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NWS audition FAQ’s

Video information

Do the excerpts need to be from the NWS repertoire list?
The NWS repertoire list is for the live audition only. The video should consist of a solo work and any 3 contrasting orchestral excerpts.

I know the live audition cannot be accompanied, but can I have accompaniment on my video application?
We prefer that your video not be accompanied; however, those with accompaniment will still be accepted.

The live audition

Are all of the wind and brass excerpts from first parts?
Unless otherwise noted, all excerpts are from the first parts.

Should I bring an accompanist to my live audition?
No, live auditions are not accompanied and NWS does not supply an accompanist.

Are you auditioning for my instrument this year?
Each year we audition for every instrument in the orchestra (with the possible exceptions of timpani and percussion). These auditions also serve to create a substitute list for the season so even if you are not chosen to be a NWS Fellow you still could have the opportunity to play with the orchestra. All Finalists and Semi-Finalists are placed on the substitute list.

How do I know if there is an opening for my instrument in the coming season?
Because NWS Fellows often leave before their three years are over, it is impossible to know what openings there will be in the coming season. Therefore, you should plan to audition each season so that you may be considered if a fellowship position becomes vacant.

Timpani and percussion

I am a percussionist or timpanist and would like to audition for New World Symphony. Can I audition anywhere on the National Audition Tour?
All percussion and timpani auditions are held in Miami usually in May. There is not enough time or sometimes enough space to accommodate these instruments in all of the venues of the audition tour. Information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.

Degree requirements

I don't have a college degree, but have been performing professionally for a few years. Can I be an NWS Fellow?
In order to be named a Fellow for the New World Symphony you must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree; however, anyone may audition to be placed on the substitute list.

I won't be done with my degree program for 2 years. Can I be an NWS Fellow?
You must have completed your current degree program to be an NWS Fellow. However, you may still audition to be put on the substitute list for the season.

The fellowship program

If NWS offers me a Fellowship, am I required to stay for three years?
NWS Fellowships are awarded on a season-by-season basis for up to three years; however, no one is required to stay for three years.

Is there an age limit for NWS fellows?
There is no age limit.

Foreign applicants

I read the requirements page on your website and it says I need one of the following documents: I-20, Green card or employment authorization card. Why do I need these documents for the application?
If you are currently living in the USA, NWS requires proof that your current visa is valid and could be transferred should you be offered a fellowship. If you are not living in the USA, NWS may be able to issue you an F-1 Student Visa should you be offered a fellowship. If you are invited to perform as an extra or substitute musician with the orchestra you will need to acquire either CPT or OPT on your F-1 Visa (from your school) or possess a Green Card or O-1 Visa.

Conducting fellowship

I heard that NWS offers a conducting Fellowship. How do I apply?
The New World Symphony offers a one-year conducting Fellowship to highly qualified conductors who have finished at least a bachelor’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a degree program. The conducting Fellow works with Michael Tilson Thomas and many visiting guest conductors and leads the NWS in several of the season’s concerts and reading sessions. Initial application materials must be received in Miami by November 15 for Fellowships beginning the following September. A complete application should be mailed and consist of:

  1. An application which can be found at applications.nws.edu. Please note that this includes 3 essay questions and a current resume.
  2. A video showing you conducting music in rehearsal and/or performance preferably from a variety of musical periods and, if possible, a variety of ensemble sizes.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.

Audio engineer and library fellowships

I heard that NWS offers audio engineer and library Fellowships. How do I apply?
In conjunction with its musician training program, the New World Symphony offers Fellowship programs for an audio engineer and an orchestra librarian. These programs offer aspiring engineers and librarians extensive hands-on experience in their chosen professions. Fellows work with Michael Tilson Thomas, NWS staff and noted professionals in these fields to develop their skills, and are invited to participate on a season-by-season basis for up to three years. For detailed information on the application process, please send an email to admissions@nws.edu. Announcements regarding vacancies are posted on this website when they occur.