• Frequently Asked Questions

    What is NYO2?

    NYO2 is an orchestral training program for talented young instrumentalists ages 14–17 created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Based on the success of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2 launched in the summer of 2016 with a particular focus on attracting talented students from groups underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. Each summer, a group of young musicians come together to interact with one another, learn from an all-star faculty in a variety of settings—including individual lessons, sectionals, and chamber ensembles, among others—and play under the direction of a celebrated conductor. As a central part of NYO2, participants will have the opportunity to work closely with select members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, thanks to a partnership between Carnegie Hall and the orchestra. Members of NYO2 will serve as musical ambassadors, representing their communities, schools, ensembles, states, and regions.

    Who can participate in NYO2?

    NYO2 is open to US citizens or fulltime US residents from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from those who will bring greater diversity to classical orchestral music and/or those who have not had access to highly selective training opportunities through youth orchestra programs, summer festivals, camps, or similar experiences outside of their communities. You must be between the ages of 14 and 17 during the summer of your participation. For 2018, this means that your birthdate must be between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2004, without exception.

    When will the program take place?

    NYO2 is a summer program that will take place for several weeks between late June and late July. Because of the intensive nature of the program, no absences for any part of this period are permitted.

    Where does the NYO2 training residency take place?

    NYO2 is in residence at Purchase College, SUNY. Located on 550 scenic acres in Westchester County 30 miles north of New York City, Purchase College has outstanding rehearsal and practice facilities—including a conservatory music building and a highly regarded, multi-venue performing arts center—where all full orchestral rehearsals take place. The college’s newest residence hall (“Fort Awesome”) houses participants during the program.

    Where will the orchestra perform?

    Although NYO2 is primarily an orchestral training program, participants will perform in side-by-side concerts with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2017 this will include two performances, one in Verizon Hall in Philadelphia and one in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.

    How do I apply?

    The audition and application process takes place online. Learn more about applying.

    How will my application be evaluated?

    In line with its mission, NYO2 includes a broad range of qualified participants from across the country to reflect the exceptional diversity of the US. Applications are reviewed based on a variety of factors, including the applicant’s technical ability, musicianship, passion, willingness to collaborate, intellectual curiosity, and social and emotional maturity.


    Eligibility

    Are there any exceptions to the age requirement?

    No.

    What are the residency requirements for NYO2?

    Any US citizen—regardless of their current place of residence—is eligible to apply for NYO2. Applications are also accepted from those who are living fulltime in the US as permanent residents (green card holders) or as dependent children of temporary workers who have been living continuously in the US for at least two years (typically H-1B visa holders). International students who are living in the US for school or other reasons are not eligible for NYO2.

    Are there positions available for my instrument?

    NYO2’s symphony orchestra is made up of around 80 musicians. Applicants can apply on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, and percussion/timpani. Based on repertoire, there may be positions available for other instruments, including harp and piano/orchestral keyboard.

    Can I apply on more than one instrument?

    Yes, but a separate application is required for each instrument. Please note that auxiliary instruments such as piccolo, English horn, and bass clarinet do not require a separate application.

    If eligible, can I apply to both NYO2 and NYO-USA?

    Yes, as long as you were born between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2002. You will need to apply to each program separately. Please refer to the application instructions for NYO-USA for more information.

    Will I be able to participate in NYO2 more than once?

    Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Please note that all applicants are required to re-apply and submit a new audition video each year.


    Application Process

    Do I need to be nominated in order to apply to NYO2?

    Yes. A formal nomination from a teacher, ensemble director, school/band/orchestra administrator, or community leader is required as part of the application.

    My solo is longer than three minutes. Is that okay?

    While you can select a three-minute excerpt from a longer work or recorded performance, please keep your solo submission as close to the three-minute mark as possible. We receive a large number of applications, and our review panel listens carefully to all auditions. It is not possible for the panel to listen to submissions considerably longer than the requested three minutes.

    Can I put together two short pieces or highlights from a longer recording to make my three-minute solo submission?

    We prefer that you submit one continuous recording.

    Do both of my references need to be musicians?

    No, but it is helpful if at least one of them is. While general music teachers, orchestra directors, or private instructors are all acceptable as musical references, an academic instructor or other non-music mentor can also serve as a reference.

    Are we required to submit three references?

    No, only two references are required. If you feel that another might add a different perspective to your application, you are welcome to include a third reference.

    Can my nominator serve as a reference?

    Yes, but we ask that they complete the separate recommendation form in addition to the nomination form.

    My video recordings are not professional quality. Will this hurt my chances of being accepted into NYO2?

    No. We understand that not everyone has the means to provide a professional video recording, and our goal is to make NYO2 accessible to all who wish to apply. As long as the applicant is clearly visible and audible, the audition will be judged on its musical merits and not on its production value. Most auditions have been recorded using basic home video equipment.

    Can I send additional information about my musical and/or personal accomplishments after the application deadline?

    We are unable to consider any supplemental application materials received after the application deadline.


    Guest Artists and Faculty

    Who conducts the NYO2 orchestra?

    In 2016 and 2017, Giancarlo Guerrero—music director of the Nashville Symphony and principal guest conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Miami Residency—conducts NYO2. Born in Nicaragua and raised in Costa Rica, where he studied percussion, Mr. Guerrero has been sought after as a guest conductor by most of the major North American orchestras, and has an active career in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. Mr. Guerrero has led the Nashville Symphony to win several Grammy Awards in recent years, including Best Orchestral Performance in 2011.

    Who makes up the NYO2 faculty?

    As a central part of NYO2, participants will have the opportunity to work closely with select members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, thanks to a new partnership formed between Carnegie Hall and the orchestra, an organization with its own deep commitment to education and artist training. NYO2’s 2017 season culminates with the young musicians performing in exciting side-by-side performances with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Verizon Hall in Philadelphia and Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Additional faculty will include select NYO-USA faculty members as well as musicians from other top US orchestras and programs.

    What else can I expect as part of my NYO2 experience?

    In addition to orchestra rehearsals and the opportunity to work closely with select members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, NYO2 participants will have both musical and social opportunities with members of NYO-USA, as well as access to individual instruction and workshops designed to cultivate arts leadership skills and enable participants to serve their communities through music.

    Are there any costs or fees associated with NYO2?

    NYO2 is a tuition-free program for all participants. The program provides room and board during the residency and covers all expenses related to instructional, rehearsal, performance, and other activities. There is no fee to apply. Financial aid is also available to help participants with the travel costs associated with participation in NYO2. Additional details will be available upon acceptance.


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    Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    Founder Patron: Beatrice Santo Domingo.

     

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    With additional funding provided by: Ernst & Young LLP