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Composition Program

Audition Info

Applications for the 21/22 Composition Program is now closed

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.

Applications for the 2021/22 season are closed. Please check back in June 2022 for the 2022/2023 season application.

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.

Seminars and Performances

The Composition Program generally meets weekly from October to May on Thursdays between 4:30 pm-7:00 pm, at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, or virtually via Zoom.

Past guest composers and performers have included 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 in May, 2022.

Fees & Financial Aid

The application fee for the 2020/2021 season is $95. Upon acceptance to the program, there is a $370 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.

What to Expect at Your Audition

Audition interviews will be held virtually on September 9 and 10, 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 interview online as well as the supplemental form, which must be completed before your interview.

At your interview you will meet virtually with the Director and Assistant Director of the Composition Program. With their supplemental form, 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. 

Applications for the 2021/22 season are closed. Please check back in June 2022 for the 2022/2023 season application.