HIGH SCHOOL | MUSIKVEREIN
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.
The High School Series brings together students who have pursued their musical interests into high school and beyond. Selected Finalists are brought together for six days in Vienna, Austria, with international peers to further their abilities, network with other talented musicians, work with renowned conductors, and ultimately take part in an advanced Musikverein performance.
Our 2022 Honors Conductors will be announced in winter 2021. The Conductors for the 2019 High School Honors Performance at the Sydney Opera House was:
- Dr. Lynne Gackle - Honors Choir
- H. Robert Reynolds - Honors Band
- Kirt Mosier - Honors Orchestra
All of 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. Click here to learn more about all of our distinguished Honors Conductors.
The program was developed to challenge students to perform at their very best as they play and sing for concert-going patrons and other supporters. 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 Austria.
Highlights of the 6-day program typically include (tentative and subject to change):
- Performing as part of the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles in the Honors Performance at the Musikverein under the direction of renowned conductors.
- Work with master conductors and build your performing resume.
- Rehearse and interact with other Finalists from across the world.
- Celebrate your accomplishments on a Finalist Celebration Cruise on the Danube River.
- Experiencing the highlights of Vienna, including a day trip to Salzburg, Mozart's hometown.
The 2022 High School Series at the Musikverein will take place July 28 - August 2, 2022. The Honors Performances at the Musikverein are Monday, August 1.
The Musikverein performance will feature the Honors Choir (mixed choir) and Honors Instrumental Ensemble (format TBD; all orchestral instruments invited to apply). Applicants are first accepted into the program and are then assigned to the appropriate ensemble based upon instrumentation and balance requirements (the Series cannot guarantee that, if accepted, applicants are placed into a specific ensemble).
The Honors Performance Series is a proud part of the WorldStrides organization. Click here for more information about our history and relationship with WorldStrides.
- 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. Self-nominating students must submit an additional teacher recommendation.
- 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 (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 in early December. This email will specifies the student’s application results: Finalist (selected to perform), First Runner-up (waitlisted), or Deferred (not accepted and not waitlisted).
The High School Honors Performance Series application requirements are as follows. Please see the application page for additional details.
- Complete Application Form
- Teacher Nomination or Recommendation
- Complete Performing Biography form
- Three- to five-minute audition recording
- Application deposit (the full deposit amount, minus a $15 US application fee is refunded if not selected; once a participant is accepted, his or her deposit becomes non-refundable)
Applications are not considered until all required pieces are received. If an applicant fails to submit required portions, their deposit is not refunded.
Each applicant must electronically submit an audio-only MP3 or M4A audition recording. Please visit the application page for additional information.
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, nomination/recommendation, and Performing Biography, but you will need to submit multiple audition recordings.
Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to join their Finalist by purchasing one of our Family Program packages or by purchasing individual tickets to the performance. This is a wonderful experience to share with family and friends.
Information on package 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 Musikverein performance, all hotels, activities, touring and events are available only as a part of a package (cannot be purchased individually).
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 Austria alone. We’re proud to say that the Honors Performance Series is produced and supported by organizations with nearly 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 Austria – performing at their very best in the Musikverein. 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 arrangement for medical support while on the program
- 24-hour staffed emergency office in Vienna 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.
In order to provide a safe and structured experience, all Finalists are assigned a program Chaperone. The Series invites music teachers, most of whom 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. Prior to the program, Finalists and their families will receive a biography of their Chaperone and will have the opportunity to communicate with them before arriving in Austria.
The Honors Performance Series provides a hassle-free experience so that selected student performers can focus on their main reason for being in Vienna, Austria – performing at their very best in the Musikverein. The Series includes for all Finalists (tentative):
- All rehearsal costs, including equipment and sheet music
- All production cost and services for the Musikverein performance
- All fees for shown activities—including the Finalist Celebration, sightseeing, and other activities
- All ground transportation during the program, including transfers between the specified airport and hotels (arrival and departure transportation—flights, trains, etc.—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
- Five nights' lodging in highly rated, student-friendly hotels (double occupancy) with staff onsite to ensure a good stay
- Hotel night security on each occupied floor to ensure restful nights for performers
- A 24-hour staffed emergency office in Vienna to handle the unexpected
- Doctors on Call arrangement for medical support while on the program
- Extensive traveler insurance while on the program
Transportation to and from Austria and meals (except breakfast) are NOT included in the program. A set payment plan and need-based scholarships are available.
All ground transportation, including shuttling between the designated airport and hotels once in Vienna, is included (for registered participants of the program only). Transportation to and from Austria is 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.
Finalists and Family Program participants are given a window of time at a specific Vienna 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.
Participants arriving into a different airport than the one assigned, by train, or by car should proceed directly to the official program hotel for registration (details will be provided to Finalists following their selection).
Breakfast is included in the tuition price. Finalists are responsible for purchasing all other 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 $30-50 per day on meals.
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 the Musikverein. Please call us at +1 (800) 503-0807 for more information.
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.
Finalists are placed two-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.
Finalists are not allowed to room with a family member, even if that family member has purchased a Full Access Family Program package. Occupancy other than two-to-a-room requires a room surcharge. Please contact us if you would like more information about this option.
During the program, families may call our emergency office in New York (this number will be shared with Finalists and their families before the program). We have staff on-call 24 hours a day who will be able to put you in touch with your child in case of an emergency. Please also note that all Finalists wear a name badge indicating a toll-free number to our support staff in case of an emergency.
With further questions, please contact the Honors Performance Series at +1 (800) 503-0807.
To ensure a positive experience for all Finalists, participants are required to sign a behavior contract 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.
Yes, the Program & 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 to selected Finalists with their acceptance materials.
Please make checks payable to the Honors Performance Series. For faster processing, checks should be mailed to the Honors Performance Series at P.O. Box 6276, Charlottesville, VA 22906-6275. Once received, checks sent to our New York address may take an additional 1-2 weeks to process.
Requesting donations is easy with our Gift of Performance e-cards. Those closest to you will enjoy their special e-greeting and the opportunity to be a part of your unforgettable experience! Click here to send e-cards to all of your family and friends! Many Finalists have accumulated donations in excess of $1,500 through this fundraiser alone!
The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented and operated by WorldStrides.