National Symphony Orchestra: The National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees' Summer Music Institute
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The National Symphony Orchestra

Photo of SMI students The National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees
Summer Music Institute

Every summer, approximately 60 students (ages 15-20) from all over the United States, as well as a number of other countries, meet in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center to attend the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI).

This 4-week full scholarship program includes:

  • Private lessons taught by a member of the NSO
  • Chamber music coaching by NSO musicians
  • Master classes and seminars
  • Side-by-side orchestra rehearsals with the NSO
  • Attendance at selected rehearsal and performances of the NSO
  • Participation in the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Schulze
  • Performance opportunities in DC metropolitan area, including on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
  • Exposure to internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians

Each student accepted into the program attends on full scholarship, which includes housing, lessons, a food allowance, and local transportation; sometimes provided by WC/NSO, during their stay.

Questions: Contact NSO Education 202.416.8820 or

To Apply:

Online Application to 2016 Summer Music Institute

SMI Application Deadline
January 19, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. (EST)
(Program dates: June 27-July 25, 2016)

The following materials are required for the SMI application:

  • Orchestral excerpts for instrument
  • Solo piece
  • One Recommendation from music teacher or conductor
  • Applicant's Musical Resumé

All application materials are to be uploaded onto the online application.

Other Resources

2016 Orchestral Excerpts by Instruments

(* Do not record all excerpts in one continuous track. Each excerpt must be its own file attached on the application individually.)

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