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


Application Details

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

How to Apply

The honor 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 2019-2020 school year and submit a complete electronic application, in which all required information - as well as all supplemental files (audition recording, etc.) - are submitted online.

How and When to Submit Your Materials

Please submit all application materials as soon as possible in order to ensure a timely review of your application. Each application component must be submitted individually using the links in the appropriate section below. 

Our 2020 application is currently closed.


Required Application Materials

All applicants must complete the following steps:

  1. Application Form
  2. Teacher Nomination
  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 Application Form

If you have received an Invitation Number, please be sure to include this on your application form; this number will allow us to determine whether you have already been nominated.

When completing your application form, you will be required to submit an application deposit ($200 US if completed application is submitted on or before December 4, 2019; increases to $295 US after December 4). Applicants must submit all required application materials on or before February 14, 2020, to be eligible for consideration for the 2020 Series. If you are not selected as a Junior Finalist, all but a $15 application review fee will be refunded—the application deposit is non-refundable for participants who withdraw after the final application deadline.

Once you have completed the online application process and submitted your audition deposit, you will receive your Customer Account Number on the Application Confirmation Page. Use this number as you submit the remaining application materials, so we can properly link these submissions to your application.

Step 2: Obtain a Teacher Nomination

If you have already received a Teacher Nomination (or were automatically nominated due to past musical achievements), your invitation materials will indicate that no additional nomination is required. Simply include your Invitation Number on your application form and your nomination will automatically be linked to your application.

Students who have not yet received a Teacher Nomination are welcome to apply—they will simply need to request a music professional endorse their application through our Recommendation Request Form. A recommendation from any music professional (school teacher, private instructor, etc.) who is familiar with your musical abilities is appropriate.

If you have any questions about whether your application requires a Teacher Nomination, please contact us at (including your Invitation Number, if you have one), and we’ll be happy to clarify your invitation status.

Step 3: Complete the Performing Biography Form

Provide more information about yourself and your musical background by completing the brief Performing Biography form. Please use your Customer Account Number, included in the confirmation email sent after completing the online application form (see above) so we can match your biography to your application.

Step 4: Submit an Audio Recording

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

Recordings must meet the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • Begin each piece by introducing yourself, tell us the instrument/voice part for which you are auditioning, and the piece that you will 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 will do our best to notify students if we encounter a problem with your audition recording, but we cannot guarantee that the Selection Board will be able to review your submission if it is not submitted in the required format. 
  • Include your first and last name and instrument/voice part for which you are auditioning in the file name. 
  • 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 only need to submit one application form, deposit, Director Nomination, and Performing Biography. You should submit a recording for each instrument/voice part on which you wish to apply.


  • Your recording must be a solo performance, though piano accompaniment is encouraged.


  • All performances must be solo, without accompaniment.
  • Please clearly state the instrument you will 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

  • Applicants will receive an official confirmation email approximately two to three weeks following the Series' receipt of your materials.
  • The Series will use the email address(es) you provide on your application to send official program communications.
  • 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-March 2020.
  • 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-March 2020, and will be notified of their status: Runner-up (waitlisted) or Deferred (not waitlisted and not accepted).
  • Junior Finalist and First Runner-up notifications will be sent via email to the address(es) listed on your application.
  • Accepted Junior Finalists should expect to receive their sheet music and Conductor’s rehearsal notes no later than the end of May 2020.
  • 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

1359 Broadway, Suite 1504,
New York, NY 10018

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

National Band Association
Premier Business Member

American Choral Directors Association Logo

National Association for Music Education Logo

  This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.