1. What is The American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall?
The Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall was established to showcase some of the most talented student performers in high school today. Through an individual nomination and selection process, accomplished students are brought together in New York City with peers to comprise the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles.
2. Who are the conductors for the Honors Performance Series?
For 2011, the Honors Performance Series is proud to have three renowned conductors, for a planned Honors Choir, Honors Orchestra, and Honors Band. (tentative)
Dr. Eph Ehly – Conductor, Honors Choir
Charles Peltz – Conductor, Honors Orchestra
Jeffrey Grogan – Conductor, Honors Band
These conductors have received international acclaim for their work and have deep experience in working with talented students, making them the perfect choices to lead the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles.
3. What do Finalists do at the Honors Performance Series?
The program was developed to challenge students to perform at their very best as they play and sing for both New York concert-going patrons and specially-invited collegiate music program representatives. Though much of the student’s time is therefore focused on performance preparation, the week also allows students to experience the best of the sights and the performance arts in New York City.
Highlights of the 5-day program include (tentative):
- A performance of the Honors Choir, Honors Orchestra, and Honors Band at Carnegie Hall under the direction of renowned conductors Dr. Eph Ehly, Charles Peltz, and Jeffrey Grogan
- Special recognition on the CBS Early Show broadcast
- Rehearsals and interaction with other finalists
- Attendance of a Broadway performance
4. When will the 2011 American High School Honors Performance Series take place?
The 2011 Series will take place February 16-20, 2011. The Honors Performance at Carnegie Hall will be Saturday, February 19.
5. What instrumental ensembles will perform at the 2011 Honors Performance Series?
In 2010 & 2011, there was an Honors Orchestra and Honors Band.
6. What is the connection between the American High School Honors Performance Series and Heritage Festivals?
The American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall is presented by Heritage Festivals. For more than three decades, Heritage Festivals has strived to promote excellence among choirs, bands, and orchestras by providing outstanding educational and performance opportunities for accomplished student performers across North America. They are proud to support the Honors Performance Series as yet another unique educational and performance opportunity for talented instrumentalists and singers.
7. How are Finalists selected?
Finalists and first runner-ups are notified in late fall 2010 of their acceptance for the 2011 Honors Performance Series.
- Music directors across the United States and Canada recognize and nominate their talented 9th-12th grade students.
- Nominated students and self-nominating students are invited to individually apply for selection.
- Applicants submit a complete application and audition recording. Self-nominating students must submit an additional teacher recommendation.
- All applications are reviewed by an expert board of music professionals for final selection.
- Finalists and first runner-ups are notified in October of their acceptance to the 2011 Honors Performance Series.
8. What are the Application Requirements?
- Complete Application Form, signed by applicant and guardian
- Complete Performing Biography Form
- Audition recording/CD (described below)
- $295 Participation deposit (the full deposit amount, minus the application fee is refunded if not selected. Once accepted, the deposit becomes non-refundable.)
Applicants may submit the materials by downloading the paper application. Applications will not be considered until all required pieces are received. If an applicant fails to submit required portions, their deposit is not refunded.
9. What are the requirements of the audition recording?
Each student must submit an audition recording. The recording can be sent on a CD by mail for Board evaluation. Recording must meet the following criteria:
- Between 3 and 5 minutes in length and may consist of more than one piece
- Digital file or CD only
- Applicants select the piece (or pieces), but are encouraged to select a technical piece which best demonstrates their ability
- Recordings may not be engineered or enhanced in any manner
- You may audition on more than one instrument and you may audition as an instrumentalist and a vocalist. In both cases, you only need to submit one application deposit, but you will need to submit multiple recordings.
- All performances should be solo without accompaniment
- Percussionists: Include solos on three instruments of your choice
- Piano accompaniment is encouraged
Please note: Recordings will not be returned to the applicant
10. Can parents participate in the Honors Performance Series?
Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to join their Finalist by either purchasing one of our Family Program packages or by purchasing individual tickets to the performance. It is a great experience to share with family and friends. Information on package options will be provided to Finalists and posted on the “Family” Page of this website. Additionally, information on how to purchase tickets to the performance will be provided to Finalists. Other than individual tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance, all hotels, activities, touring and events are available only as a part of a package (cannot be purchased individually).
11. What about performer safety?
The safety and security of our student performers is our highest priority. Though all Finalists will be provided options to have family participate in a Family Program package, we recognize that many students may be traveling to New York alone. We’re proud to say that the Honors Performance Series is produced and supported by organizations with more than 40 years of experience providing student-focused event and travel logistics. Every program element is designed so that directors, parents, and performers can rest easy and students can focus on their main reason for being in New York – performing at their very best in Carnegie Hall. Program elements include:
- Airport shuttles and staff to greet and send off students from assigned airport
- All transportation during the program
- Chaperones (many of whom are music teachers) to supervise performers outside of rehearsals and during activities
- Program staff experienced and trained in working with high school students
- Accommodations in student-friendly hotels (safe areas, interior corridors, etc.)
