Every student at Mannes is encouraged to participate in formal and informal performances.
Under the direction of Michael Adelson, Philharmonic provides some of the most thorough orchestral training available to pre-college musicians in the New York metropolitan area. Students work with coaches from such renowned ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's performing masterworks of the literature while they learn and refine the fundamental skills needed to play in both large and small ensembles. Philharmonic performs three times during the school year: December, early March, and at graduation in May. Instrumentalists wishing to play in Philharmonic must audition for admission and seating in September. Applicants are given excerpts to prepare and must also prepare a solo of their choice and should expect to sight-read. Soloists are chosen through the Concerto Competition to appear with the orchestra in the spring.
Symphony (ages 13 and up)
Symphony is a high-level training orchestra. Students in Symphony performs works from a variety of periods and styles throughout the year. Students are assigned to the orchestra and then audition for seating.
String Orchestra and Concert Orchestra
The youngest string players will benefit from these first ensemble experiences. Reading skills are required, and placement is at the discretion of the conductor. Young wind players may join the Concert Orchestra at the discretion of the Preparatory Division director and the conductor of the orchestra.
Participation in Senior Chorus is required of all older students not in Philharmonic or Sinfonia. Vocalists, pianists, and guitarists apply skills learned in their Techniques of Music classes to a wide repertoire and experience the joy of participating in a large musical ensemble. The Senior Chorus performs throughout the year.
Junior and Intermediate Choruses (grades 3-8)
Drawing on a diverse repertoire from classical, world, and contemporary music, the Junior and Intermediate Choruses are an exciting opportunity for younger students to perform in a large ensemble. The choruses perform throughout the year.
Workshops, a unique feature of the preparatory program, are scheduled several times every month. In these informal hour-long classes, small groups of students play for and learn from each other. A wide variety of musical topics are explored. Usually, workshops are led by a faculty member other than the student's own teacher. Workshop participation is required for performance in a monthly recital, but all students are encouraged to attend weekly workshops, whether or not they are performing that month.
Formal recitals, to which family and friends are invited, are held monthly. Individual students and ensembles may perform as often as they are ready, schedule permitting. Students are signed up for recitals by their major teacher or coach.