An Artistic Opportunity of a Lifetime


Current sophomores and juniors interested in the Visual and Performing Arts apply for the chance to attend the Summer Residential Governor’s School at Radford University.

Students passionate about the arts can audition to participate in a month-long residential program away from home to learn from the best while experiencing dorm life, making new friends, and going on field trips. Artists get the opportunity to explore their interests and refine their craft.

As Governor’s School Programs return this summer, art enthusiasts are excited about the opportunity. “Governor’s School is where you get to learn a lot about the field you are interested in and audition for. You [participate in] a lot of classes, workshops, and field trips,” said junior Angelica Franco Brito.

Providing a variety of classes to enrich the students skills, Governor’s School has something to match everyone’s interests. “I auditioned for visual arts, so I would be getting a variety of classes every single day like photography, sculpture, drawing, [and] mix media,” said junior Saba Banaii.

The application process is rigorous including a virtual audition followed by an in-person audition. “For instrumentalists, you have to do a preliminary audition [where] a panel of judges will decide which of those in the preliminary audition will go forward to the official auditions. [In] the official audition, I had to play a scale of my choice, two contrasting pieces, [and then] sightread [music],” said junior Kate Sheppard.

The Governor’s School summer program goes beyond the basics covering advanced theory and practice of the arts. “I wanted to audition and participate because the program sounded really fun and a great way to learn a lot about, not just guitar, but music in general,” said Franco Brito. “There are music theory classes, jazz bands that you could join, [and] depending on your instrument, you [can] get private lessons.”

Playing an instrument for a selective program takes years of practice. “I’ve been playing viola since fourth grade, and I’ve been taking lessons since sixth,” said Sheppard. “I was thinking about minoring in music [and] thought that this [program] would be a really fun opportunity for me [to take] classes about theory and about how you can improve musicality.”

With the COVID-19 variants spreading, safety is the number one priority for the Governor’s School Summer Residential Program.  “Last year, they [accepted] a limited number of people. [This summer] we [will] have to wear masks the whole time and social distance,” said Banaii.

Although the selection process is long and stressful, the month-long immersive experience takes art to a new level and is well worth the effort.