The following was written by Stephanie Milroy, a former student of RED Music School. She is currently studying music performance and North Central College in Illinois.


Chelsea and Paul did so much to prepare me for college, I think we spend a year total, if we count from finding schools to the last audition.  They both did so much I doubt I would have made it on my own. We have had long talks about what college life is like and what to prepare for, and what type of repertoire teachers look for.

Chelsea and Paul were both very patient with my indecision about what I wanted to do in college, and they gave me all the advice they could.  They explained what the differences would be for musical theater vs. opera and what would be expected for both.  They talked me through the pros and cons of each and even what life is like after college.  They discussed what types of degrees would be most beneficial and how much education I would need to be a working professional.  They advised me on what to look for in a program and and how to choose the best school for me.  All of this is before we even worked on audition stuff.

Once I had my schools picked out, I had to plan for auditions. Now the real work would begin.  I was auditioning for both musical theater programs and opera programs, so I needed to prepare to two different auditions.  Chelsea gave me some great tips on how to get organized, (if only I had listened).  Each school would want different things, such as song type, classical or contemporary, full songs or 32 bar cuts, and so on.  Paul and Chelsea would go through it with me and help me choose the best song and cut for each audition.  When it comes to learning the music and making it sound good they with not let up on you, they want the best you can do.  If you truly listen to what they say and work hard, you will be amazed at the sound that comes out of you.

Going through auditions was one of the most stressful parts of my life, all 18 years of it.  The pressure of auditions can be rough, but Paul and Chelsea were there through it all.  After each audition we would discuss how it went, what was good and what was not so good.  Each time we would build on what happened last and how we could improve on it.  They were a true pillar of support and were always there when I needed them.

Once auditions were over I had more talks about what college life was like and how to get through it alive.  Most college students are busy but for arts people you will be extra busy. Apart from normal classes and homework, you have music to learn, choirs to be apart of, and rehearsals that go till some god forsaken hour of the night.  Chelsea and Paul were very honest about what college life is like and I thank them for that.  They gave me tips about how to balance school work and music, and how to stand out from the crowd.

Paul and Chelsea were so helpful and kind throughout this whole endeavor and I thank them for all their time they spent on me.