PRISMA 2017: June 12-24

The Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy offers an in-depth orchestral training program that is designed to provide advanced students and young professionals with the essential tools to win a position in a professional orchestra. The program bridges the education students receive at a university/conservatory and the professional life of an orchestra musician. PRISMA is also very valuable for undergraduates, as it helps develop skills for future studies and builds confidence for student recitals and exams.  
The program includes:

Who Can Apply

You can apply
  • if you are passionate about music
  • if you want to obtain the necessary tools to win a position in a professional orchestra
  • if you want to be part of a great group of people who support each other in the learning process
There is no age limit for PRISMA; musical excellence is the sole criterium.

Orchestra Rehearsals

All students play and perform in the PRISMA Festival Orchestra conducted by Music Director Arthur Arnold. The orchestra rehearses daily. Two full symphony programs provide players with a broad experience in orchestral playing, musical interpretation and different styles. 

2017 repertoire:
Week 1
Beethoven Overture Fidelio
Strauss – 4 last songs, Lauren Margison, soprano
- - -
Rachmaninoff – Symphony no. 2

Week 2
Concerto Competition                                                                              
- - -
Mahler - Adagio from Symphony no. 10 
Strauss - Rosenkavalier Suite
Students have to practice this repertoire prior to PRISMA and must come fully prepared.  Sheet music will be sent out once the orchestra is confirmed and parts have been assigned.
(Repertoire subject to change)

There are many concerts during PRISMA. The PRISMA Festival Orchestra prepares two full symphony concert programs that are performed in the Evergreen Theatre to enthusiastic, sophisticated audiences. On the first Saturday there are two symphony concerts, matinee and evening. During the matinee concert, the PRISMA Festival Orchestra performs to a full house coming over from Vancouver Island especially for the occasion. The closing concert on the second Saturday also regularly plays to a sold-out venue. 
The PRISMA Festival Orchestra and the guest artists are the featured performers during "PRISMA on the Beach", a jam-packed open air event which takes place at the oceanside Willingdon Beach Park. In addition, there are performances by selected student ensembles throughout the community. The guest artists perform chamber music concerts to large audiences in the Evergreen Theatre in which students occasionally participate.

Private Lessons and Master Classes

PRISMA participants have dedicated support through one-on-one lessons with their teachers, internationally-renowned musicians from top orchestras and play their solo pieces in master classes, open to the public. During the private lessons, students will work on selected repertoire, concertos and orchestral excerpts. Guest artists will address the specific needs of the individual students to help them to improve their skills and technique. Students should prepare 3-5 standard excerpts for solo and tutti jobs prior to PRISMA. In the daily master classes students have the opportunity to play for and listen to colleagues. 

Student Recitals

Student recitals take place on non concert days after the master classes and are open for the public. Students get a chance to perform their solo repertoire they worked on during the master classes with the guest artists/faculty. Piano accompaniment is available for both the master classes and the student recitals.


Students take part in sectional rehearsals lead by the guest artists or by the Music Director. Solutions will be discussed for specific challenging sections of orchestral repertoire.

Audition Training

Preparation for a successful audition is an important aspect of the PRISMA program. During PRISMA, students will take part in two auditions to improve their skills and gain more experience. The guest artists, consisting of musicians who have principal positions in world-renowned orchestras, will train students to become more comfortable with the process of auditioning.
Students will play a first and second round of a live audition and also have an opportunity to sit on the jury panel. During the first week the auditions will be behind a screen, like a first round and in the second week the auditions will be open. All private lessons and master classes will help students prepare for these auditions.
Far more important than the specific result of the audition, will be the experience itself. Being a member of the jury will give students the opportunity to experience the other side which will improve their own presentation/performance in future auditions.
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"PRISMA 2014 was a fantastic festival. The orchestra rehearsals, audition training, concerto competition, and private lessons were exactly what I needed to be at my best to audition for and win my job with the Topeka Symphony."  Hannah Porter Occeña, Principal Flute, Topeka Symphony Orchestra, 2014 Student
"My favorite part was the mock auditions paired with question and answer sessions from the faculty about auditioning. I took several professional auditions just months after this and I can say that, thanks to this training, I was much better prepared for what to expect."  Christi Wans, USA, 2012 student
"I'm currently in Auckland about to take my first professional audition in two days, and if it wasn't for the audition training I received in Powell River, I probably would not have had the courage to book my plane ticket and play the audition!"  Emma l. Knight, Australia, 2012 student


PRISMA provides young, talented musicians with an opportunity to compete. Three finalists will be soloists with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra in (a movement of) a solo concerto or a solo piece during a symphony concert. The prize is 'A week in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra', and will be awarded to the winner of the evening competition as judged by the international jury.  Read more about the competition and the rules on the competition page.