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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 the guidance of 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.

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.


Students will have the opportunity to conduct small ensembles throughout the year to develop rehearsal and stick technique. The program culminates with the Composition Date Concert in May 2022, where apprentice conductors work directly with a composer of the NYYS Composition Program to prepare, rehearse, and perform a newly composed piece at the Composition Date Concert in May, 2022.


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.


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

Please check the audition section of our website for eligibility and fee requirements, application information, and audition dates.

Conducting Staff