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Performance Academy for Strings

Christian Tremblay, Director

The Performance Academy for Strings brings together serious string students in grades 7-12, playing at the upper intermediate and advanced level, who will develop musically and socially in a mutually supportive and challenging environment. The Performance Academy is a vibrant program which offers individual instruction, small and large ensembles, performance opportunities, master classes, enrichment activities, rehearsal time with a designated pianist, special events, and career guidance and feedback.

The Performance Academy fosters the development of young string players by offering them a curriculum that prepares them for professional studies. This program is for students who want to pursue a career in music, and for students with other professional aspirations, playing and working seriously, and for whom music is their major non-academic endeavor.

Program Overview

PP.200.014 01

The Performance Academy schedule consists of six components:

  • Small Ensembles/Musicianship Class — Students are assigned to one of the following small ensembles and/or musicianship class by the PA faculty committee (Saturdays, 8:30-10:30 am):
    • Peabody Violin Choir
    • Peabody Cello Choir
    • Performance Academy Chamber Music
    This musicianship class is interactive, and will include weekly work in eurythmics, ear-training, solfège, and basic theory for string players.
  • Academy Performance Class — The signature component of the program is this weekly class, led by Christian Tremblay, PA Director. This class meets during the fall/spring academic year on Saturdays from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. It provides an opportunity for students to perform for both Peabody faculty and guest artists. Students will also receive training in master classes with guest artists on a variety of enrichment topics including movement, injury prevention, theory/history, improvisation, and more. In the past, guests artists have included Richard Aaron, Darrett Adkins, Jonathan Carney, Sara Caswell, Daniel Heifetz, Nicholas Kendall, Midori, Mimi Zweig, the Biava String Quartet and Peabody Conservatory faculty Victoria Chiang, Victor Danchenko, Pamela Frank, Herbert Greenberg, Violaine Melancon, and Amit Peled.
  • Peabody Orchestras — Performance Academy students must also register for one of the following ensembles (cost included in Academy tuition) Students must schedule a separate audition for PYO and YAO. Please look at Audition information below.
    • Peabody Youth Orchestra (PYO)
      PP.200.018 01 SAT, 1:00-3:00
    • Young Artists Orchestra (YAO)
      PP.200.020 01 SAT, 1:00-2:45
  • String Orchestra Festival — The Performance Academy will collaborate with the Preparatory’s Pre-Conservatory Violin Program (PCVP) for a special String Orchestra Festival in January 2018. This string orchestra will take place for three weeks in lieu of Academy Chamber Music class, Violin and Cello Choirs, Musicianship, and Academy Performance class. The event will conclude with a concert.
  • Rehearsal Accompanist — Each student will be provided with an accompanist for Academy master classes and events. Each student receives 6 hours of private rehearsal time per year, and the pianist is available to perform with the student in most recitals, concerts, and area competitions.
  • Individual Instruction — Students study privately for either 60 minutes or 90 minutes weekly with Peabody faculty (cost is not included in Academy tuition per semester). For an updated list of costs, please see our online course catalog.

Performance Academy students are expected to practice two to four hours per day, prepare their ensemble music independently, and participate in all special events, including travel. Since PA classes and ensembles take place on Saturdays, students should expect to have their individual instruction on a weekday.

Additional Opportunities through PA

Students in PA may also take advantage of the other outstanding opportunities available to Preparatory students, as recommended by their teacher. These include studio recitals, signature recitals, Part-Recital and Concerto competitions, music theory, and the Music Certificate Program. Please refer to the current Preparatory catalog and the Preparatory Music Student Handbook for more information. Program Director Christian Tremblay or Student Services Coordinator can advise the student on the best course of study at the Preparatory.


2017-2018 Auditions

Acceptance in the Performance Academy is by audition.


August 26th, 2017
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

11:30am-12:30pm Cello:  New and Continuing Preparatory students
12:30pm-1:30pm Violin and Viola: New students to the Preparatory
1:30pm -3:30pm Continuing Preparatory students taking individual instruction -New to Performance Academy

Audition Requirements 

  • Three-octave scales: 3 major scales in student’s choice of keys.
  • Bowings: Slur 4, 6, 8, 12 per bow legato, quarter note=72; Spiccato, 1 bow per note, 16th notes, quarter=60-72
  • Arpeggios (violin and viola): Flesch arpeggio series, slur 3, in the selected keys
  • Arpeggios (cello): Three-octave major arpeggios, slur 3, in the selected keys
  • Sightreading and Interview
  • Repertoire for Violin and Viola: Fast concerto movement or solo piece demonstrating technical facility, and a contrasting piece.
  • Repertoire for Cello: Fast concerto movement or solo piece demonstrating technical facility, and one contrasting movement from Bach cello suites. 
  • Students must schedule a separate orchestra audition for either Young Artist Orchestra (YAO) or Peabody Youth Orchestra (PYO). Please look at the Youth Orchestras webpage for all the orchestra audition information. 

Audition Accompanist

A pianist (to be determined) will be available to play Performance Academy auditions on Saturday August 26, and the auditions will be paid for by Peabody.


Recommended Minimum Repertoire (examples):


Middle-School Students

Concerti by Accolay, Bach, Haydn, Kabalevsky, Mozart, Viotti, and pieces of similar difficulty


High-School Students


Concerti by Bruch, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Saint- Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, and pieces of similar difficulty



Concerti by J.C. Bach, Bartók, Handel/Casadesus, Hoffmeister, Hindemith, Stamitz, Walton, etc. and pieces of similar difficulty



Middle-School Students


J.C. Bach, Saint-Saëns’ Allegro Appassionato,  Fauré’s Elegy, and pieces of similar difficulty


High-School Students

Concerti by Boccherini, Dvorák, Elgar, Haydn, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, and pieces of similar difficulty



Application and Audition Information

  • Playing at the stated repertoire level does not ensure acceptance into the Performance Academy for Strings.
  • Please call the Preparatory Office at 667-208-6640 to schedule an audition.
  • Please also fill out and submit a PA Audition Information Form online, or contact the Preparatory Office to obtain an Audition Information Form.
  • Please note: Students who audition for Pre-Conservatory Violin Program (PCVP) will automatically be considered for the Performance Academy for Strings and do not need a separate audition for the Performance Academy. PCVP auditions also serve as auditions for Performance Academy Chamber Music and Peabody Youth Orchestra. Returning Performance Academy students do not need to audition.


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