- Hotel night security on each occupied floor to ensure a restful night for students
- “Doctors On Call” arrangement for medical support while on the program
- 24-hour staffed emergency office in New York City to handle the unexpected
- Extensive participant insurance while on the program
Through these many measures, the Series ensures that the program is a safe and positive experience for all involved.
12. What is included in the cost of the American High School Honors Performance Series ?
The Honors Performance Series provides a hassle-free experience so that selected student performers can focus on their main reason for being in New York – performing at their very best in Carnegie Hall. The Series includes for all Finalists (tentatve):
- All rehearsal cost, including equipment and sheet music
- All production cost and services for the Carnegie Hall performance
- All fees for shown activities – including a Broadway show, celebrations, and activities
- All ground transportation during the program, including transfers between the specified airport and hotels (arrival and departure flights/trains are the responsibility of participants)
- Exposure to and learning from world-class conductors for the program duration
- Student chaperones, city touring guides, and program staff
- Four nights lodging in highly-rated student-friendly hotels (quad occupancy) with staff onsite to ensure a good stay
- Hotel night security on each occupied floor to ensure a restful night for performers
- A 24-hour staffed emergency office in New York City to handle the unexpected
- A "Doctors On Call" arrangement for medical support while on the program
- Extensive traveler insurance while on the program
Transportation to and from New York and meals are NOT included in the program.
A set payment plan and need-based scholarships are available.
13. Is transportation included in the program?
All ground transportation, including shuttling between designated airports and hotels, once in New York City is included. Transportation to and from New York City is the responsibility of each participant. Because this is a selective program, we encourage you to not book airline tickets until you have received both your acceptance and the specified arrival/departure times and locations.
14. Will someone meet me at the airport?
You are given a window of time at a specific New York airport during which included transportation to and from the hotel will be provided. Participants should book their flight arrival and departure times to coincide with these periods in order to meet up with program representatives at the airport and take advantage of this included service. Participants arriving or departing outside of these windows will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to or from the assigned hotel.
15. What if I am arriving into a different airport, or by train or car?
Participants arriving into a different airport than the one assigned, by train, or by car should proceed directly to the hotel for program check-in.
16. Are scholarships available?
The American High School Honors Performance Series is dedicated to bringing together talented student performers across North America. Need-based partial scholarships are available to ensure that performers from all economic backgrounds are able to experience this unique performance honor at Carnegie Hall. Please call 1-800-503-0807 for more information.
17. Where will participants stay?
All of our hotels are nationally recognized. Each hotel has been chosen for its cleanliness, hospitality, and safe location. Our hotels are “student friendly” and rated highly by Directors who have participated in our programs.
18. Does my Finalist get to choose his/her roommates?
Finalists are placed four to a room with double beds in each room. In general, roommate selection is randomly assigned by gender. Meeting new people and making new friends is a key element of the Honors Performance Series and roommates enhance the entire experience. If a Finalist is traveling with a family member who has purchased a 5-day Family Program package, they may request to room together. Occupancy other than four to a room requires a room surcharge. Please contact us if you would like more information about this option.
19. How can I reach a Finalist in case of emergency?
Call our program emergency office at 1-212-302-8940. We have staff on call 24 hours a day, so that we will be able to put you in touch with your child in case of an emergency. Please also note that all Finalists carry with them an emergency card or a name badge with a toll free number listed on it so they can reach support staff in case of an emergency.
20. Is there a code of conduct for Finalists?
To ensure a positive experience for all Finalists, participants are required to sign a behavior contract before participating in the Honors Performance Series.
21. What is the Program Travel & Protection Plan and what does it cover?
The Program & Travel Protection Plan is designed exclusively for Finalists and Family Program participants and represents a great value for program and travel protection. In the event that you become unexpectedly ill or injured before or during your program, the plan will reimburse you for charges that are assessed due to cancellation or for the unused portion of your trip should it be interrupted for a covered reason. In addition, the plan addresses minor inconveniences like lost or delayed baggage (including instruments). The plan provides protection not only of your investment in your program, but also offers important coverage while you are traveling.
For complete details of the terms, conditions and exclusions for the coverage please refer to the Description of Coverage which is available here.
The additional cost of the Program Travel & Protection Program is $69 per participant. Payment should be paid to the American High School Honors Performance Series.
For further questions, please contact the plan administrator, BerkelyCare, at 1-(800) 797-2297 (Ask for the American High School Honors Performance Series Desk)
22. Who do we make checks payable to?
Please make checks payable to Honors Performance Series.