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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the program and application process. Do not hesitate to call or email our team with additional questions.

What is the High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall?

The High School 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 Choirs and Honors Instrumental Ensembles.

What are the dates of the 2024 programs?

The 2024 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall will take place between February 7-11, 2024.

Who are the conductors?

Click here to learn more about our distinguished Honors Conductors. 
All our conductors have received international acclaim for their work and have extensive experience in working with talented students, making them the perfect choices to lead our Honors Ensembles.

What do Finalists do in New York?

Though much of the students’ time is focused on performance preparation, the week also allows students to experience the best of the sights and the performance arts in New York.

Highlights of the five-day program typically include (tentative and subject to change):

  • Performing in one of two elite Honors Performances at Carnegie Hall under the direction of renowned conductors
  • Working with master conductors and building your performing resume
  • Rehearsing and interacting with other Finalists from across the world
  • Commemorating your accomplishments and spending time with your new friends during the Finalist Celebration
  • Seeing a Broadway Show, visiting the Big Apple’s most famous landmarks, and experiencing New York
What ensembles will perform at the Honors Performances at Carnegie Hall?

The High School Honors Performance Series will feature the Honors Band, Honors String Orchestra, Honors Full Orchestra, Honors Treble Choir, and Honors Concert Choir (mixed choir). Applicants are first accepted into the program and are then assigned to the appropriate ensemble based upon instrumentation and balance requirements. Please note, the Series cannot guarantee that, if accepted, applicants are placed into a specific ensemble.

What is the connection between the Honors Performance Series and WorldStrides?

The Honors Performance Series is a proud part of the WorldStrides organization. Click here for more information about our history and relationship with WorldStrides.

How are Finalists selected?


  • Music directors from across the world recognize and nominate their talented high school musicians.
  • Nominated students and self-nominating students are invited to apply individually for selection.
  • Applicants submit a complete application and audition recording. Students who haven't received a teacher nomination may still apply and are required to submit the contact information for a teacher reference as part of the application process.
  • All applications are reviewed by the Series expert Board of music professionals for final selection. Applicants are first accepted into the program and are then assigned to an ensemble upon instrumentation and balance requirements. Please note that program dates may change depending on your selected ensemble, and the Series cannot guarantee that, if accepted, applicants will be placed into a specific ensemble.
  • Each applicant receives a notification email to all address(es) listed on their application by October. This email will specify the student’s application results: Finalist (selected to perform), First Runner-up (waitlisted), or Deferred (not accepted and not waitlisted).
What are the application requirements?


The High School Honors Performance Series application requirements are as follows. Please see the application page for additional details.

  • Online application form and deposit
  • Teacher reference
  • A performer biography
  • A three- to five-minute audition recording

Applications are not considered until all required pieces are received. If an applicant fails to submit required portions, their deposit is forfeited.

What are the requirements of the audition recording?

Each applicant must electronically submit an audio-only MP3 or M4A audition recording. Please visit the application page for additional information.

May I apply for multiple ensembles?

Applications are automatically considered equally for all applicable ensembles, so if you wish to apply on only one instrument or voice part, you need submit only one application and audition recording to be considered for all applicable ensembles. Accepted applicants will be placed into an ensemble by the Series Selection Board based on balance and instrumentation requirements; students may not request a specific ensemble. 

Additionally, you may audition on more than one instrument, and you may also audition as both an instrumentalist and a vocalist. In both cases, you only need to submit one application form, deposit, teacher reference, and Performing Biography, but you will need to submit multiple audition recordings.

Can family participate?

Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to join their Finalist by enrolling in one of our Family Programs or by purchasing individual tickets to the performance. This is a wonderful experience to share with family and friends.

Information on Family Program options will be provided to Finalists once accepted and posted on 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 the Family Program and cannot be purchased individually.

How do you ensure performer safety?
The health, 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, 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 50 years of experience providing student-focused event and travel logistics. Every program element is designed so that music professionals, 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 to supervise performers outside of rehearsals and during activities (see below for additional information about our Chaperone selection process)
  • 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 restful nights for students
  • Doctors on Call resource providing 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

Additionally, selected participants are expected to act with utmost professionalism and maturity during the program. Finalists found to have violated the Series' behavior guidelines (as outlined in the Performer Code of Conduct signed by all participants) will be dismissed without a refund. For additional information about WorldStrides' commitment to safe travel, please click here.

How are students supervised while in New York?

