Violin, viola, and cello applications are reviewed as they are received, now through July 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM Eastern time. If you would like to be considered for a current opening, please feel free to submit your materials at any time through July 15th. Applicants should submit the final audition repertoire listed here. If you have any questions about this process, please email us at [email protected].

Applications for all other instruments are now closed for the 2024–25 season.

Scroll down for more information on applications and auditions, and click here for more information on the academic program.

Photo by David DeNee

Musicians Playing

Application Checklist

Admission to The Orchestra Now requires audition and academic review. The elements of the application are:

  1. Completed online application form
  2. Resume/Curriculum vitae
  3. Prescreening excerpts (listed in the Audition Repertoire section below)
  4. A two–four minute videotaped personal statement
  5. School transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended for at least one academic year can be uploaded to the application. Copy of official transcript(s) only need to be requested from the issuing institution(s) after applicant has received a live audition invitation, and no later than May 1, 2024.
    Refer to the section at the bottom of this checklist for more information on mailing and emailing official transcript(s).
  6. TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants (This requirement may be waived if candidate has an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking school.)
  7. Two recommendations, at least one being an academic reference
  8. Short-answer essay question: Statement of Purpose
  9. Short-answer essay question: Orchestral Challenges in the 21st Century
  10. $75 non-refundable application fee (Applicants auditioning for waitlist positions do not need to pay the application fee in order to submit an application.)

Note: Students accepted into TŌN must pass both artistic and academic requirements.

School transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended for at least one academic year can be uploaded to the application. Copy of official transcript(s) only need to be requested from the issuing institution(s) after applicant has received a live audition invitation, and no later than May 1, 2024.
Official transcript(s) from issuing institution(s) can be mailed in a signed/sealed envelope to:
The Orchestra Now
Attn: Admission Committee
Bard College 30 Campus Rd, P.O. Box 5000
Annandale-on-Hudson NY, 12504
Digital official transcript(s) from issuing institution(s) can be submitted to [email protected].

Audition Repertoire

Audition Prescreening
Members of The Orchestra Now are selected on an audition basis. To be considered for an audition, view the audition prescreening excerpts, and videotape and upload these excerpts to your TŌN application in the Media Requirements section. Prescreening video excerpts may be submitted as multiple files.

Please note that prescreening excerpts include a video of your personal statement; see the prescreening list for detailed instructions. You may request PDFs of the excerpts by emailing [email protected].

Please note: The Orchestra Now tunes to A440 and piano accompaniment is not required for your solo piece.

Final Auditions
The repertoire for final auditions can be found here. Sight reading may be asked during the final audition. Applicants invited to the final auditions may request PDFs of the excerpts by emailing [email protected].

Please note: The Orchestra Now tunes to A440.

Essays and Personal Statement

Applications to The Orchestra Now require a two–four minute videotaped personal statement and two short-answer essay questions: Statement of Purpose, and Orchestral Challenges in the 21st Century.

Personal Statement Video
Tell us what you love about music. Why TŌN? What qualities do you feel like you would bring to the program? What are your career goals? What does TŌN offer that you feel will help you succeed?

Statement of Purpose
Please submit a 300–500 word essay in response to the following statement: TŌN is a program designed to provide you with opportunities to develop and hone skills that will help you in your career path after you graduate. As an applicant to the program, you are expressing your interest to be a committed member of TŌN for the next two to three years. Please tell us why you feel TŌN is a good fit for you at this stage, and why you feel it is to your advantage to make TŌN your priority during your time in the program.

Orchestral Challenges in the 21st Century
Please submit a 300-500 word essay that answers the following questions: What are the major challenges you believe orchestral musicians will face in the coming years? What changes need to take place in order to help these artists stay relevant in the future?

