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Auditions & Placement

Most classes and ensembles at NEC Prep require an audition or placement interview with members of the faculty. We welcome students of all levels, ranging from absolute beginner to the highly advanced. Our world-class faculty is committed to providing children of all ages with the best possible learning experience.

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 at least twelve private lessons each semester 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 assist you in this process.

Types of Auditions

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


Auditions Timeline

Spring Auditions (May)

Large ensemble auditions for the following academic year, take place in May each spring. Scheduling for these auditions opens in March and is completed online. Spring entrance auditions are followed by fall (September) seating/placement auditions to determine a student's placement within the accepted ensemble. NEC Prep large ensembles consist of our Orchestras & Wind EnsemblesYouth Jazz Orchestra (YJO)Choruses, and Baroque Ensembles.

Please note that all students who are currently enrolled in Jr. MYWE, Sr. MYWE, Baroque Ensembles, YJO, and students who 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.

For more information about large ensemble auditions, click here.

Click here to sign up for a Spring 2018 audition! (beginning March 1, 2018)

Fall Auditions (September)

Placements and auditions for private lessonschamber musicjazztheory classes, voice classespiano classes, and electives take place each September. 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 take seating auditions for their specific ensembles in the fall.

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 May with space-availability auditions in September). 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 strictly at the discretion of the instructors. For more information about late enrollment, please contact the office.