Auditions & Placement

We welcome students of all levels, ranging from absolute beginner to the highly advanced. Most classes and ensembles at NEC Prep require a placement interview or audition with a member of the faculty. This is an opportunity for families to meet with NEC Prep faculty and learn more about the program. The faculty use their wealth of experience and knowledge to make sure students are placed in the appropriate ensemble or class for their skill level or with an appropriate private lesson teacher who will help them grow.

Students may enroll in any program of lessons, classes, and ensembles for which they qualify determined by audition or placement. Classes and ensembles run year long, but students can start private lessons at any point in the year. 

Students registered for 30 or 36 private lessons during the academic year are eligible for discounted rates on ensembles and classes, as well as participation in workshops, recitals, masterclasses, and the annual concerto competition.

It is the responsibility of parents and students to coordinate their individual Saturday schedule of lessons, classes, and ensembles. It is usually most effective to start by considering large ensemble rehearsal schedules, followed by theory classes and chamber music, and then to work with the private teacher to schedule the lesson around the student’s other activities. Prep School staff and faculty can also assist you in this process.

Types of Auditions

Choose from the following options to learn more about how to get involved!

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Auditions Timeline

Large Ensemble Auditions (May)

Large ensemble auditions take place in May via video for the following academic year. NEC Prep large ensembles consist of our Orchestras & Wind EnsemblesYouth Jazz Orchestra (YJO), and Baroque Ensembles. The application for these auditions will open in mid-March and is completed online. Please check back on this page on Friday, March 19 to review the application link. 

Please note that all students who are currently enrolled in the orchestras or wind ensembles and would like to advance to a higher level ensemble must re-audition each year. All other students who are satisfied with their current placement do not need to re-audition. Currently enrolled students in Sr. MYWE, MYWE CB, and Jr. MYWE who would like to stay in their same ensemble next year do not need to re-audition. 

Spring entrance auditions are followed by fall (September) seating/placement auditions to determine a student's placement within the accepted ensemble. 

Placement Auditions (September)

Placements and auditions for private lessonschamber music, jazztheory classes, voice classes, piano classes, and electives take place each September. Students should take a placement for each class they are interested in. Students only need to take a private lesson placement if they do not currently have a private teacher.

Students who have been accepted into a large ensemble from the spring auditions also take seating auditions for their specific ensembles in the fall.

2021-2022 Placement Form

January Auditions

Auditions are also held in January specifically for our Jazz Department for all jazz offerings except Youth Jazz Orchestra (which holds its auditions in the spring). Scheduling for our January Jazz Department auditions begins in December via email at

Rolling Auditions

Private lessons can be started at any time throughout the year. Rolling admission to our other offerings, such as classes and ensembles, is at the discretion of the instructors. For more information about late enrollment, please fill out the placement form or contact the office directly.

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