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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 in July, 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
  • ear training
  • music theory
  • 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 2016 Morse Academy will take place Friday, July 1st to Friday, July 29, 2016.  Students will attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Family and friends will be invited to attend concerts and workshops once a week. The Academy takes place at various locations on Yale’s campus, including the School of Music’s Sprague Hall.

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

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

Applicants for the Morse Summer Music Academy must exhibit musical accomplishment, enthusiasm, and work habits conducive to an intensive music instruction program.

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
Interested students should apply using THIS FORM.  Applications will be accepted until March 31st, 2016.

After applying, all students interested in attending the Morse Academy must audition: auditions will be held  Saturday, April 2nd and Saturday, April 9th, from 8:30am-12:30pm at Wilbur Cross High School (181 Mitchell Dr., New Haven). (All-City Honors students will be excused from rehearsals for the length of their Morse audition slot.) Please arrive 20 minutes before your audition time to sign in.  Auditions requirements may be viewed HERE.

A parent or guardian must accompany the student to his or her audition.  The parent/guardian is required to attend one of two short meetings offered each audition day at 9:30am and 11:00am. (Parents/guardians must only attend one of these meetings.)

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.

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.

If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please contact the Morse Summer Music Academy or Music Administrator Rachel Glodo.