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Performance Opportunities

Performance is a central part of the Peabody experience. Throughout the year there are numerous recitals, concerts, and masterclasses that allow students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for successful performance. In conjunction with these skills, the Preparatory strives to develop the complementary skills of how to be an effective and evaluative audience member. Music students have the opportunity to perform in their teacher's studio recital, the school-wide Signature Recital series or one of the Preparatory's six annual competitions. Also available are weekly repertoire and master classes, chamber music ensembles, three orchestras and the Peabody Children's Chorus. Dance students can participate in master classes and interdisciplinary workshops throughout the year as well as several fully staged productions.

Repertoire Classes

Repertoire classes are an integral part of learning at the Preparatory. These performance based classes give students the opportunity to perform, develop sensitive listening skills and to learn from a variety of faculty members. Classes are open to public, but participants must be studying through the Preparatory. Peabody is one of the few pre-college schools that offers a regular array of repertoire classes. Each department schedules repertoire classes on an individual basis and faculty will recommend when a student should play in a class.

Signature Recitals and Vella Silver Recitals

Signature Recitals are made available to all music students who study privately at the Preparatory. Adjudicated by Preparatory faculty members, these recitals offer students the opportunity to receive feedback on their playing in an environment more formal than a repertoire class. Signature Recitals are held 5 times each semester (4 downtown, 1 in Towson) and feature students who have been working on a specific piece or pieces that are ready to perform for an audience. A teacher submits a student's name to perform in a recital when a student would benefit most from the experience. That decision is tailored to each student, determined by individual learning styles, personality, and performance levels.

If a student performs particularly well on a Signature recital, they may be nominated to perform on the end of semester Silver recital. Selection to perform on a Silver Recital is based on performance quality and not on the level of repertoire. An elementary level student who gives an outstanding performance has as much chance to be nominated to perform on a Silver Recital as an advanced level student.

Please see the page about recitals for more information on Signature and Vella Silver recitals.


The Preparatory holds six competitions per year, each with a unique focus to provide different learning experiences for developing musicians. Only students taking private lessons through the Preparatory are eligible to participate in competitions.

Honors Competitions

The bi-annual Honors Competition offers students the opportunity to perform in a recital of the highest caliber. Held at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, these events are reserved for the most advanced students performing advanced repertoire. Judges select 6-8 winners based on overall performance and the need to create a well balanced recital program.

Honors Recitals, held in the beautifully renovated Griswold Hall, are two of the Preparatory's more public events. In addition to our faculty and administration, friends and supporters of the institute are invited to listen as the Preparatory presents its' "best of the best".

Part Recital Competition

Encompassing three age categories (12 and under, 13-18, and 19 and older), the Part Recital Competition invites accomplished musicians to audition for a recital that is different from any of the Preparatory's other recitals. Interested and qualified students who have prepared 15 to 20 minutes of music (or "part" of a recital) are entered by their teacher to audition for a panel of noted musicians and educators from the Baltimore/Washington area. Three or four winners are selected to perform on a recital which is scheduled on a Sunday evening in late April or early May.

Preparatory String Ensemble (PSE) Competition

The Preparatory String Ensemble hosts an annual competition to feature a young string student in a solo performance with the ensemble. Students are nominated by their teachers for the competition which takes place in February for a panel of Preparatory string faculty. Specific repertoire for each instrument is determined in early fall. The winner performs with the String Ensemble during its Spring Concert.

Wind Orchestra Competition

In the spring semester, students who play a wind instrument may compete in the Wind Orchestra Competition. This provides young wind players the opportunity to prepare and perform a short solo piece with the Preparatory Wind Orchestra. The competition is judged by local professional musicians and all students receive feedback about their audition. The winner performs on the Wind Orchestra's fall semester concert in the next school year. 

Junior Concerto Competition

Held late in the fall semester, the Junior Concerto Competition provides intermediate and advanced students, who are aged 14 and under, the opportunity to compete for a solo performance with the Preparatory's Young Artists Orchestra. One student is chosen to rehearse and play one movement of a Baroque concerto on the orchestra's spring concert. The concert is shared with the String Ensemble with whom the winner of the PSE Competition plays.

Concerto Competition

This event offers advanced string, wind and piano students, aged 18 and under and enrolled in private lessons through the Preparatory, the opportunity to audition for the chance to perform an entire concerto with the Peabody Youth Orchestra. The competition is held in January and the performance takes place on the orchestra's spring concert in May.

Annual Awards Ceremony

We invite all members of the Preparatory community to attend the Annual Awards Ceremony held each June. The ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of our students over the course of the year and provides an opportunity to bid farewell to our graduating seniors.

Students are recognized for their outstanding achievements on stage, in the classroom, and through our Certificate programs. The ceremony also features performances from students and one graduating senior is invited to address the audience.


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