NEC Summer Orchestra Institute


NEC Summer Orchestra Institute

July 18 - 31, 2021

Rebecca Bogers, Artistic Director
Nicola Conraths, Director of Artistic Studies, Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Walnut Hill campus

This in-person two-week ensemble program is open to intermediate to advanced-level strings, winds, brass, harp and percussion between the age of 13-18. Daily activities include chamber music rehearsals, orchestral rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, coaching sessions, masterclasses, group reflections on progress and individual practice time. Private lessons will also be available for student to sign up for.

The NEC Summer Orchestra Institute (NEC SOI) experience emphasizes intensive musical preparation, with special focus on concentration, practice and performance techniques, interpretation, phrasing, and general musicianship. Students will also develop communication and leadership skills through their musical collaborations, learning the joy of music making while developing lasting friendships. Students have the option of choosing to be a day student or residential student on the stunning Walnut Hill School for the Arts campus in Natick. Additional evening activities are planned for residential students.

Walnut Hill's sprawling campus offers outdoor rehearsal and performance venues and will provide a rich residential experience for our boarding students to enjoy summer weather on their extensive lawns and live in a community of artists from other disciplines like dance and theatre.

Please contact regarding any questions.

Program Highlights

  • In-person music making with peers and superb faculty!
  • Intensive 2-week session
  • Full-time faculty lead ensemble and individual coaching
  • String, woodwind, brass, percussion and harp coaches
  • Daily sectionals with coaches and ensemble rehearsals
  • Final showcase concerts

Take a 360º Virtual Campus Tour of Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

Review the Walnut Hill School for the Arts COVID-19 Rules & Regulations

2021 Tuition and Fees

Application Fee: $40 

Tuition: $1850

Registration Fee: $50 (non-refundable) 

Covid Testing Fee: $80 

Housing Fee (Optional): $1590

Application Process


*7/8/2021 Update: Applications for this program have now closed*

Complete the online application. There is a $40 application fee. If you have questions about the program, auditions requirements or the application please email or call 617-585-1160.  The 2021 summer application will open on Friday February 19, 2021


You will need to provide one recommendation letter as part of your application. The recommender should be your most recent private teacher (or a music teacher or ensemble director). 

The application system will send the recommender an email to register and complete the recommendation via the online system. This process will happen as soon as you enter the contact information and save your application; you do not need to submit the application for your recommenders to be notified. You will be able to check the status of your recommendation on your application. 

The recommendation letter is due on the same day as the application deadline of March 26. We encourage you to add the recommender information as soon as it is confirmed to allow the recommender time to complete the letter prior to the deadline.


NEC SOI only accepts Video auditions for the 2021 season.

  • Video Recorded Audition - When submitting your application, you will be prompted to select an audition type. Please select "video audition". Your application will not be considered complete until the video audition has been submitted. Each piece must be performed in a single, unedited take with no accompaniment. Each piece should be submitted as a separate file and clearly labeled with the composer's name, title of work, and movement (if applicable). It is not necessary to submit a professionally produced recording. Applicants should make sure that proper lighting is used and that the camera shows full range of movement and use of instrument. The following file types are supported: MPEG, MPG, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB. 


One Scale

Two Solos of the Applicant's Choice

Important Dates

February 19:  Application available online

March 26:  Online application deadline and scholarship application priority deadline*

April 2:  Notification of acceptance

April 9:  Registration deadline (for both tuition and housing + the $50 Registration Fee + $80 Covid Testing Fee)

July 17:  Resident students move into the Residence Hall

July 18-31:  Summer Orchestra Institute (including weekends!) 

August 1: Resident students move out of the Residence Hall

*Contact to request an SOI Scholarship Application 

Tuition 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 after June 17