NEC Preparatory School National Youth Chorale Festival (Online)

Spring Session Starts February 4th, 2021
Thursday Nights from 7 – 8 p.m. ET

Erica J. Washburn, conductor 

This exciting new 14-week online festival chorus experience is designed to provide a multifaceted learning platform for choristers, who will gain knowledge and experience in: 

  • improving their sense of individual responsibility within a larger ensemble
  • how to stay in the best physical and vocal health possible
  • fundamental skills such as rhythm, solfège, harmonic and melodic progressions, and phrasing
  • how to collaborate in a virtual environment with other like-minded students their own age

In addition, choristers will have the opportunity to participate in group classes with special guests, as well as in sectional rehearsals, which will provide them with an opportunity to examine their own part more in-depth. 

Repertoire will be focused on a theme of hope and renewal, at the suggestion of current members of the National Youth Chorale Festival chorus. At the conclusion of the webinar-styled festival, choristers will gather one last time in their Zoom rehearsal space to view a virtual performance of their work, and share meaningful dialogue surrounding their experiences and accomplishments. 

Previous guest artists include: 

  • Dr. Anthony Maglione, Director of Choral Activities at William Jewell College
  • Jason Alexander Holmes, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cincinnati Boychoir
  • Vanessa Breault Mulvey, Body Mapping Specialist and Flutist
  • Zach Schwartz, NEC Assistant Director of Admissions & Financial Aid and Saxophonist

Apply Today!

Audition & Apply

Application materials are due by January 20. Read more about our program requirements below.

If you have questions, feel free to email us at

Enrollment Requirements

  • The Festival is open to all students in the United States between the ages of 15-18, via pre-recorded video audition.
  • Students should have access to consistent high-speed internet service, as well as a computer and/or tablet and headphones/earbuds.

Audition Requirements

Applicants are asked to submit audition videos with the following material:

  • A brief introduction – who the applicant is, what they will sing, currently assigned/preferred voice part, and why they wish to be a member of the YC Festival Chorus (less than 2 minutes)
  • Perform 2 vocal warm-up exercises of choice (beginning in a comfortable key) which demonstrate range at the highest and lowest points of the instrument – use of keyboard or pre-recorded accompaniment is fine
  • Prepare 2 pieces of your choice, preferably one in English and one in a foreign language, both in contrasting styles and that best demonstrate vocal and expressive ability. Suggested repertoire includes art songs or similar pieces. Video auditions should be performed with accompaniment (either live piano accompaniment or pre-recorded accompaniment)
  • At least one recommendation letter which should speak specifically to the applicant’s ability to read music. The recommender should be your most recent private teacher, school music teacher or ensemble director. The recommendation letter is submitted via the application.