Conservatory Program at The Rivers School

The Conservatory Program at The Rivers School is a unique and dynamic approach to college preparatory studies for students with a serious interest in and aptitude for music.

About the Conservatory Program
This program provides student musicians with the faculty, classes, and performance opportunities needed to cultivate their musical artistry while at the same time pursuing a rigorous and challenging academic experience – all on one campus.

Open to classical and jazz instrumentalists, vocalists, and music theatre students in both the Middle School and Upper School, it runs in tandem with The Rivers School’s music curriculum. Conservatory Program students enroll in a stimulating and powerful academic program that includes 23 honors and 15 AP level courses in all academic departments. During the regular school day they join other student musicians in chamber orchestra, chamber ensembles, big band, jazz combos, women’s chorus, and men’s chorus.

At the end of the regular school day, Conservatory Program students take additional classes in music theory, ear training, performance, improvisation, solfege, and independent studies, as well as being assigned to Conservatory Program jazz, chamber, and vocal ensembles.

How to Apply

Application deadline is January 15, 2022.
Applicants will be notified of admission decisions in March.

MS/US Jazz: Saturday, February 5, 2022 at Bradley Hall
• MS/US Music Theatre: Saturday, February 5, 2022 at Bradley Hall
• MS/US Classical: Saturday, February 12, 2022 at Bradley Hall

• Two contrasting movements or works from the standard solo, sonata or concerto repertoire.
• One major and and one harmonic minor scale up to three sharps and flats in two octaves.

• Two contrasting pieces (ex: one in English and one in a foreign language), performed from memory. Pop songs are not permitted. Art songs and musical theater repertoire is preferred. Sight reading will also be assessed at the audition.

• Two contrasting movements of standard repertoire from memory. Concertos are not accepted.
• One major and one harmonic minor scale up to four sharps and flats, hands together in parallel motion for three octaves.

• Two contrasting songs (ex: one ballad and one up-tempo) from a musical or similar material.
• No sight reading will be required.

Three pieces—two should feature improvised solos, one may be a jazz etude or a transcribed solo, at least one should have a swing feel, and at least one should have an even-eighths feel of some kind (bossa nova, funk, etc.).
These pieces should include:

  1. A song standard (e.g. “Autumn Leaves,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” or “Stella By Starlight”)
  2. A bebop tune (e.g. “Now’s the Time” or “Confirmation”) or jazz standard (e.g. “Blue Bossa,” “So What,” “Watermelon Man,” “Cantaloupe Island”)
  3. A third tune of the student’s choosing

• Submit two original compositions in manuscript form with your application; one must be hand-written.

2022-2023 Conservatory Program Online Application
Rivers School Application
Two Letters of Recommendation (music related)
Theory/Ear Training placement test (same day as audition)