.

With a similar goal, Lang is auditioning for Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theatre programs at Belmont University and Syracuse University this month.

“I’m doing these auditions because after college I would like to pursue a career as a professional actress in New York,” Lang said.

In order to pursue her dream, Lang has been practicing constantly for her auditions this month –  working on vocals, acting, and dancing.

“I’ve been working with my audition coach on several monologues from plays, while I also have been taking voice lessons, piano lessons, and a lot of dance classes all over Grand Rapids. Outside of class, I sing at home and stretch before I go to bed every day,” Lang said.

Both Lang and Roberts have shown that this dedication and passion are required in order to audition for collegiate fine arts programs.

“It really is all about believing in yourself and trusting that if you love it, you should do it,” Lang said.

However, choosing this career path does involve a great amount of uncertainty.

“There’s a lot of risk in this,” Roberts explains. “There’s the chance of never finding what you want in it, so don’t do it unless there’s nothing else in the world you want to do.”

Lang describes that while the idea of majoring in musical theatre seemed impractical when she was younger, there was no other career path she could see herself taking.

“I couldn’t deny myself of what I was truly passionate about,” Lang said. “When there’s a will, there’s a way.”

And, for both Lang and Roberts, that way is to audition for these fine arts programs as their first steps into the worlds of musical theatre and opera. While there is plenty of risk in the industry, it is fully outweighed by passion and dedication.

“If you are going to choose this path,” Roberts explains, “you better work hard and have a big heart to do it with.”