Distinguished Artist Program 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

About the Program

The Distinguished Artist Program is an invite-only opportunity for you to show us your talent in the arts and earn additional scholarship money to attend Albion College. With your participation, you will be eligible to receive additional scholarship assistance; more than $250,000 was awarded to participants last year. One participant will receive a full tuition scholarship to attend Albion College!


Plan to register for this event as soon as you decide to participate - space is limited. Register online at: https://apply.albion.edu/register/dap. Your registration must be received by Thursday, February 8. Please note that this is an invite-only event.

Register Now

Schedule of Events

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration (Bonta Admission Center)
9:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. Morning presentations, information sessions and campus tours
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration for afternoon presenters (Science Center)
11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon (Baldwin Hall)
1:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Afternoon presentations, information sessions and campus tours

Options for Presentation

Option 1: Art

Bring a portfolio of your best works, including 10-15 art works. These works may be in any medium or multiple media – drawing, painting, printmaking, book arts, photography, computer art, ceramics, sculpture, and more. This work should be a representation of who you are as an artist; this can include work you've done in class as well as independently. If your materials are vulnerable or oversized, you can photograph your work and bring a CD containing the images.

In addition, please bring a sketchbook, if you keep one; a "sketchbook" could be in the form of a traditional book of drawings, a journal, visual scrapbook or even a well designed blog or website.

When designing your presentation, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What artists did I draw upon for inspiration?
  • What is my creative process?
  • What am I trying to communicate with my art?
  • Why did I choose the respective media/forms to express my ideas?

Portfolio review centers on a discussion of your works, including your experiences, influences and motivation. Your presentation and discussion will last about 15 minutes, with 15 additional minutes allotted for questions by the faculty members.

Option 2: Art History

Submit a portfolio of 4-5 pieces of art historical written work, not to exceed 25 pages. Papers prepared for a humanities or an English class may be substituted. Your work should demonstrate your ability to conduct research and prepare a coherent scholarly paper. Please come prepared to discuss your written work and your scholarly process.

Option 3: Creative Writing

Works may take the form of poetry or prose you must chose one or the other but you will not be able to do both. Please limit your submission to either 10 pages (single space, 12 point font) of poetry or 15 pages (double space, times new roman, 12 point font) of prose (fiction, memoir, personal essay, etc.) Your work should represent your artistic ability; it can include pieces you have done in class as well as independently. This should be your draft and revision of the poem of the prose that you are presenting. (5 copies of each version)

Please come prepared to read briefly from your work (approximately 5 minutes) and to use your draft/revision to discuss your creative process. When designing your presentation, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What is the theme of my writing?
  • What authors did I draw upon for inspiration?
  • What is my writing process?
  • What am I trying to communicate with my writing?
  • Why did I choose the respective forms (prose, poetry, etc.) to express my ideas?

Portfolio review centers on a discussion of your works, including your experiences, influences and motivation. Your presentation and discussion will last about 15 minutes, with 15 additional minutes allotted for questions by the faculty members.

You must submit your works by Thursday, February 15, one full week prior to the event.

Option 4: Music

The suggested format for the music competition is a standard audition format. Every audition takes between 15 and 20 minutes. Due to the limited amount of time, and the large number of auditions on most dates, you may be asked to stop short of completing your solos/etudes. Plan on between 6 and 8 minutes of prepared music, 2 to 4 minutes of sight-reading, and an interview with the audition committee of between 8 and 10 minutes. Please see the Music Department's audition suggestions for guidelines specific to particular instruments.

Audition Information

You must submit a copy of your musical accompaniments and scores for the judges by Thursday, February 15, one full week prior to the event.

Option 5: Theatre

You may choose to showcase your acting ability or your creativity in technical theater: costume design or construction, lighting, sound, scene design, and/or stage management. For a live performance, please come prepared to perform either:

  1. two contrasting monologues pieces from a PLAY, or
  2. one monologue piece from a PLAY and one 32-bar song. (There will be no live accompaniment, therefore, you must bring your music on a CD, if performing a song.)

