Carnegie Hall | Musikverein Vienna | Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre | Sydney Opera House


Finalist FAQs

Answers to Finalist and Family Program participants' Frequently Asked Questions are listed below. Please reach out to us if you have additional questions.

How many students applied for the 2019 High School Series?

Unfortunately, we do not maintain data about the total number of applicants annually. To give you an idea of the scope of the applicant pool, our team processed more than 12,000 nominations for the 2019 Series.

How many students were accepted for the 2019 High School Series?

We are very pleased to have accepted close to 300 performers from 46 United States, Guam, several provinces of Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, and South Korea to perform at Sydney Opera House in August.

When can I expect to receive my acceptance letter?

Acceptance letters were mailed on approximately October 31, 2018 to Finalists from the US and Canada. You can expect your letter to arrive by mid-November.

When will I receive my sheet music and part assignments?

You will receive an email update including your part assignments and links to download your sheet music in late April or early May.

As soon as the sheet music is ready for you to begin rehearsing, you will receive an email with links to PDFs of the sheet music online as well as confirmation as to which specific part to prepare. It is expected that each Finalist will arrive in Sydney having prepared each piece to the best of your ability. To help you feel confident and ready, we will provide regular notes and suggestions, but don’t wait to start preparing!

What are the Finalist rooming options?

Unless requested otherwise, Finalists will be rooming three to a room (three beds). You do have the opportunity to request double (one or two beds, dependent upon availability at the hotel) or single occupancy (additional costs apply) and these requests must be submitted online on the Finalist Confirmation Form. All requests will be handled on a first-come, space-available basis. Please note, if you elect a single or double room upgrade and have not remitted the surcharge payment by December 28, 2018, you will be placed in a triple occupancy room. Room upgrades elected and/or paid for after December 28 will be arranged on a space-available basis.

Finalists are automatically assigned to room with other Finalists of the same gender from the same ensemble. On the Finalist Confirmation Form, you have the option to identify up to two other Finalists with whom you wish to share a room (must be from the same ensemble). We will do our best to accommodate all roommate requests.

Finalists are able to room with Registered Family who are registered for the Full Access Family program only. Since the Family program is based on double occupancy, an additional rooming charge will apply for Finalists unless there are three occupants in the room. If you wish to request to room with family, please indicate their name(s) under “Roommate Preference” on the Confirmation Form prior to November 30. Room upgrades elected and/or paid for after Dec 28 will be arranged on a space-available basis.

When will I learn who my Chaperone is?

You will receive your Chaperone assignment in July. Your Chaperone will reach out in advance of the program to connect with you and answer any questions you may have.

Is there a dress code for rehearsals or activities?

There is no specific dress code for the rehearsal days, though sweatpants or pajama pants should not be worn at rehearsals. A general rule of thumb is that attire approved to wear at school is appropriate for rehearsals. Attire for the Finalist Celebration is casual; we recommend Finalists wear what they wore to rehearsals.

What are the attire requirements for the Honors Performance?

The Finalist dress code for the Sydney Opera House performance is specific and allows a formal, uniform look without requiring students to purchase robes. Clothing items should be neat, dressy, and modest, reflecting the honor and formal nature of the event.

Female performers must wear:

  • A white, collared blouse with long sleeves and a modest neckline.
  • Shirts must be tucked in.
  • Black slacks (not jean-style). Belts must be black.
  • No dresses or gowns.
  • Closed-toed, flat or low-heeled, black dress shoes (no higher than a 2” heel are permitted).
  • No low-cut shirts or exposed midriffs permitted.
  • No scarves or embellished headwear permitted.

Male performers must wear:

  • A long-sleeved, white dress shirt.
  • Shirts must be tucked in.
  • Undershirts must be white without any graphics or writing.
  • Black straight tie (no bowties permitted).
  • Black dress slacks.
  • Belts must be black.
  • Black dress shoes and socks.
  • No hats or scarves permitted.
When should flights be scheduled?

Booking Your Own Travel: Finalists (and Family Program participants, if selecting the Full Access program) should schedule their flights to arrive and depart from the Sydney Airport (SYD) in order to take advantage of the Series airport transportation. Only registered participants (Finalists and registered Family Package participants) may ride the airport shuttles.

