Performance is given primary emphasis in the School of Music. The programs are designed to provide the broadest possible performance opportunities for each student at his or her respective level of study.
The Symphony Orchestra, Cantata Singers, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Opera Workshop, Fletcher Opera Workshop, and chamber groups in every medium provide multiple ensemble performance opportunities through regular rehearsals and frequent public performances.
Opportunities are available to perform as a soloist with the NCSA Symphony Orchestra through annually scheduled concerto competitions.
School of Music ensembles and soloists are often involved in performance tours throughout North Carolina, the Southeast and beyond. These performances provide a substantial opportunity for artistic growth and professional development. Past tours have taken groups such as the Jazz Ensemble, Cantata Singers and the Symphony Orchestra to Charleston, Philadelphia and New York City, where the School participated in the Lincoln Center Mozart Bicentennial celebration.
Student performances are presented at the weekly Performance Hour, where attendance is required of all music students. In addition, solo student recitals are presented throughout the school year in a variety of venues.
Selected School of the Arts music students are engaged each year through apprenticeship programs; affiliations with professional organizations; and the School’s Applause Office, a fee-based job service operated on the campus. Applause matches student musicians with community requests for performances. Students gain valuable work experience, interact with professionals, and are compensated for their work.
The Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory, N.C., maintains paying positions on its roster for qualified musicians studying at the School of the Arts. An affiliation with Piedmont Opera Theatre, which presents two professional opera productions each year, enables voice students to be cast in supporting roles or sing in the opera chorus. The North Carolina Symphony Apprenticeship Program is open to School of the Arts students by audition. The program offers students paying positions in the symphony for a limited number of engagements.