If you prefer to showcase your talent in design or stage management, plan to bring a portfolio of photographs and/or original materials. Materials may be from a realized production or may be a project you create using one of the following plays as the basis: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Antigone by Sophocles, Cabaret by Isherwood with Lyrics by Kander and Ebb, or The Odd Couple by Neil Simon. Sketches or designs of future shows you would like to work on are also encouraged.

For technical theatre portfolio reviews will last about 15 minutes, with 15 additional minutes allotted for questions by the faculty members.

Monologues: should be no more than 4 minutes total. (2 minutes max per monologue.) Be prepared for the judges to give critiques and to have you workshop pieces. An interview portion will follow your performance.

Important: Monologues from TV shows, movies, etc are not acceptable.

Please come prepared to discuss your process and your inspirationincluding your experiences, influences and motivation.

Overnight Accommodations

Need overnight accommodations? Blocks of rooms are available at:

Selection Criteria

Albion College faculty members select scholarship recipients using the following criteria:

  1. The Quality of Your Audition and/or Portfolio Works – Choose the option that will allow you to best demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, academic interests, achievement and future potential for growth at Albion College.
  2. Extra-Curricular Record – We recognize that students often combine superior scholarship with other interests, unique talents or achievements. Please come prepared to talk about yourself and your accomplishments– your motivation, your inspiration, and your passion for the fine arts.


Students selected as a Distinguished Artist will be notified by Monday, March 12, 2018. Final results will be announced publicly for those recipients who have made the commitment to attend Albion College.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Time Will I Have?

The presentation schedule is tightly managed—depending on discipline you will have 20-30 minutes to present and interview. Please see specific discipline for exact details. No student may exceed the 30 minute presentation time.

Who is In the Audience during My Presentation?

Your audience will be a small group of faculty members and a room host. The faculty will follow a carefully selected set of evaluation techniques and record their impressions. Faculty members and the room host will describe your performance at the final selection meeting.

How Do I Decide Which of The Six Options Is Right for Me?

Choose the option that will best allow you to demonstrate your creative and intellectual abilities, and also one that will illustrate how you will be a positive addition to the Albion College community. Every participant is a high achiever, so you need to identify how to demonstrate your abilities and potential in a way that distinguishes you from others.

Some questions that might guide your decision include: What academic disciplines are you most interested in studying? What do you enjoy talking about? What subject(s) are you considering for a major? Have you worked on a significant research project or paper and/or an artistic project that you'd like to tell us about?

Please note that you can only chose one area for full-tuition consideration. If you would like to audition for another area, please note that in your registration.

How Will I Be Evaluated?

Our faculty members look for specific content substance and expertise, and assess the overall quality of your performance or portfolio. Our faculty members look at the following general characteristics of every competitor:

  • Overall impression
  • Quality of works
  • Depth of exploration
  • Organization of ideas; synthesis and progression of concepts
  • Creativity and creative process
  • Ability to articulate influences
  • Individual vision and ability to explain motivation for approach
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Academic goals
  • Student responses to faculty questions
  • Passion for the subject
  • Potential for artistic and academic excellence and leadership
  • Unique or special characteristics

What Programs Will You Offer For Me And My Parents When I am Not Presenting?

There will be a variety of activities during the day including student panels, a conversation with the VP for Enrollment an opportunity to learn more about financing an Albion education, quiet spaces for practicing, a stress free zone in the Honors Observatory, campus tours and more. We also encourage our participants to meet other participants and socialize over light refreshments.

How Will I Find My Presentation Room?

You will be escorted from the registration area to your presentation room 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time. You will enter your room at the appointed time and have a total of 40 minutes. Your participation and the faculty members' questions will last a total of 30 minutes, allowing time to set up and pack up your materials.

What Questions Should I Expect From The Faculty Members Who Attend My Presentation?

In addition to questions about your presentation, be prepared to talk about your accomplishments and future goals. You may also ask questions about academic opportunities.

When Will I Be Notified Of The Judges' Decision?

You will receive a letter from the admission office by Monday, March 13.

Who Can I Talk With If I Have Questions About This Program Or My Participation?

Your Albion College Admission Counselor can help you with questions. In addition, your counselor can put you in contact with a student mentor who can help answer your questions. Please contact or call 800/858-6770.