Three Yuba College musicians were recently recommended to become performance majors after they successfully auditioned for Sac State and Chico State’s music programs. Music education majors Karla Hyatt, Jin Williams and Skye Della-Rocco were recommended by instructors to double major in performance after their auditions with the school’s music programs on January 31.
The recommendation came after the three musicians received high remarks by instructors for their audition, and were encouraged to pursue performance in addition to their current major. “The audition went really well,” said pianist Jin Williams. “If I get a chance to perform that would be great.”
While the recommendations were regarded as high compliments for the musicians, their dreams are to teach the skills they’ve learned to others. “I want to graduate from Yuba College and then I want to get my Masters degree at Chico State in music education and teach music in high school,” said vocalist Karla Hyatt.
Karla Hyatt, who was first on the list for Chico State’s audition, has been singing since the 8th grade and has been studying part-time at Yuba College for years. Only recently has she been attending full-time which she describes as “going full force in Yuba College’s music program.”
Hyatt was commented by Chico instructors for having a “nice voice,” which she viewed as their basic approval. Although recommended to double major in vocal performance, finances and her desire to teach could influence her decision-making process. “I’m waiting to see how much the scholarship will be.”
Jin Williams and Skye Della-Rocco both auditioned for Sac State’s music program and went to the audition together with friends. They had breakfast at the university on the day of the audition where instructor, Laurel Zucker, noticed Della-Rocco played the flute. Della-Rocco, a flutist for 10 years, was taken to a practice room where she was given a private lesson with Zucker. “I was really nervous,” said Della-Rocco. “It was like cooking your favorite dish with Emeril over your back.” Despite her initial anxiety, she played well and Zucker told her she was going to be her teacher. “It was a real confidence booster,” said Della-Rocco. “I played flawlessly on the audition.”
Williams, a pianist, attended the afternoon audition where she played her instrument for several instructors. Despite playing on a piano she was unfamiliar with, Williams found that she was comfortable during the audition because she had gotten to know her instructors first. “I found it very important to get to know the instructors first on a personal level,” said Williams, who called and met with her instructors before the audition.
After the audition, Williams and Della-Rocco attended a luncheon provided by the university. “They gave us a full blown lunch with balloons and streamers,” said Della-Rocco. “I was very impressed,” commented Williams on the extent Sac State took to accommodate their guests.
Hyatt and Williams also saw the audition as a chance to erase any misconception universities have about community colleges. “At higher levels, community colleges are often looked down on,” said Williams.
“We wanted to change the way places like Sac State look at us [community colleges]. We want them to say, ‘Look at you, you guys are really strong.’ We want to establish a good reputation,” said Hyatt.
In addition to establishing a good reputation for the students, the musicians were also focused on establishing a good reputation for the professors of Yuba College. “They are all wonderful teachers,” said Williams.
“They really care about the students, and they really care about quality,” said Hyatt. “They teach at a university-level.”
For the musicians, it has taken years of practice to achieve this quality in their performance. “You have to be well-rounded. You have to have a broad spectrum of your major,” said Della-Rocco “It’s more than just music. Its the fundamentals. You have to have music theory, harmony, etc.” And as their time at Yuba College comes to a close they have their future to look forward to. “We’re three friends of the same journey,” said Hyatt.