FYO Summer Session 2016

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Ben Bolter, Conductor
Meghan Carye, Program Director
Merrick Nelson, Head of Strings
Kristian Baverstam, Head of Winds and Brass

A full symphony orchestra program for intermediate-advanced players ages 13–18

  • One intensive 3-week session, 8:30am–3:30pm daily
  • Full-time faculty lead ensemble and individual coaching
  • String, woodwind, brass and percussion coaches
  • Chamber music coaching and reading rehearsals
  • Daily sectionals with coaches and full orchestra rehearsals
  • Final concert in NEC's historic Jordan Hall

FYO 2016 Season

Pre-Season Training: (New this year!)
July 6, 7, and 8
Announcing a new, optional thre-day 'pre-season'. These days are full of guided practice sessions and group sessions with NEC Faculty. Pre-season training is open to all FYO participants for an additional $300.

Three Week Intensive:
Monday-Friday, July 11–29 from 8:30am–3:30pm

Chamber Music Concert: July 28 at 4pm

Orchestra Concert: July 29 at 7:30 pm, NEC's Jordan Hall

Anticipated Repertoire for 2016: (subject to change)

  • Brahms: Symphony No. 4
  • Additional Repitoire to be announced in the spring

Click here to see what FYO has performed in previous years.

Ben Bolter Returns to FYO!

NEC is thrilled to announce Ben Bolter will be returning to the podium leading Festival Youth Orchestra in their 17th Season. With a background as a player in NEC’s Preparatory School and College orchestras, Ben first appeared as a conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra, and is currently Director of Orchestras at Chicago's Merit School of Music.

Instrumental Program

This three-week full symphony orchestra program is open to intermediate to advanced-level strings, brass, winds, piano, and percussion between the age of 13-18. Daily activities include full orchestral rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, chamber music reading/coaching sessions, masterclasses, mock auditions, group reflections on progress, individual practice time, and a final orchestral concert in NEC's historic Jordan Hall. The Festival Youth Orchestra (FYO) experience emphasizes intensive musical preparation, with special focus on concentration, practice and performance techniques, interpretation, phrasing, and general musicianship. Students will also develop useful communication skills as a result of their musical collaborations, learning the joy of music making while developing lasting friendships. Off-campus lunch trips are scheduled throughout the three-week session.

FYO faculty are experienced performers and educators from the Boston metropolitan area with credentials from the leading conservatories and music schools throughout the US. Past faculty included experienced specialists in violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, trumpet, trombone, horn, and percussion. Please note that FYO faculty do not offer private lessons but sectional coaching to support learning FYO repertoire.

Applicants must be admitted before registering online. Please contact fyo@necmusic.edu regarding any questions.

If you have been accepted into FYO, please register online through the School of Continuing Education. Registration for summer is now open.

Audition Information

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Live Audition Dates:

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016

Live auditions are held in Boston at New England Conservatory.

Audition Requirments:

2 contrasting solos or 2 contrasting movements plus short orchestra excerpt(s) from Brahms' Fourth Symphony. Excerpts are posted below.

DVD submissions should be mailed to:

Festival Youth Orchestra
NEC Preparatory School
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Audition materials will not be returned. Applicants must be admitted into the orchestra before registering online.

For more information about auditions please email fyo@necmusic.edu.

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Audition Excerpts

All excerpts are taken from Brahms's Fourth Symphony.

