High school singers, dancers, jazz drummers, actors, make-up designers—whatever you love to do—greetings and a warm welcome to you from ARTS-ED PLUS—college counseling for the next generation of artists. (And parents too, of course.) My name is Nelms McKelvain, founder of ARTS-ED PLUS, a lively group of artists and teachers who sees a need for special personal guidance when it comes to choosing the right school to make the most of your talent. Experience tells us that there are plenty of moms and dads out there whose children’s performing ambitions are totally foreign to them and have no idea how to help. We’ve had life-long careers working with high school kids with big dreams and we love that, and we know there’s a desperate need for knowledgeable counseling in this field. ARTS-ED PLUS offers the perfect solution to that select group of students and parents.
The thing that distinguishes ARTS-ED PLUS from other firms is its people—the experience and knowledge of its counselors. I’m working with artists who have been to great schools, who are working professionals still practicing what they preach, and who have made an extraordinary contribution to the artistic lives of high school kids. Deborah Brockus, our dance counselor, has been labeled “the single most important person in Southland Dance…an impresario…the mother superior of LA dance” by the Los Angeles Times. She produces a nationwide annual invitational high school dance festival and has her own dance company and dance conservatory in Los Angeles. She is well known to major dance schools and companies everywhere. Howard Shangraw, the theatre counselor, is a professional actor (check him out on IMDb), conservatory trained in New York and LA, who has been teaching for over thirty years and has coached hundreds of students on audition technique, monologue performance and interview skills. He attends the Unified Auditions in Chicago every winter and knows the admission directors and acting programs of forty-some-odd theatre schools. Our musical theatre counselor, Donna Cory, is a professional choreographer and director of dance at one of Southern California’s important private high schools. She’s a recurring guest artist at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and conducts dance auditions for students applying there. She knows the strengths and weaknesses of musical theatre programs around the country. The academic counselor for ARTS-ED PLUS, Anna-Karin Li, spent nine years as academic dean at Idyllwild Arts Academy where her responsibilities included advising students of every arts discipline about their academic courses to make sure they met the different graduation requirements of state schools, private colleges and conservatories. She counsels students on standardized testing and other requirements for admission to top choice schools and she knows the mind-set of a young artist. She also reads and speaks Chinese and can translate transcripts.
As for me, I’ve been teaching high school pianists for about thirty years and have served as college counselor for the classical/jazz/voice/composition/songwriting/music business students at a boarding school for the arts. I have former students at Juilliard, NEC, BOCO, University of Miami, Oberlin Conservatory, MSM and many more, and I’ve gotten to know the admission people from these schools plus others along the way. I love the world of admissions and love being the contact between talented kids and great schools. ARTS-ED PLUS gives my colleagues and me the chance to be that contact for you.
As a group, we are all cut from the same cloth. The training we have and the work we’ve done to hone our skills equals that of any heart surgeon or famous prosecuting attorney. We help students find and apply to good schools and we do it with pride. Our practice is virtual so we can work with you wherever you are in the world, or we can meet you here in Palm Springs or in Los Angeles. So check out here on artsedplus.com, get in touch and let’s get going. Deadlines are sooner than you think.