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NYO-USA Apprenticeships Application

Since 2014, Carnegie Hall has offered apprenticeships to students in roles beyond instrumental positions in NYO-USA to explore key aspects of the orchestral field. Open to students ages 16–19 who meet the same eligibility requirements as prospective NYO-USA instrumentalists, these rare opportunities are ideal for musicians who are interested in the possibility of taking their musical experience in a new direction. Apprentices will work alongside NYO-USA’s artistic and administrative staff and gain direct experience in their respective craft. The apprentices will additionally join the orchestra on tour to continue to support the production and operations of NYO-USA through concerts and additional activities. All apprentices are considered members of NYO-USA and share in all accommodation, meal, and travel arrangements with their fellow musicians. Apprenticeships are tuition- and expense-free, with the exception of the cost of the student’s travel to/from the New York City area at the start of the program and at the conclusion of the tour. (Financial aid is available for this travel expense to applicants demonstrating substantial financial need.)

The NYO-USA application is now closed.

More National Youth Ensembles

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) invites young musicians ages 16–19 to audition for its 2022 season. All application materials must be submitted using an online form administered by Acceptd, a service that provides a digital audition platform to many performing arts schools and programs. In order to start the NYO-USA application, you will need to create an Acceptd account. (If you already have one, you can start a new application using your existing account.) Once you create an Acceptd account, you will be able to start the NYO-USA application and save your progress at any point. If this is your first experience with an online digital audition service, we encourage you to allow enough time to upload and review the required application videos to make certain they represent your playing as effectively as possible.


  • September 9, 2021: Application officially opens
  • November 11, 2021: Application deadline
  • December 1, 2021: Recommendation deadline
  • January 27, 2022: Applicants notified of status via email
  • July 2022: Program begins

Students may apply for multiple apprenticeships based on their interests and experience. There is no fee to apply. If you are under the age of 18 at the time of your application, permission of a parent or guardian is needed.

  • Video Essay: Please record your answer to one of the questions below. This is an opportunity for you to share more of your personality and interests, or a side of yourself that may not be evident from other elements of the application. There is no right or wrong answer to any of the prompts. A minute or two is a good length for many applicants, but shorter or longer videos are welcome. While we understand that not everyone may be comfortable speaking to a camera, our best advice is “be yourself.”
    • What is a non-musical interest or activity that you are passionate about and why?
    • If you could choose any composer to write a concerto for you, whom would it be and why?
    • What is your favorite non-musical creative work (book, painting, poem, movie, etc.) and why does it speak to you?
  • Personal Essay: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your experiences as a musician, and any educational or family background you may wish to share. Please also describe how participating in NYO-USA would help you advance your personal or artistic goals. Suggested length is 200–300 words, though shorter or longer submissions will be accepted.
  • Recommendations: You will be asked to enter email addresses for two required references; a third is optional. Each reference will receive a link to an online recommendation form after you submit your completed application. Please note that this email will be sent directly from Acceptd (not Carnegie Hall or NYO-USA). Your references will have until December 1, 2021 to complete and submit their confidential recommendations. References who can address both your personal and musical qualities, such as your music teacher(s) and/or ensemble conductor(s), are preferred.
  • Score Requirement (Composition Apprenticeship applicants only): Apprentice composer applicants are also required to submit two original scores (PDF files only) for any size of ensemble. If possible, please include a piece that shows some experience with varied instrumentation and orchestration. You may also upload video and/or audio recordings of your music if available, but candidates will be judged on their written scores—there is no expectation that recordings will be submitted.

Citizenship: NYO-USA is open to US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) from all backgrounds.

Age Limit: You must be between the ages of 16 and 19 during the summer of your participation. For 2022, this means your birthdate must be between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2006, without exception. Please note that if you are under 18 at the time that you apply, the consent of your parent or guardian is required.

Grade Level: Participation in NYO-USA is limited to high school students within the age range above. You must be enrolled in high school or the equivalent level of homeschooling during the 2021–2022 academic year to be eligible for the 2022 NYO-USA program. Gap-year students who graduated from high school in 2021 (or earlier) are not eligible.

Carnegie Hall and its national youth ensembles are committed to having a fully vaccinated building, including within our concert venues, Resnick Education Wing, offices, and all other spaces on our premises and other outside venues we occupy during the national youth ensemble program period.

This policy will enable all our programs to operate at full capacity while looking after everyone’s health and safety. Therefore, all applicants selected for NYO-USA will need to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization in order to participate in the program. We will be sending detailed guidelines once musicians are accepted to the program. In the meantime, we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about these new protocols.

Invited students and their parent/guardian(s) are expected to arrange air or ground transportation to attend the NYO-USA program, traveling to/from the New York City area on designated arrival and departure dates. (If applicable based on the tour flight itinerary, the option to depart from NYO-USA via an airport outside of New York may be provided.) Each student must also arrange to have a valid passport by the deadline provided for visa and other travel requirements. Assistance to cover these travel costs is available in cases of financial need, and information about how to apply for a travel award will be provided to accepted applicants.

All other travel associated with participation in NYO-USA, including international and domestic flights between tour cities, airport transfers, sightseeing excursions, and all other ground transportation (including any activities during the residency period taking place outside of the Purchase College campus) is arranged and paid for by Carnegie Hall.

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari.

Global Ambassadors: Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

United Airlines

Major funding has been provided by the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation, Ronald E. Blaylock and Petra Pope, Lorraine Buch Fund for Young Artists, Estate of Joan Eliasoph, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation, Clive and Anya Gillinson, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Marc Haas Foundation, The Carl Jacobs Foundation, Melanie and Jean E. Salata, JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc, and United Airlines, Airline Partner to the National Youth Ensembles.

Additional funding has been provided by the Alphadyne Foundation, Sarah Arison, The Jack Benny Family Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Mary Anne Huntsman Morgan and The Huntsman Foundation, IAC, Stella and Robert Jones, Martha and Robert Lipp, Lauren and Ezra Merkin, Beth and Joshua Nash, The Netherland-America Foundation, The Morton H. Meyerson Family Foundation, Linda Wachner, David S. Winter, and Judy Francis Zankel.

Blavatnik Family Foundation

Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

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