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Special Thanks

These programs are made possible by an endowment established by Mr. & Mrs. Lester Morse, Yale College ’51.

[ Music in Schools ]

Morse Summer Music Academy

The Morse Summer Music Academy is an intensive program offered by the Yale Music in Schools Initiative for both New Haven students and Yale graduate Teaching Artists. For four weeks each summer, over 100 New Haven Public School students convene daily at Yale for 5 hours of intensive classes, rehearsals, and lessons. One of the hallmarks of the Academy is its numerous performance opportunities: over four weeks, Morse students participate in over thirty concerts across Yale’s campus and the New Haven community.

All instruction is given by Yale School of Music graduate Teaching Artists, alumni, and faculty, as well as NHPS music teachers and Yale music affiliates. The model of mentoring is most in exhibit at Morse as graduate students serve as mentors to all the students, while high school junior and seniors are placed in positions that allow them to mentor younger students. Instruction is also provided by NHPS music teachers, YSM faculty members, and special guests.

Because of this close daily interaction, Morse Academy provides students with opportunities for growth in musicianship, technique, and personal achievement. New Haven students from the Morse Academy return to their home schools as musical leaders who can have a positive influence on the music programs there.

During the Academy, students may participate in:

  • large ensembles
  • sectional rehearsals
  • private lessons
  • chamber music
  • formal and informal recitals
  • semi-weekly “pop-up” chamber music concerts
  • field trips to local galleries and museums
  • a field trip to the Norfolk Summer Music Festival

Program Details

The 2018 Morse Academy takes place Monday, July 9 – Friday, August 3, 2018.

Family and friends are invited to attend concerts and workshops once or twice a week. The Academy takes place at various locations on Yale’s campus, including the Adams Center for Musical Arts and Sprague Hall.

The Academy is open to NHPS students entering 4th-12th grades in the following disciplines:

  • Band (woodwind, brass, and percussion)
  • Choir
  • Orchestra (violin, viola, cello, and double bass)


To attend Morse Academy, a student must:

  • attend a New Haven Public School
  • be entering 4th-12th grades in the fall of 2018
  • participate in their school’s music program (where available)
  • exhibit musical accomplishment, enthusiasm, and work habits conducive to an intensive music instruction program
  • have at least a “B” average on their NHPS report card
  • receive music teacher approval

Please note: Our program is currently available only to New Haven Public School students; students from charter schools or outside of NHPS are not eligible.

After applying, new students interested in attending the Morse Academy must audition, and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for a parent/guardian meeting.

How to Apply

Applications for Morse 2018 are closed. Accepted students: click here to access required forms.


Students interested in attending Morse Academy must audition, except those who have been part of the CMEA Southern Region Festival both Middle and High School. Auditions will be held at the Yale School of Music (Adams Center: 165 Elm St, New Haven, CT 06511) on Saturday, March 10th and Saturday, March 17th from 8am-12pm. Please arrive 15 minutes before your audition time to sign in.

Audition Requirements


  • 6 scales (one octave): B-flat major, C major, F major, D major, G major, and a chromatic scale
  • A short solo piece chosen by the student
  • A sight-reading excerpt proposed by the adjudicator the day of the audition


  • 2 scales (one octave): C major and G major
  • A short solo piece chosen by the student
  • A sight-reading excerpt proposed by the adjudicator the day of the audition


  • A short solo song of their choice
  • Students will repeat different vocal exercises proposed by the adjudicators

Parental Involvement

Because family commitment and enthusiasm are such crucial components in children’s development as musicians, parent/guardian involvement in the Morse Academy is required. Workshops each week during the program address relevant issues for parents and guardians of gifted musicians and educate them in ways to prepare their children for future musical experiences.

Year-Long Opportunities

Students who successfully complete the Academy have musical opportunities throughout the academic year. These opportunities include participation in All-City Honors Ensembles as well as special invitations to Yale School of Music and professional performances. Please note that the choir students accepted to Morse Chorale should commit for a year long participation in the ensemble beginning on July 9th 2018 and ending on June 1st, 2019.


The Morse Summer Music Academy is made possible through a generous endowment established by Enid and Lester Morse, Yale College ’51, and is offered free of charge to New Haven Public School students. The first Academy took place in summer 2010 with 42 participants from 10 schools; in 2015, 134 students participated representing 27 schools.

Questions: please contact the Morse Summer Music Academy.