BSA Models Professional Expectations for Artistic Careers

Archive, The Arts

By: Scarlett O’Comartun and Jude Harvey

It’s no secret that attending the Baltimore School for the Arts for high school is a commitment. Students spend their four years of high school life focused on one chosen art discipline, which could be hard for some people. Going to a high school focused on the arts is so different from attending a regular high school. Does BSA affect the choices people make to pursue art as a career? 

The high school is a prestigious and well known art school across the country. Hundreds of eighth and ninth-grade students apply every year, but a fraction of that get in. Students who go here have to be serious about their art discipline. 

“I see myself pursuing a career in music because I feel like I have a connection to music, I feel like I’m able to express myself by playing my instrument and turn it into something that other people can enjoy,” says Alex Mott, a freshman violinist. 

Some students start their art discipline early. Students may attend John Hopkins Peabody Institute, a college conservatory just a couple blocks from BSA, and many have done TWIGS, the after school art program for grade schoolers provided by BSA.

“My parents didn’t encourage it (violin), I actually decided to start, and I went to TWIGS before I came here,” says Alex. Out of school programs play a big part in preparing and helping students at the school.

Students at BSA are almost promised to leave the school with a level of professionalism that other students don’t get. That entails a lot of work and commitment. 

“I think that the training, it feels kind of professional to me because I feel like we are held accountable for our own actions and managing our time and practicing our craft,” says Senior Violinist Sierra Weems.

“The teachers have high expectations and treated us like adults,” says Alumni violinist and BSA Board of Trustees member Li Wen Kang class of 1988.  

There are many memorable things that can happen at school, whether it’s a showcase or a teacher, and BSA students are very grateful. “I think the chorus, when Dr. Hardy gives us those lectures, it opens my eyes for sure. I mean, he talks like this is real, it kind of is real, being here,” says Sierra, when asked what she will take away from her high school experience.

“This is not the normal high school experience at all, and I think we can all say that,” said Weems.

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Headline photo caption:

Photo from the Baltimore School for the Arts Instagram. BSA alumni and students rehearse for the Mozart’s Requiem Concert.