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MIDDLE SCHOOL | Ambassador Auditorium

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 Middle School Honors Performance Series at the Ambassador Auditorium?

The Middle School Honors Performance Series at the Ambassador Auditorium was established to showcase some of the most talented student performers in middle school today. Through an individual nomination and selection process, accomplished students are brought together in Pasadena with peers to comprise the Honors Junior Choir and the Honors Junior Instrumental Ensemble(s).

When is the 2024 Middle School Honors Performance Series?

The 2024 Middle School Series will take place June 19-23, 2024.  The Honors Junior Performance at the Ambassador Auditorium will be Saturday, June 22nd.

Who are the conductors?

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 the Honors Junior Ensembles. Click here for the most up-to-date information about our Honors Performance Series Conductors, past and future.

What do Junior Finalists do in Pasadena?

The program was developed to challenge students to perform at their very best as they play and sing for Pasadena 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 Pasadena and nearby Los Angeles.

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

  • Performing as part of the Honors Junior Choir and Honors Junior Instrumental Ensemble(s) at the Ambassador Auditorium under the direction of renowned conductors
  • Working with master conductors and building your performing resume
  • Rehearsing and interacting with other Junior Finalists from across the United States, Canada, and select international schools
  • Celebrating and spending time with new friends at the Junior Finalist Celebration
  • Local sightseeing and visiting famous sites and landmarks
What ensembles will perform at the Middle School Honors Performance Series?

The Middle School Honors Performance Series has traditionally featured an Honors Junior Choir and 1-2 Honors Junior Instrumental Ensembles—a concert band and/or orchestra (full or string). Applicants are first accepted into the program and are then assigned to an ensemble based upon instrumentation and balance requirements (the Series cannot guarantee that, if accepted, applicants will be 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 Junior Finalists selected?
  • Music directors from across the world recognize and nominate their talented 6th- through 8th-grade students.
  • Nominated students and self-nominating students are invited to apply individually for selection.
  • Applicants submit a completed application, which includes a performing biography, contact information for a teacher reference, and audition recording(s).
  • 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).
  • Application results will be emailed to the addresses listed on the students’ applications the end of January. This email will specify the student's application results: Junior Finalist (selected to perform), First Runner-up (waitlisted), or Deferred (not accepted and not waitlisted).
What are the application requirements?

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

  • Online enrollment form, including an enrollment deposit and application fee (while the full deposit amount is refunded if an applicant is not accepted, the application fee is not refundable)
  • Nomination or recommendation
  • Performing biography
  • Audition recording(s)

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

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 online enrollment form/deposit, teacher reference, and performing biography, but you will need to submit a separate recording for each part.

Can family participate?

Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to join their Junior 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 Junior Finalists once accepted and posted on the Family Programs page. Additionally, information on how to purchase tickets to the performance will be provided to Junior Finalists. Other than individual tickets to the Ambassador Auditorium 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 safety and security of our student performers is our highest priority. Though all Junior Finalists will be provided options to have loved ones participate in a Family Program, we recognize that many students may be traveling to Pasadena alone. We're proud to say that, as part of the WorldStrides family, the Middle School Honors Performance Series benefits from more than 50 years of experience in providing educational travel and experiences.

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 Pasadena—performing at their very best at the Ambassador Auditorium. 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
  • Program staff experienced and trained in working with middle school students
  • Accommodations in student-friendly hotels (safe areas, interior corridors, etc.)
  • Overnight security on each occupied hotel floor to ensure restful nights for students
  • Doctors on Call for medical support while on the program
  • 24-hour staffed emergency line to handle the unexpected
  • Extensive participant insurance while on the program

Selected participants are expected to act with utmost maturity during the program. Junior Finalists found to have violated the Series' behavior guidelines (as outlined in the Finalist Code of Conduct signed by all participants) will be dismissed without a refund.

For additional information about our health and safety measures, please click here.

How are students supervised while in Pasadena?

To provide a safe and structured experience, all Junior Finalists are assigned a program Chaperone. The Series invites educators—most of whom are music teachers who have nominated students for the program and all of whom have demonstrated expertise working with middle schoolers—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. Junior Finalists and their families 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 Pasadena—performing at their very best at the Ambassador Auditorium. The Series tentatively includes:

  • All rehearsal costs, including equipment and sheet music
  • All production cost and services for the Ambassador Auditorium performance
  • All fees for shown activities, including sightseeing, sites, and celebration
  • A digital copy of the rehearsal recording of all ensembles
  • All ground transportation during the program, including transfers between the specified airport and hotels (arrival and departure flights/trains are the participant's responsibility)
  • 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 (two to a room with two beds) with on-site staff
  • Overnight security on each occupied hotel floor to ensure restful nights for performers
  • A 24-hour staffed emergency line 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 Pasadena and meals are NOT included in the program. A set payment plan and need-based scholarships are available.

Is transportation included in the program?

All ground transportation, including shuttling between the designated airport and hotels once in Pasadena, is provided (for registered participants of the program only). Transportation to and from Pasadena 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.

Will someone meet me at the airport?

Junior Finalists and Full Access Family Program participants are given a window of time at a specific area airport, during which includes 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 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 Junior Finalists following their selection).

Are meals included?

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

Are scholarships available?

The Honors Performance Series is dedicated to bringing together talented student performers across the world.  Partial scholarships are available to ensure that performers from all economic backgrounds are able to experience this unique performance honor at the Ambassador Auditorium.  Please call +1-800-503-0807 for more information or Click Here.

Where do participants stay?

For safety reasons, we do not share the name of our Honors hotel(s) except to accepted Junior Finalists and the Responsible Parties listed on their accounts. 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 have been rated highly by students and families who have participated in our programs.

Do I get to choose my own roommate?

In general, roommate selection is randomly assigned by gender and same ensemble. Meeting new people and making new friends is a key element of the Middle School Honors Performance Series and roommates enhance the entire experience.

Selected Junior Finalists from the same ensemble are 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.

If a Junior Finalist is traveling with a family member who has enrolled in the Full Access Family Program, they may request to room together.

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 Junior Finalists?

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

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.

Nothing can compare to the experience the Series has provided our son and our family.

Family Program Participant

1359 Broadway, Suite 1504,
New York, NY 10018

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

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