MIDDLE SCHOOL | CARNEGIE HALL
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 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall 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 New York City with peers to comprise the Honors Junior Choir and the Honors Junior Instrumental Ensembles.
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.
The program was developed to challenge students to perform at their very best as they play and sing for New York 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 New York City.
Highlights of the 5-day program typically include (tentative and subject to change):
- A performance of the Honors Junior Choir and Honors Junior Instrumental Ensembles at Carnegie Hall under the direction of renowned conductors.
- Work with master conductors and build your performing resume.
- Rehearse and interact with other Junior Finalists from across the United States, Canada, and select international schools.
- Celebrate and spend time with new friends at the Junior Finalist Celebration.
- See a Broadway Show, visit the Big Apple’s most famous landmarks, and experience New York!
The 2021 Middle School Series will take place June 23-27, 2021. The Honors Junior Performance at Carnegie Hall will be the evening of Saturday, June 26.
The Middle School Honors Performance Series has traditionally featured an Honors Junior Choir and Honors Junior Band and Honors Junior Orchestra. 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).
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 6th- through 8th-grade students.
- 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).
- Junior Finalist and First Runner-up notifications will be sent via email to the addresses listed on the students’ applications in mid-March. This email will specify the student's application results: Finalist (selected to perform), First Runner-up (waitlisted), or Deferred (not accepted and not waitlisted).
The Middle School Honors Performance Series application requirements are as follows. Please see the application page for additional information.
- Completed Application Form, signed by applicant and guardian
- Completed Performing Biography Form
- Audition recording
- Application deposit (the full deposit amount, minus a $15 application fee is refunded if not selected; the application deposit is non-refundable for participants who withdraw after the final application deadline)
Applications will not be 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 recordings.
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 Carnegie Hall performance, all hotels, activities, touring and events are available only as a part of the Family Program and cannot be purchased individually.
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 New York 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 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
- 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 office in New York City to handle the unexpected
- Extensive participant insurance while on the program
For additional information about our health and safety measures, please click here.
In order 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. Prior to the program, Junior Finalists and their families will receive a biography of their Chaperone and will have the opportunity to communicate with them before arriving in New York.
The Honors Performance Series provides a hassle-free experience so that selected student performers can focus on their main reason for being in New York—performing at their very best in Carnegie Hall. The Series includes for all Junior Finalists (tentative):
- 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, celebration, and sightseeing
- All ground transportation during the program, including transfers between the specified airport and hotels (arrival and departure flights/trains 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
- Four nights lodging in highly rated, student-friendly hotels with staff on-site to ensure a good stay
- Overnight security on each occupied hotel floor to ensure restful nights for performers
- A 24-hour staffed emergency office in New York City to handle the unexpected
- Doctors on Call for medical support while on 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 need-based scholarships are available.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are in the process of evaluating certain program elements for 2021 to ensure that they meet the most current public health standards and guidance. The health and safety of our participants is always our top priority. If anything changes from what is listed on the website, we will inform enrolled students via email as soon as possible. Click here to learn more about our health and safety efforts.
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 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.
Junior Finalists and 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.
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).
No, selected Junior 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 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 Carnegie Hall. Please call +1 (800) 503-0807 for more information.
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.
In general, roommate selection is randomly assigned by gender. Meeting new people and making new friends is a key element of the Middle School Honors Performance Series and roommates enhance the entire experience.
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 this option.
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.
Yes, the Program & Travel Protection Plan is designed exclusively for Junior Finalists and Family Program participants and represents a great value for program and travel protection. Complete details about the policy will be shared to selected Junior Finalists upon acceptance.
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 even easier 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 students have accumulated donations in excess of $1,500 through this fundraiser alone!
Family Program Participant
The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented and operated by WorldStrides.