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Apprentice Conducting Program

Audition Info

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program!

“The orchestra has been a training ground for conductors who have gone on to bigger things.”  -The New York Times 

The world’s finest emerging conductors have found the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program to be an unparalleled opportunity to sharpen their craft, develop their talent, and gain exposure in front of New York's discerning audiences. Under guidance from NYYS Music Director Michael Repper, this program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, observation, and guided talkback sessions. The program also features guest speakers throughout the season to work with the students, and share insights from their careers.

Applications for the 2021/2022 season are now open!

Conducting applications will take place on September 22, 2021, via Zoom

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 any questions, please email info(at)nyys(dot)org. Please allow 2-3 business days for a response as staff are working remotely.

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 August 6, 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

  • The New York Youth Symphony will require all Students to be vaccinated with an FDA emergency use authorized vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) in order to participate in any of our programs during the 2021/22 season. 
  • Proof of completed vaccination must be uploaded within the 2021/22 season application.
  • The reason for our vaccination requirement is to protect the health and safety of our NYYS community to the fullest extent possible.  
  • The NYYS will continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information available and governmental guidance to make informed decisions about our vaccination requirement.
  • Individuals may request religious or medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements which will be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • Questions?  For more information, email info[at]nyys[dot]org.

Conducting Audition Information

Interviews will be held on September 22, 2021 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 as well as the supplemental form, which must be completed before your audition.

Rehearsals and Performances

The Apprentice Conducting students will meet on Sundays and select Wednesdays. On Sundays, students will observe NYYS Orchestra rehearsals from 4-6PM, and engage in a talkback session with the NYYS Music Director and Assistant Conductor from 6-6:30, to discuss rehearsal technique and planning. Students will also have opportunities throughout the season to take the podium and lead the orchestra in a reading. On select Wednesdays, students will meet from 6-7PM online for a series of academic topics, score study, and guest lectures with prominent conductors, composers, and working professionals. NYYS Conducting Apprentices will also observe Carnegie Hall dress rehearsals and will be welcome at NYYS concerts at Carnegie Hall. 

Fees & Financial Aid

There is a non-refundable application fee of $95. Upon acceptance to the program, there is a $165 registration fee. 

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 and additional financial aid are available. Apply FOR BOTH within the NYYS program application.


Auditions will be held virtually on September 22, 2021 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 as well as the supplemental form, which must be completed before your audition.

At your audition you will meet virtually with the Music Director. With their supplemental form, each applicant is asked to submit a letter of intent (for new students only), a letter of recommendation (for all applicants), and a video clip of you conducting (for all applicants).

Applications for the 2021/2022 Season are now open!