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Application Details

Ready to apply? Follow the steps outlined below to submit your application materials.

How to Apply

The privilege of participation in the Honors Junior Ensembles is offered to talented middle school students identified from an international pool of applicants. To be considered, you must be in U.S. grades 6-8 (or equivalent international study level) during the 2023-2024 school year. All application materials must be submitted electronically following the instructions below.

MS singers

Required Application Materials

All applicants must complete the following steps.

  1. Online Enrollment
  2. Teacher Reference Form
  3. Performing Biography
  4. Audition Recording

All required components must be received on or before the application deadline (see below) for an application to be considered by our Selection Board.

Step 1: Complete Online Enrollment

If you received a Student ID with your invitation materials, please include it when you start the enrollment process.

Once you've completed the online enrollment form and submitted your application deposit, you'll gain access to your student portal, where you can submit your Teacher Reference, Performing Biography, and Audition Recording(s).

To give appropriate attention to all applications, our Selection Board prefers to receive materials sooner than later. Applicants must electronically upload all required application materials to no later than Wednesday, January 10, to be eligible for regular decisions for the 2024 Series.

Please note: If you aren't selected as a Junior Finalist, all but the $20 deposit fee will be refunded. If you start the application process but don't submit the required materials by the deadline, or if you withdraw for any reason, your deposit will not be refunded.

Step 2: Provide a Teacher Reference

All applicants are asked to provide the contact information for a music teacher who can answer questions about your application. While most questions can and will be directed toward the applicant directly, certain questions (such as verifying information in your application portfolio) may be asked of your teacher reference.

If you've already received a nomination, please confirm the contact information for the teacher who nominated you. Otherwise, your teacher reference can be any music professional—a school teacher, private instructor, etc.—who is familiar with your abilities.

Step 3: Complete the Performing Biography Form

Provide more information about yourself and your musical background by completing the brief Performing Biography Form in your student portal. An overview of the questions asked is included below to assist as you get ready to apply:

  • Do you take private lessons? If so, for how long and with whom?
  • Voice part(s) and/or instrument(s) you sing/play proficiently
  • Please list any SELECTIVE performance groups of which you are/have been a member (and when).
  • Please list any other performance groups of which you are/have been a member (and when).
  • Please list any honors/awards/recognitions (musically or otherwise) you have received that you feel are relevant to your selection for the Series.
  • Please list significant solo or ensemble pieces you have performed or learned.
  • Why would you like to be a part of the Honors Performance Series? Please respond in 250 words or less.

At the end of the Performing Biography, applicants are also given the opportunity to provide any additional information they feel is relevant to their application.

We recommend preparing your responses in advance and pasting them into the Performing Biography Form when you are ready to submit to prevent form time-out errors. 

Step 4: Submit Your Audio Recording(s)

Each student must submit an audition recording by uploading a digital file with their application. Please review the following requirements before completing and submitting your recording.

  • Recordings may consist of one or multiple pieces and should total between three and five minutes for each instrument/voice part for which you are auditioning (except percussionists – see below). Recordings will not be disqualified if they are slightly over or under this guideline.
  • As the audition upload form accepts up to three recordings per part on which you are applying, different pieces may be submitted as separate recordings.
  • Begin each piece by introducing yourself, tell us the instrument/voice part for which you are auditioning, and the piece that you'll be playing, for example: “My name is John Smith, I am a Tenor, and I will be singing America the Beautiful”.
  • Recordings should be audio-only (no videos) and should be in MP3 or M4A format only. Please note: We'll do our best to notify students if we encounter a problem with an audition recording, but we cannot guarantee the Selection Board will be able to review your submission if it's not submitted in the required format.
  • When naming the file, please include your first and last name as well as the instrument or voice part for which you're auditioning.
  • Recordings may not be engineered or enhanced in any manner.
  • You may audition on more than one instrument and you may audition as both an instrumentalist and a vocalist. In both cases, you should complete Online Enrollment once, submitting only one teacher reference and one performing biography. You'll need to submit a separate recording for each instrument/voice part on which you wish to apply.

Please note: The audition upload form can be submitted only once per applicant. If you are applying on more than one part, please submit the form only when you are ready to upload your audition recordings for all parts.


  • Your recording must be a solo performance, however if your piece is accompanied, please include the accompaniment in the submission recording. Live accompaniment is preferred but a recorded accompaniment or backtrack will be accepted.
  • As the majority of the repertoire will be classical in nature, we recommend including a classical piece for consideration.


  • All performances must be solo, without accompaniment.
  • Please clearly state the instrument you'll be playing in your verbal introduction of each piece.
  • Percussionists should include solos on three instruments of your choice. Suggested percussion instruments include (but are not limited to) snare drum, timpani, and marimba. We encourage you to prepare selections that showcase your ability to perform melodies with dynamics and produce good tones.

Evaluation Process and Selection of Junior Finalists

Once you submit your application:

  • Applicants will receive an official confirmation email within approximately two weeks of the Series‘ receipt of your materials.
  • The Series will use the email address you provide in Online Enrollment to send a number of official program communications. To ensure you receive these messages, please add and to your list of approved senders with your email provider.
  • Once a completed application is received, it will be reviewed by our Board of professional musicians to select Junior Finalists for the Honors Junior Ensembles.
  • Performers selected for the program to perform as part of the Honors Junior Ensembles are designated as Junior Finalists and will be notified by email in mid-January 2024.
  • Accepted Junior Finalists are assigned to an ensemble based upon the recommendations of our Selection Board to satisfy balance requirements for each ensemble as well as to maintain an equally high level of musicality for all ensembles. The Series cannot guarantee that, if accepted, an applicant will be placed into a specific ensemble.
  • Applicants who are not accepted will also be notified by email in mid-January 2024 and will be informed of their status: Runner-up (waitlisted) or Deferred (not waitlisted and not accepted).
  • Junior Finalist and First Runner-up notifications will be emailed to the address provided in Online Enrollment.
  • Accepted Junior Finalists should expect to receive their sheet music and Conductor’s rehearsal notes no later than the end of April 2024.
  • After acceptance, should any Junior Finalist cancel their participation, a First Runner-up will be offered the opportunity to fill the open seat.
My favorite part of the program was really being around a lot of talented people who share the same values with you. I loved forming bonds and making friends the most!

Junior Finalist

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