Financial Aid

Students in The Orchestra Now receive a fellowship covering tuition and a bi-weekly taxable fellowship stipend (see below). Students are required to pay a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $515 ($500 deposit plus $15 service fee). The deposit amount is credited to the first semester of enrollment costs. A security deposit of $225 is collected upon acceptance into the program, and will be credited if student commences or withdraws from the program. Students pay both a health services fee of $470 and a registration fee of $200 for the academic year. A leave of absence/maintenance of status fee is $500 for the year or $250 per semester.

The Orchestra Now does not provide or compensate for housing. Students are expected to be in residence, living near campus while the orchestra is in season (mid-July through May). Apartments and houses for rent can be found near the Bard College campus. Students are also able to apply for on-campus room and board, but the room and board fee is solely the responsibility of the student.

Stipends are taxable. A United States Social Security number is required for stipend payments.TŌN students will receive biweekly checks or direct deposits, and a W-2 at the end of the year. Stipends cease upon graduation. If a student has received the full stipend in the third year and has still not graduated, they will not receive additional stipend.

Stipend amounts are divided annually into 3 academic periods, a fall semester, a spring semester, and a summer session. Based on how weeks may fall within a year, payment amounts and schedules may be adjusted slightly, but generally, the student receives $10,500 in the fall semester (10 pay periods September to January), $10,500 in the spring semester (9-10 pay periods January to May or June), and $3,000 in the summer session (6 pay periods June-August). Once again, stipends cease upon graduation.

Outline of Fees & Stipends

International Candidates

Student Visa
Once accepted and deposited, international students will be connected with the Office of International Student & Scholar Services to discuss/commence the visa process.

English Proficiency
TOEFL or IELTS test results are required for students for whom English is not the first language or the language of instruction. Bard does not offer a full-scale English as a Second Language program. Therefore it is critical that all students, domestic and international, have the appropriate level of English fluency before they arrive on campus. We read every application in full, with particular attention to the candidate's essays and recommendations.We require all international students to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language.* Test score guidelines: TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (Internet-based). We also accept the IELTS instead of the TOEFL, with a band score of no less than seven.

*Students who have spent the majority of their secondary education in an English-medium program may be eligible for a waiver of the language testing requirement.


Bard College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accrediting agency approved by the United States Education Department. Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA  19104; phone 267-284-5000.

The New York State Education Department has registered the following courses of study leading to Bard College bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees: the bachelor of arts, bachelor of music, bachelor of science, master of arts in curatorial studies, master of arts in teaching, master of fine arts, master of business administration in sustainability, master of music in vocal arts, master of music in conducting, master of music in curatorial, critical, and performance studies, master of science in environmental policy, master of science in climate science and policy, master of education in environmental education, master of science and master of arts in economic theory and policy, and the master of arts, master of philosophy, and doctor of philosophy degrees in decorative arts, design history, and material culture. New York State Education Department, Office of Higher Education, Office of College and University Evaluation, Room 960 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY  12234; phone 518-474-1551.

Bard is also a member of the American Council on Education, American Council of Learned Societies, Association of American Colleges and Universities, College Entrance Examination Board, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, Education Records Bureau, and Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities.

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Bard College is committed to ensuring equal access to its educational programs and equal employment without regard to an individual’s sex, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, ex-offender status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Students, employees, applicants, and other members of Bard College community (including, but not limited to, vendors, visitors, and guests) shall not be subject to discrimination or harassment prohibited by law or otherwise treated adversely based upon a protected characteristic. Similarly, the College will not tolerate harassing, violent, intimidating, or discriminatory conduct by its students, employees, or any other member of, or visitor to, the College community. This includes, without limitation, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, and domestic violence.

Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Bard College complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This act assures students attending a postsecondary institution that they will have the right to inspect and review certain of their educational records and, by following the guidelines provided by the College, to correct inaccurate or misleading data through informal or formal hearings. It protects students’ rights to privacy by limiting transfer of these records without their consent, except in specific circumstances. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. College policy relating to the maintenance of student records is available, on request, from the Office of the Registrar.