Do you play the clarinet for your high school band and have recently received an email about some “Honors Performance Series”? Or conversely, are you an aspiring young musician looking for a platform through which you can propel yourself to a career in music? In that case, this article is for you.
Here, we will talk about the Honors Performance Series and answer all the questions you might have, such as what is the Honors Performance Series? Is the Honors Performance Series legitimate? How to apply for the Honors Performance Series? You can find all the relevant information in this article.
What is the Honors Performance Series?
The Honors Performance Series is a platform for gifted young musicians to showcase their talents under master conductors inside some of the most prestigious music theatres in the world: Carnegie Hall in New York, the Sydney Opera House in the land down under, and the Royal Festival House in London.
A curated handful of young musicians are selected from a talented international pool and allowed to perform under the baton masters of the aforementioned prestigious halls and connect and rehearse with peers from around the world.
A Brief History
The Honors Performance series is the child of its parent organization World Strides, which was formed by a former social studies teacher, Phil Wendel, between 1998 and 2001. Phil Wendel was initially moved by a trip with his students to Washington, D.C., in 1964, whereby he witnessed the encouraging power travel had on his students.
Inspired by this, he left teaching to sire Lakeland Tours in 1967. Later, he joined forces with other leaders in the student travel field to form World Strides. This merger included the Bowl Games of America and Heritage Festivals, through which World Strides could consist of performance opportunities for bands, choirs, and orchestras in its repertoire.
In 2008, Field Studies International joined this group, bringing over two decades of experience hosting student performances at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. In 2010, the series mentioned above of events led to the inaugural Honors Performance Series being performed at Carnegie Hall, hosting over 400 high school students from the US, Canada, and Bermuda.
In 2014, the middle school Honors Series was introduced, and finally, the young adult Honors Series in 2017. World Strides would include more renowned concert halls to host the Honors Performance Series in the years to follow. It will start from the Sydney Opera House in 2017 to the legendary Golden Hall at the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.
Now, the Performance Series offers a chance for musicians as young as middle schoolers to high school graduates up to 25 years of age to perform and showcase their talents. The programs are segregated as follows:
These are for students in grades 6-8 in the U.S. or their international equivalent. In 2023, the middle school performance program will be hosted by Carnegie Hall, New York, with an ensemble for a mixed choir, an orchestra, and a band.
The invitations will have been sent by October 2022, with the applications due early in December 2022. The final results are expected to be announced by mid-March 2023.
The high school Honors Performance series features students in grades 9-12 from the U.S. or their international equivalents. The high school program will feature performances in Carnegie Hall, New York, in February 2023 and the Sydney Opera House, Australia, in July/August 2023.
The selections for the Carnegie Hall program will be announced in October 2022. In contrast, the choices for the Sydney Opera House will be announced in December 2022. The Carnegie Hall performance will feature a mixed choir, a treble choir, a band, a string orchestra, and a full orchestra. The event’s counterpart in Australia will feature a mixed ensemble, an orchestra, and a band.
The young adult program features high school graduates between 18 and 25 years of age. It will occur in February 2023 at Carnegie Hall and June 2023 at the Sydney Opera House. The final selections for both events will be announced in October this year. The Carnegie Hall performances will feature an instrumental ensemble. In contrast, the concert at the Sydney Opera House will feature a mixed choir.
Unfortunately, no program will be offered in Vienna at the Musikverein in 2023. You can find further information about all the programs being offered here.
How Much Does It Cost to Join the Honors Performance Series?
The 2023 Honors Performance Series cost is $2,249. A fee-selected performance can either pay in full upon acceptance or through a payment plan spread out through the months between their approval and the program start date.
The Honors Performance Series wants to encourage students from all economic backgrounds to participate and therefore offers partial scholarships, which the selected members can apply for following their acceptance.
In addition to scholarships, a limited number of grants are also provided for alums, children of military personnel, or family and friends. Follow this link to evaluate your eligibility.
Requirements to Join the Honors Performance Series
To find out about the eligibility requirements for the Carnegie Hall performance opportunity, read below to find out the requirements to join the program. The Honors Series offers rolling admissions, which means the applications are reviewed in the order they are received.
