Instrumental Program Description

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Instrumental Program Description


Students in the instrumental program participate in many enriching musical opportunities, including:


  1. Millennium Symphony Orchestra (MSO)
    1. Under the direction of Resident Conductor Daniel Nesta Curtis, this symphony orchestra gives students the opportunity to develop orchestral playing skills. The orchestra rehearses major works and performs during Concert Week. Placement is by audition for winds, brass, strings, and percussion. For more information about the MSO, click here.

  2. Private lessons and coachings
    1. Students receive one, one-hour lesson each week from CMU Pre-College Music instrumental faculty, specifically in preparation for college auditions. Weekly clinics include a mixture of master classes, literature/repertoire discussion, and instrument-specific ensemble playing.

  3. “Mastering the Art of the Audition”
    1. Weekly seminars with Maestro Curtis focused on preparing audition material and honing audition skills. Topics include how to make a prescreening video, how to prepare excerpts and nominated master class participation. ​

  4. Elective conducting studies​​
    1. Students may enroll in private conducting training to develop as a conductor and to establish leadership skills. Participants will have the opportunity to gain podium experience through conducting instrumental ensembles of program colleagues. For information about becoming a Conducting Scholar, click here.

  5. Chamber Music
    1. Students work with internationally acclaimed collaborative pianist and chamber music expert Luz Manriquez in preparation for performance. For information about scholarship opportunities for fully-formed chamber groups, click here.

  6. CMU Music Pre-College courses
    1. Students participate in the regular music course load of a first semester college student with courses that include music theory, solfѐge, and Dalcroze eurhythmics. Electives are available in minor studios, music technology, jazz studies, recording techniques, and more.

  7. Master classes and concerts
    1. Students perform on several concerts culminating in Concert Week, which includes festival-style performances of chamber music, opera scenes, choir, jazz ensembles, and more.

    2. Pittsburgh has a rich cultural life during the summer, and students are encouraged to attend the many performances happening throughout the city. In addition, Pre-College Music hosts professional concerts every week, free for all students. Participants may also observe rehearsals and attend performances by world-renowned Pittsburgh ensembles, such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, or the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.​​​


Students may major in bagpipe, bassoon, cello, clarinet, double bass, euphonium, flute, guitar, harp, horn, oboe, percussion, piano, organ, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, or violin.