  • Arrivals: Flights should arrive between 7:00a and 11:00a on July 31, 2018. Important note: Due to travel time and time zone differences, travelers from the United States will need to depart home no later than July 29 to arrive in Sydney on the 31st.
  • Departures: Flights should depart for home after 8:00a on August 5, 2019. Shuttles will depart the hotel for SYD airport on August 5 from 5:00a-8:00a.

Participants arriving or departing outside of these windows (on these two specific days) or at a different location will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to or from the hotel at their own expense.

Chaperoned Group Flight from the US: The Series has made arrangements for a limited block of seats on direct flights between Los Angeles to/from Sydney to escort participants on the international leg of their journey. Participants may choose to meet Series staff in (and then say goodbye from) Los Angeles instead of traveling the entire journey on their own. These arrangements are optional and the cost thereof is not included in the program cost. Complete information, including cost, Terms and Conditions, and registration for the chaperoned flights are available at Reservations for the chaperoned flight will be made on a first-come, first-served basis

Do I need a passport/visa to travel to Australia?

Finalists and any Family Program participants who are not Australian citizens must possess a current passport and arrange for an Australian visa. All passport and visa fees are the responsibility of the participant. Please note, it can take 4-6 weeks to obtain or renew a passport, we strongly encourage you to obtain your passport as soon as possible. Additionally, most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of your trip. The Series is not responsible for processing delays or decisions on visa applications made by the relevant embassies or consulates.

If you are unfamiliar with the process to obtain a visa, we recommend Visa Central,, for a comprehensive overview of the procedure and access to an efficient, safe, and secure transaction.

How do I inform the Series about my travel plans?

You will receive an email update with a link to the Finalist Travel Form soliciting your travel plans. This information allows us to best plan for your arrival.

Unfortunately, our system cannot upload emailed travel information, so please refrain from sending your travel confirmations until you receive the form link.

How do I make a payment?

Click the "Make a Payment" button above. You can access your account at any time by clicking "My Account" on the Payments & Fundraising page, too.

Our team is also available to take payments over the phone at +1 (800) 503-0807.

How can family members and loved ones participate in the Series?

The Series proudly offers two Family Program packages to allow family members, friends, and educators to share in the Honors Performance Series experience. These packages are designed to enable supporters to stay in Sydney and attend many exclusive program events only available to Finalists and Family Program participants.

For full itinerary detail and inclusions, click here.

When will tickets for the Sydney Opera House performance go on sale?

Individual performance tickets may be purchased through the Sydney Opera House Box Office. Tickets (as available) will go on sale 60 days before the performance.

Please note that the Finalist package does not include tickets to the Honors Performance for friends and family members. Each Family Program participant receives one Priority Seating Ticket to the performance. We are unable to accommodate requests for individually purchased tickets to be seated in the priority seating section.

How can I connect with other Finalists prior to the program?

We’ve created a Facebook group for Finalists and their family members to connect and receive specific program updates. We know not all participants have Facebook accounts, so while this is a great resource, all of the information shared in the group will also be shared with Finalists through email updates. We invite you and your parents to join our group, “2019 High School Sydney Opera House Finalists”. Here’s how:

  • Login to your existing Facebook account or create an account.
  • Search for "2019 High School Sydney Opera House Finalists".
  • The group will show up in your search results. Click “Request to Join”.
  • We will confirm your membership within two business days. For safety reasons, the Series will admit only Finalists, Responsible Parties listed on Finalists’ accounts, and Family Package participants. If your Facebook name is different than your real name, please email us so we can properly consider your request to join.
How was my part/ensemble determined?

If you applied on multiple voice parts or instruments, you have been accepted to perform only the part(s) that are listed on your acceptance email/letter, and you will be performing only with the ensemble listed. The ensemble and part assignments are the result of feedback from our Selection Board and the information you provided on your application. The Selection Board has put significant time and thought into the assignments for all selected Finalists in order to satisfy balance/instrumentation requirements, as well as to maintain an equally high level of musicality for all ensembles.

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

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