By Adam Schalke
Spring Semester sparks the beginning of new classes for all of the students at Roosevelt. For students of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, new classes are coupled with long periods of rehearsal for upcoming performances in the spring.
Between now and the end of the semester in May, CCPA students will participate in over thirty concerts including, but not limited to, orchestra performances, brass or woodwind ensembles, vocal performances and musicals. Commitment to performing that many shows requires a schedule of many rehearsals and practices.
Jennifer Mitchell and Emma Parssi, two freshmen musical theater students of the CCPA, are both anticipating a busy semester in preparation for their performances.
“I have class from 8:00 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon,” Mitchell said. “That’s not bad in itself, but things definitely get busier during show season later in the semester. That’s when I’ll have rehearsals from 6:30 to 10:00 at night, sometimes even later or longer. That will last for six weeks, and on weekends I’ll have crew assignments to do when I’m not performing.”
All of Mitchell’s rehearsal is for the “American Songbook” performance, a show based on American children’s music from the early twentieth century to the 1960s.
Emma Parssi said that she said similar experiences to Mitchell, but in her concentration, which is dance.
“I more or less have the same class schedule and crew commitments. In my case, I will have rehearsals that start at 12:30, we’ll take an hour-long break around 2:30 or 3:00, and then we’ll keep practicing until 6:00,” Parssi said. “ It can be exhausting, but it’s what I’m here to do.”
Elizabeth Sustar Nye, the director of performance activities for CCPA, is responsible for much of the semester’s hectic rehearsal schedule.
“Each department has their own concerts and performances in the spring. All together, CCPA does around 200 concerts a year, so it’s all a constant work in progress,” she said. “We’re actually going to be talking about next year’s plans very soon.”