In order to provide a safe and structured experience, all Finalists are assigned a program Chaperone. The Series invites educators—most of whom are music teachers and have nominated students for the program, and all of whom have demonstrated expertise working with high school musicians—to apply for selection as program Chaperones. All Chaperone applicants undergo a background check prior to selection and are trained on the Series safety policies and procedures. Finalists will meet their Chaperone during on-site registration. They’ll be present in all rehearsals, attend other program events, and facilitate group meals during free time.

What is included in the program tuition?


The Honors Performance Series provides a hassle-free experience, so selected student performers can focus on their main reason for being in New York—performing at their very best in Carnegie Hall. The Series tentatively includes:

  • All rehearsal costs, including equipment and sheet music
  • All production cost and services for the Carnegie Hall performance
  • All fees for shown activities—including a Broadway show, Finalist Celebration, and sightseeing
  • All ground transportation during the program, including transfers between the specified airport and hotels (arrival and departure transportation—flights, trains, etc.—is the participant's responsibility)
  • Exposure to and learning from world-class conductors for the program duration
  • Experienced chaperones, city touring guides, and program staff
  • Four nights' lodging in highly rated, student-friendly hotels (four to a room with two double beds) with on-site staff
  • Hotel night security on each occupied floor to ensure restful nights for performers
  • A 24-hour staffed emergency office in New York City to handle the unexpected
  • 24-hour access to Doctors on Call, our medical support through The George Washington University Hospital, during 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 partial scholarships are available.

Is transportation included in the program?

All ground transportation, including shuttling between the designated airport and hotels once in New York City, is included (for registered participants of the program only). Transportation to and from New York City is not included and is therefore the responsibility of each participant. Because this is a selective program, we encourage you to refrain from booking airline tickets or other travel arrangements until you have received both your acceptance and the specified arrival/departure times and locations.

Will someone meet me at the airport?

Finalists and Full Access Family Program participants 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.

What if I am arriving into a different airport, or by train or car?

Participants arriving by train or car, or flying into a different airport than the one assigned, should proceed directly to the official program hotel for registration (details will be provided to Finalists following their selection).

Are meals included?

No, selected Finalists are responsible for purchasing their own meals during the program. At meal times, students are escorted by their Chaperones in small groups to nearby restaurants. The Series team advises Chaperones as to meal options that are suitable and affordable. We generally suggest Finalists plan to spend $50-75 US per day on meals and souvenirs.

Are scholarships available?

The Honors Performance Series is dedicated to bringing together talented student performers across the world.  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. The scholarship application will be made available following program acceptances. Please call us at +1-800-503-0807 for more information.

You may also learn more information here.

Where do participants stay?

For safety reasons, we do not share the name of our Honors hotel(s) except to accepted Finalists and the Responsible Parties listed on their accounts. All of our hotels are nationally recognized, and each hotel has been chosen for its cleanliness, hospitality, and safe location. Our hotels are student-friendly and have been rated highly by students and families who have participated in our programs.

Do I get to choose my roommates?

In general, roommate selection is randomly assigned by age and 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 student knows another selected Finalist, they will be given the opportunity to request to room together following acceptances. While these arrangements cannot be guaranteed ahead of the program, we do our best to accommodate all requests.

Certain occupancy arrangements require a room surcharge. Please contact us if you would like more information about specific occupancy requests.

Is there a code of conduct for Finalists?

Yes, to ensure a positive experience for all Finalists, participants are required to sign a Performer Code of Conduct agreement before participating in the Honors Performance Series. Finalists who do not follow these guidelines can be removed from the program and will be sent home at the family's expense.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Yes, t
he Travel Protection Plan is an optional policy designed exclusively for Finalists and Family Program participants. This policy is offered to protect the investment of Finalists and their families. Complete details about the policy will be shared with selected Finalists upon acceptance.

To whom do we make checks payable?


Please use the following instructions to make a payment by check:

  • Make out to: WorldStrides
  • Note in memo line: “HPS” and your customer number
  • Mail to: Honors Performance Series by WorldStrides
    ATTN: Enrollment Department
    1919 Gallows Rd. Suite 700
    Vienna, VA 22182

Please note: Checks sent to our New York address may take an additional 1-2 weeks to process.


Then, as she walked up on stage in Carnegie Hall I nearly lost it completely. I was as proud of her then as I was the first time I set eyes on her when she was born.


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The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented and operated by WorldStrides.

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