PRISMA 2018: June 11-23, Apply through ACCEPTD

The Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) Festival 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:

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. 

Week 1: "A Journey to Italy"

Elgar - In the South (Alassio)

Respighi - Fountains of Rome

Berlioz - Harold in Italy - Soloist: Máté Szücs - Viola (Berlin Philharmonic Principal Viola)

Week 2: "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes"

R. Strauss - Josephs Legende (Symphonic Fragment)

TBA - Soloist: Finalist of the Concerto Competition

TBA - Soloist: Finalist of the Concerto Competition

Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)


There are numerous concerts during PRISMA. The PRISMA Festival Orchestra prepares two full symphony concert programs that are performed in the Evergreen Theatre to enthusiastic, sophisticated audiences. The Gala Grand Opening Concert features guest artists and the full orchestra. 

During "PRISMA on the Beach", an open air event which takes place at oceanside Willingdon Beach Park, the PRISMA Festival Orchestra and guest artists are the featured performers. In addition, there are some performances by student ensembles in the community. Guest artists perform chamber music in the Evergreen Theatre with the participation of select students.

Private Lessons and Master Classes

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

Student Recitals

Student recitals take place on non-concert days after master classes, and are open to the public. Students get a chance to perform the solo repertoire they worked on during master classes with 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 Music Director. Solutions will be discussed for challenging sections of orchestral repertoire.

Audition Training

Preparation for a successful audition is an important aspect of the PRISMA program. During PRISMA, students 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, train students to become more comfortable with the process of auditioning. 

Students 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, auditions will be behind a screen like in a first round, and in the second week, auditions will be open. The private lessons and master classes will help students prepare for these auditions.

Far more important than the specific result of an audition will be the experience of auditioning 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. Students should prepare 3-5 standard excerpts prior to PRISMA.

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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

See here for more testimonials.

Concerto Competition

PRISMA provides young, talented musicians with an opportunity to compete. Finalists become 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, 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.

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.

How to apply:

All applicants must follow the application and audition procedures outlined in this section. An incomplete application or lack of payment of the application fee stops the application process. If you have difficulties submitting your application please contact us at

Students will be notified by email no later than March 19, 2018 with the application results. The application fee is non-refundable.

  1. Register on ACCEPTD and create a profile

  2. Select PRISMA from the drop down menu under “Program Group”

  3. Choose the instrument/discipline you wish to apply for under “Program”

  4. Complete the online application form

  5. Submit your resume

  6. Submit the link to your YouTube audition video (see below under "audition requirements"). 

  7. Pay the application fee

·  $25 USD October 1 - October 31, 2017

·  $50 USD November 1 - December 15, 2017

·  $75 USD December 16, 2017 - February 28, 2018

When you have completed all these steps, click on Send Application. Once you press send you cannot go back into the application. Any additional materials can be sent to

Applications close on February 28, 2018 at midnight PST.

Click here to download the PRISMA 2018 brochure.

Audition Requirements:

Make a video with the below requirements and upload to YouTube. Make sure the setting of your video is “public” or “unlisted” but not “private”. You may record in one session or record movements and excerpts separately, as long as recordings are not edited. Please combine separate recordings into one Youtube video. Not all excerpts have to be recorded in one shot -- students get the opportunity to present themselves at their best.


  1. (part) of a movement of a standard concerto
  2. a movement of unaccompanied Bach
  3. a minimum of three contrasting excerpts at choice


  1. part) of a movement of a standard concerto
  2. a minimum of five contrasting excerpts at choice,
  3. excerpts for auxillary instruments at choice

You may use an audition video prepared for other programs, as long as it includes orchestra excerpts. Auditions without accompaniment are preferred. 

Below are suggested excerpts for your audition. Please note that you may choose other exceprts.


Canada requires visas from certain countries.  To find out if you require a visa, click here to search for your country and the necessary requirements. If one is required, contact your visa office as soon as possible about processing times (a student visa application may take up to 60 days).

Please note that a visa is not required for students from the United States (US citizens and permanent residents/green card holders).

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and are coming to Canada just for PRISMA, you will enter as a temporary resident/tourist/visitor.  If you are just attending a short-term program such as PRISMA, you are not considered to be entering Canada to study.  You do not need --  and should not apply for -- a student visa.  When you enter Canada, you will have to complete a Customs form. You should check that the purpose of your visit is “Personal” not “Study”.