Panicked students flip through notes in a last-ditch effort to absorb the material. The only open seat is in the middle of the normally-spacious 400-person lecture hall. That tiny foldable desk is where it happens — the final exam.
This is standard for most students come finals time — except for music students.
Their exams are taken in grand auditoriums with chandeliers and cushioned seats. An audience applauds them when they're done. Their exams are performances, nothing more and nothing less.
"All of our exams are public,” said Jeff Fuchs, co-chairperson of the music department's Undergraduate Scholarship Committee. “That’s the nature of making music. It would be like a Math 100 class standing up and doing their problems aloud.”
Friday's Scholarship Benefit Concert, put on by the UNC Chamber Singers and the Carolina Choir, promises to be more entertaining than math problems.
"It's the culmination of our semester's work," Carolina Choir Director Susan Klebanow said. "So we're all very excited to show our months of work."
This concert is just one of the 18 concerts the music department hosts to benefit undergraduate scholarships. The proceeds from the concerts benefit upwards of 75 students and help attract new talent every year.
Several of these students are in the Carolina Choir today.
“The department makes a great effort all year to support students who need scholarships," Klebanow said. "And several of those are in our choir.”