Upcoming Events
Spring Recess 2021 March 29, 2021 8:00 am Monday, March 23- Sunday, April 4, 2021


When and where are the auditions held?
Auditions for new students are held in April, June and August each year (or by special appointment).  Students may register for an audition by calling Sue Polutnik at 847.448.8311. All auditions are held in Thoresen Performance Center at the Winnetka campus at 300 Green Bay Road.  Live auditions are only scheduled after an approved pre-screen.
Are there warm-up rooms once I arrive at the audition site?
Yes. There are many warm up rooms available with a piano. Please check in with Sue Polutnik when you arrive to be assigned to a warm-up room with your accompanist.


When should I arrive?
At least 30 minutes before your audition time.

Should I memorize the music?
Yes, memorization is required.


Do I need to bring music for the adjudicators?

Yes!  Remember the piano part for your accompanist too.


How long is the audition?
An average audition is 30 minutes. During your audition, you may be stopped by the panel and asked to go to another solo or excerpt. This is common and does not reflect upon your performance. All piano students will be required to sight-read during the audition.

What should I wear?
Wear nice performance attire –no gym shoes, no jeans, etc.


When will I find out if I have been accepted?

 Audition results will be emailed to you within two weeks of your audition.


Is there a wait-list?

Most often, students are not allowed to re-audition until one year of the original audition date, but in rare occasions, a student may be asked back within the same year at the discretion of the panel.Yes, you will be notified if you are placed on a wait-list, and if you will need to re-audition. 


Pre-screening: Students are required to send performance links via YouTube or other social media that will be reviewed to determine if the repertoire level is appropriate and if the student will be allowed to proceed to a live audition. Pre-screen links are due two weeks before a live audition date. The pre-screen video performance does not have to be the same repertoire as required for the live audititon, but the difficulty level shoudl be the same. The pre-screen review must include two pieces of contrasting styles-something something lyrical and something showing virtuosity. 


When does the Academy season begin?

There is a mandatory parent and student orientation the Saturday after Labor Day in September. Classes resume the following week.


Does every student receive a merit scholarship?

Every Academy student receives a merit talent scholarship based on the initial audition or returning-student jury. Awards range from 15% to 80% of the tuition.

Merit scholarships do not increase each year a student is in the program.


What if I cannot pay the full Academy tuition when it is due?

An installment plan option is available if you complete the appropriate paperwork. There is a nominal fee to activate this plan.


Can I register for one component of the program, rather than the entire program?

No, unfortunately, this is not an option. Since this is a comprehensive curriculum, Academy faculty and staff believe a student is best prepared for the rigors of conservatory training by participating in each experience: private instruction, chamber music, orchestra or piano skills, history & improvisation, enrichment and master classes, and multiple levels of music theory. In addition, many performance opportunities and community outreach events are required. 


Are there expectations beyond the Saturday classes?

In addition to the classes listed above, there are four chamber music concerts, three orchestra concerts, and numerous performance opportunities that Academy students are required to attend or perform at on weekends. There are also occasional weeknight requirements.