You can check your eligibility and the application requirements for the proposed programs here. You can be selected by a music teacher or nominate yourself for your application. To apply for the Honors Series, you need to complete the following steps:
Complete Online Enrolment
Here, you will be asked to provide the pertinent personal information for the program you wish to apply for. After completing the online enrolment form and paying the application deposit, you can continue your application through the portal provided.
Provide Teacher References
You will be asked to reference a professor to verify the various information you have provided throughout your application. The person you choose can be any music-related entity, whether a private instructor or a school teacher. Ensure they know you well enough to review the material provided.
Complete Your Musical Background Form
You will be asked to provide more comprehensive information regarding the experience you have regarding music. Questions in this part of your application may include:
- Why do you want to be a part of the Honors Performance Series?
- Your musical education history: have you taken any lessons? What is the duration? Who did you do so with?
- Your musical prowess: which instrument(s) or what vocal(s) are you proficient in?
- A list of any awards, recognitions, or honors you may have gotten for your musical talents pertinent to your selection in the Honors Series.
- A list of the significant ensemble or solo pieces you have learned or performed.
- Lists of the musical performance groups you have been affiliated with, both selective and otherwise.
- Always mention any other information that you believe will be relevant and aid you.
Submit Audio Recordings
Here, you submit an audio recording showcasing your skills. The basic guidelines are as follows:
- The recordings must be either in MP3 or MP4 format. Video files are not accepted.
- Each recording should loosely be between 3 to 5 minutes long. It is alright if the recording is slightly above or below the limit.
- Since you can audition for multiple parts, each recording should begin with you stating your name. Then, mention the position you are striving after and the musical piece you will be performing for the audition.
- Vocalists may only audition for one vocal part. If you have other singing abilities, you can indicate them on the performing biography form.
- For vocalists, your audition must be a solo vocal performance. It is encouraged to add a piano accompaniment to your audition recording.
- For instrumentalists, your audition must only contain a solo without accompaniment.
- Percussionists are to submit recordings for 3 solo pieces: 1 timpani, 1 marimba, and 1 snare. The recording time for all three solos will be 3 to 5 minutes.
- You should submit recordings that best showcase your abilities and talents. Although classical music is preferred, it is not a requirement.
Unfortunately, statistics for the Honors Performance Series acceptance rate are not available. Generally, several hundred students are accepted into this elite group from all over the world.
After you have been selected to participate, you will be placed into an ensemble according to your skills. Since it is possible to apply for multiple programs, you can also be accepted for a few programs for the same year. In this case, you can participate in both events.
How Do You Audition for Carnegie Hall?
What are the Honors Performance Series audition requirements? The application procedure for the Carnegie Hall High School Honors Performance Series is identical to the one outlined earlier. It has more specific guidelines for submitting the audio recordings depending on the program you are applying for. You can check the particular requirements for each program here.
Is Joining the Honors Performance Series Worth it?
Are you an aspiring young musician with big dreams? The Honors Performance Series might be the platform that propels you to them. The Honors Performance Series offers a unique, life-changing experience, with some of the best young musicians worldwide participating and showcasing their talents.
It allows you to travel, connect with your peers, make lifelong friends, play, and rehearse under master conductors in some of the most well-renowned concert halls in the world. The Honors Performance Series promises an experience that will help you grow not only as a musician but also as a person.
Finally, if you get selected for the Honors Performance Series, you will be treated like a celebrity at your school. Without question, you will be featured in the school paper. At the end of the experience, you will have bragging rights, telling people that you have performed at Carnegie Hall or the Sydney Opera House.
So, to answer the question, without doubt, yes, the Honors Performance Series is worth it. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will be better convinced by someone who has performed there.
How prestigious is Honors Performance Series? It is considered one of the most prestigious venues for classical and popular music. Now, there are other opportunities out there. However, having such a wonderful social experience is a unique and beneficial experience for anyone.
Wrapping Things Up: How Prestigious is the Honors Performance Series?
Finally, how prestigious is the Honors Performance Series? Summarizing everything we have discussed; the Honors Performance Series is an elite group of young musicians worldwide. It offers you an opportunity to learn under masters of the trade and showcase your talents in some of the biggest music venues in the world.
Becoming a part of this group is a true testament to your talent, hard work, and skill. To conclude, the Honors Performance Series is as big as it gets as a young musician anywhere in the world.