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The Kennedy Center

NSO Education
NSO Youth Fellowship Program

Youth Fellowship Program, which includes a Chamber Music Component, is open to dedicated young musicians, grades 9-12 and younger by special exception, who are interested in a career in music.

Application deadline: Friday, April 26, 2019*
Auditions: Saturday, June 8, 2019*

*Updated dates as of 04/03/2019 Apply Now!

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellowship Program is an orchestral training program for students in grades 9-12. [Younger musicians (gr. 6-8) may be considered on a special case-by-case basis.] Past NSO Youth Fellowship participants have gone on to achieve great success with orchestras throughout the country including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Boston, Montreal and our own National Symphony Orchestra. The program is intended for dedicated music students interested in pursuing orchestral music as a career. Open by audition only, this full-scholarship program provides students in the Washington, DC metropolitan area the opportunity to study with a National Symphony Orchestra musician or Washington National Opera Orchestra (WNOO) musician*; participate in Chamber Music coachings by a member of the National Symphony Orchestra; play in side-by-side rehearsals with the NSO; observe NSO rehearsals and attend concerts; and participate in master classes and discussions with musicians, conductors, guest artists, and NSO/Kennedy Center management. The program's goal is to provide young musicians with the skills and knowledge to pursue a 21st century career in music. Some focus on the program will be on college-readiness and citizen artistry. This is a monitored, performance-oriented program, designed to encourage students to become professional orchestral musicians. Priority is given to students entering 9th and 10th grades in order to provide as sustained a training as possible.

*A limited number of places may be available on an as needed basis for students who opt to continue private study with their non-NSO or non-WNOO teacher. Lesson fees with non-NSO or non-WNOO musicians will not be covered by the program.

How to apply:

The following materials are required for the Youth Fellowship application:

  • One letter of recommendation from music teacher or conductor.
  • Audition recording, required only for those entering 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th grades and those living out of the area.
  • Program Description and Eligibility
Apply Now!

Other Resources

If you have any questions, please contact the NSO Education Program at (202) 416-8820 or by e-mail at