Violin Excerpts
Violin 1
Movement 2
Measures 30-40

Movement 3
Beginning to Measure 44

Movement 4
Measures 169-199

Viola Excerpts
Movement 2
Measures 64-80

Movement 3
Beginning to Measure 44

Movement 4
Measure 41-80

Cello Excerpts
Movement 2
Measure 41-55

Movement 4
Measure 41-80

Bass Excerpts
Movement 2
Measure 76-87

Movement 3
Beginning to Measure 46

Flute Excerpts (from Flute I)
Movement 3
Measures 125-133

Movement 4
Measures 97-105

Piccolo (optional) Excerpts
Movement 3
Measures 1-18

Oboe Excerpts (from Oboe 1)
Movement 1
Measures 98-113

Movement 3
Measures 242-258

Clarinet Excerpts (from Clarinet 1)
Movement 2
Measures 4-13

Movement 3
Pickup to measure 55-63

Bassoon Excerpts (from Bassoon 1)
Movement 2
Measures 2- downbeat if measure 15

Movement 3
Pickup to measure 125-downbeat of measure 133

Horn Excerpts
From Horn 1
Movement 1
Measures 297-309

Movement 3
Measures 34-44

From Horn 3 (optional)
Movement 3
Measures 177-189

Trumpet Excerpts (from Trumpet 1)
Movement 1
Measures 114-133

Movement 3
measures 6-measures 17

Trombone Excerpts (from Trombone 1)
Movement 4
Measures 113-137
& Measures 273-280

Bass Trombone Excerpts
Movement 4
Measures 1-12
&Measures 113-128

Tuba Excerpts
Coming soon

Timpani Excerpts
Coming soon

Why Parents Love FYO

"Thank you so much for creating a program that has done so much for my daughter. She came out of the experience this year with increased confidence in her gifts and a greater capacity for hard work, as well as a thicker skin; all great things to carry with her, in both music and the rest of her life."

"Thank you for the ravishing concert Friday night. I was on the edge of my seat, not only because I was nervous for my kid, but because the music was so exciting I couldn't wait to hear what would happen next. I think it was the best concert of the four I've had the pleasure to hear."

"Thank you for your leadership and warm support of the students who participated in this summer's Festival Youth Orchestra at New England Conservatory. Our daughter had a wonderful and positive learning experience that added real dimension to her musical understanding, and that she will take with her as she continues to develop musically. We traveled to Boston from California this summer to participate in FYO. Based on our experience, FYO provides a unique experience in its 3-week, intensive, daytime program, located in the midst of a rich urban area and hosted by the renowned and established NEC. We were pleased with the challenging musical repertoire, the instruction provided by the apprentices/coaches and staff, and the organization and thoughtful variety in the daily schedule. Our daughter seemed to enjoy each and every day. The incredible venue of Jordan Hall capped off the session with the students' final performance on Friday evening. We came to Boston not knowing exactly what to expect; we will be leaving with appreciation and respect for the NEC FYO program."


FYO 2016 Tuition: $2050

Pre-Season Session Tuition: $300

*Early Bird Discount: $300. Register by March 1 and receive a $300 Early Bird Discount*

Multi-Sibling discount: $300

To apply for financial aid, email fyo@necmusic.edu to request an application.

We have an optional payment plan (additional $10.00) available for FYO students. The plan allows tuition to be paid in four installments as scheduled below:

Due at the time of registration: $150 tuition deposit, $40 registration fee
The remaining tuition is evenly distributed between the following three scheduled installments:
March 1

April 1
May 1

A credit card must be filed at the time of registration and will automatically be charged on each installment date. The payment plan fee is $10 and is due at the time of registration.

FYO Refund Policy

*Full refund if withdrawn more than 90 days before program begins
*75% refund if withdrawn 90-61 days before program begins
*50% refund if withdrawn 60-46 days before program begins
*25% refund if withdrawn 45-31 days before program begins
*No refund if withdrawn 30 days of fewer before program begins

At this time, NEC is unable to offer housing for students of this program.

FYO Sample Daily Schedule

8:30 am Arrival, warm up & Individual Practice

9:00 am Sectionals

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Orchestra rehearsal

12:30 pm Lunch

1:15 pm Rotating Activities: sectionals, mock auditions, masterclasses, chamber music coaching, listening sessions.

2:15 pm Orchestra rehearsal

3:15 pm Reflection and wrap-up with faculty

3:30 pm Dismissal