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Chamber Music Guidelines


The New York Youth Symphony’s Chamber Music Program is an excellent opportunity for players to enhance their musical abilities, improve their performance confidence, and develop interpersonal skills within small group settings. The program makes every effort to place individual players into ensembles with whom they may feel most comfortable; pre-formed groups are also encouraged to apply.

Attendance Policy

Required events include Orientation, the two Assessments, coachings and rehearsals, two masterclasses, two studio classes/workshops, one performance for special audiences, and one final concert.


Ensembles are expected to meet weekly either for a rehearsal or coaching. Ensembles should rehearse twice each month without a coach.
Rehearsals normally last from one to two-and-a half hours each. Students are responsible for setting their ensemble’s rehearsal schedule in compliance with these requirements and in consultation with its coach.


In addition to rehearsals, ensembles comprised of strings, winds, brass, guitar, harp, and piano meet twice a month from October through April for individualized coaching sessions with a staff of outstanding professional musicians.

Master Classes

Students are required to attend or perform in two master classes and are encouraged to audit as many classes as they can. Students are expected to dress and prepare for master classes as they would for any performance. Lateness to or absence from a class in which a member is scheduled to perform may result in dismissal from the program. This year, guest artists include Gil Kalish, Anne-Marie McDermott, Frank Morelli, Ani Kavafian, Fred Sherry, Roger Tapping, and others.

Workshops/Studio Classes

Students are invited to all scheduled workshops/studio classes and are required to attend at least two sessions and stay for the entire workshop. Ensembles are strongly encouraged to perform at least one studio class. The attendance requirement for workshops can be met by attending an extra masterclass to observe. Students enjoy special evenings of sight-reading, workshops, informal performances, and social time. The studio classes offer opportunities to perform for colleagues in a studio setting.


Each group is required to perform at the December 9th and April 7th assessments, at The DiMenna Center. It is a great way to hear the other ensembles in the program, as well as get to know the other groups at a post-jury reception. Placement into masterclasses and performances are based on these assessments.


The Chamber program’s season culminates in April with performances by all groups at Scandinavia House on April 30 and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on May 1. Students are required to perform at one of the two concerts but encouraged to attend them all. Groups may be asked to participate in additional performance opportunities including concerts at The National Arts Club Thursday, on March 19 and the Composition Date 2017 concert on May 16 at Symphony Space detailed below.

National Arts Club

One of the highlights of the chamber music season is the Program’s performance at the National Arts Club’s exquisite Victorian parlors, part of a building that is a National Historic Landmark. With its stained glasswork and oriental carpets, the National Arts Club is an ideal performance venue for chamber music whose origins developed from salons and chamber settings such as these. This year’s concert will be held on Wednesday, April 26.

Composition Date 2017

Each year students from the orchestra, jazz, and chamber programs perform original compositions by students of the Composition Program. This is an exciting way for students to collaborate together to perform new works and learn how to work with a composer on a new composition. Groups that are selected to participate will be required to attend a workshop held on March 12, 2017 and rehearsals held on April 30 and May 7, 2017. The performance will be on May 10, 2017 at Symphony Space.

Concert Attire

Formal attire is worn at concerts. Ensembles should coordinate to match. The group does not need to wear all formal black but that is an option. Women should wear a long gown or pants. Men should wear a dress shirt and tie. Dress for workshops, studio classes and masterclasses should be business attire; no jeans or sneakers. The staff reserves the right to suggest alternate attire.

Community Concerts

Ensembles may be asked to perform an outreach concert at music programs, children’s hospitals or senior citizen homes. This outreach is very important to populations that may not be able to attend concerts. Program managers will work with students on finding opportunities that will work with their schedules.