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Composition Program

Audition Info

Thank you for your interest in applying for the New York Youth Symphony's Composition Program. 

Applications for the 2020/21 season are now closed. We invite you to apply for the 2021/2022 season - please check back in June 2021 for further information.

The health and safety of NYYS students and their families are of the greatest importance to the NYYS. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all auditions will be held online, via Zoom. In addition, NYYS will hold 2020/2021 activities both online and in-person in accordance with governmental regulations.

Directed by Dr. Kyle Blaha, the New York Youth Symphony's Composition Program is the first series of workshops in the country for young musicians to explore the world of composition and orchestration. Students between the ages of 12-22 who have a sense of curiosity and a taste for musical adventure are invited to apply.

Applicants should review the guidelines on this page to make sure that they can fulfill the commitment to the program before applying. If you have questions, please contact the NYYS office at (212) 581-5933.

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in the 2021/2022 season, the applicant's birth date must be no earlier than May 31, 1999 and no later than November 1, 2009, inclusive. Please do not apply if your birth date falls outside of these dates as you will not be eligible for the program and we are not able to refund your application fee.

Seminars and Performances

The Composition Program generally meets weekly from October to May on Thursdays between 4:30 pm-7:00 pm. Due to COVID-19, fall sessions will be held online, via Zoom.

This year’s guests composers and performers include Molly Joyce, Mari Kimura, Chen Yi, Reena Esmail, John Corigliano, David Ludwig, Jessie Montgomery, Andrea DelGiudice, Bridget Kibbey, David Fulmer, the Aizuri Quartet, Decoda ensemble, and more. Students' works will be read and workshopped throughout the season, culminating in a final performance by members of the NYYS Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Apprentice Conducting programs at the annual Composition Date concert at Symphony Space on May 13, 2021.

Fees & Financial Aid

The application fee for the 2020/2021 season is $95. In addition to the application fee, there is a $360 registration fee upon acceptance into the program.

The NYYS recognizes that the cost of application and registration fees may be prohibitive for some students, and that access to technology may be a barrier to participation in online activities. Financial aid, application fee waivers, work-study, and technology funds are available to help offset these expenses. Financial need is the major consideration when awarding assistance. We ask that students seek funding through their personal networks in addition to completing the financial aid application as funds are limited.

Application fee waivers require prior approval. 
Click here to request an application fee waiver. 
Please wait for a response before beginning your program application. You will receive a response within 48 hours of submitting your request.

Additional financial aid is available within the NYYS program application.

What to Expect at Your Audition

Audition interviews will be held virtually on September 9 and 10, 2020 via Zoom (please download the Zoom app for free here). Upon completing the online application, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to schedule your audition online. If you are unable to access Zoom for your audition, please contact Shauna Quill at squill(at)nyys(dot)org to make alternate arrangements.

At your interview you will meet virtually with the Director and Assistant Director of the Composition Program. With their application, each applicant is asked to submit a minimum of one recent composition (score and recording), which will be discussed during your virtual interview. MIDI files are acceptable.