PRISMA 2020: June 15-27, Apply through ACCEPTD

The Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) Festival offers an in-depth orchestral training program that is designed to provide advanced students and young professionals with the essential tools to win a position in a professional orchestra. The program bridges the education students receive at a university/conservatory and the professional life of an orchestra musician. PRISMA is also very valuable for undergraduates, as it helps develop skills for future studies and builds confidence for student recitals and exams.  

The program includes:


Orchestra Rehearsals

All students play and perform in the PRISMA Festival Orchestra conducted by Arthur Arnold, Music Director of the Moscow Symphony. The orchestra rehearses daily. Two full symphony programs provide players with a broad experience in orchestral playing, musical interpretation and repertoire. 

Week 1:

Turina - Sinfonia Sevillana

Hamburger - Viola Concerto (Máté Szücs, Viola)

Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade

Week 2:
Glière - Red Poppy Suite
Concerto Competition (soloists: 2020 competition finalists)
Bartók - Concero for Orchestra


The PRISMA Festival includes several public concerts and events featuring PRISMA students and guest artists. The PRISMA Festival Orchestra prepares two full symphony concert programs in the Evergreen Theatre to enthusiastic, sophisticated audiences. The Gala Grand Opening Concert features guest artists and the full orchestra, and additional opportunities exist for selected students to perform chamber music alongside their mentors.
At the midway point of the festival, PRISMA hosts a free outdoor event known as PRISMA on the Beach, which takes place at Willingdon Beach Park overlooking the beautiful Strait of Georgia. The event features food, crafts, and performances by the PRISMA Festival Orchestra and guest artists. (Students frequently tell us how they wish that all concerts could have such a view!)

Private Lessons and Master Classes

PRISMA participants receive dedicated support through one-on-one lessons with their instructors, internationally-renowned musicians from top orchestras. Students play solo pieces and listen to their colleagues during public masterclasses. In their private lessons, students work on selected repertoire, concertos and orchestral excerpts. Guest artists address the specific needs of individual students to help them improve their skills and technique.

Student Recitals

Student recitals take place on non-concert days after masterclasses, and are open to the public. Students get a chance to perform the solo repertoire they worked on during masterclasses with our instructors. Piano accompaniment is available for both the masterclasses and the student recitals.


Students take part in sectional rehearsals lead by the guest artists or the Music Director. Solutions will be discussed for challenging sections of orchestral repertoire.

Audition Training

Preparation for a successful audition is an important aspect of the PRISMA program. During PRISMA, students take part in two auditions to improve their skills and gain more experience. The guest artists, consisting of musicians who have principal positions in world-renowned orchestras, train students to become more comfortable with the process of auditioning and share their own experiences.
Students play a first and second round of a live audition and also have an opportunity to sit on the jury panel. During the first week, auditions will be behind a screen like in a first round, and in the second week, auditions will be open. The private lessons and masterclasses will help students prepare for these auditions.
Far more important than the specific result of an audition will be the experience of auditioning itself. Being a member of the jury will give students the opportunity to experience the other side, which will improve their own presentation/performance in future auditions. Students should prepare 3-5 standard excerpts prior to PRISMA.
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"PRISMA 2014 was a fantastic festival. The orchestra rehearsals, audition training, Concerto Competition, and private lessons were exactly what I needed to be at my best to audition for and win my job with the Topeka Symphony."  Hannah Porter Occeña, Principal Flute, Topeka Symphony Orchestra, 2014 Student

See here for more testimonials.

Concerto Competition

PRISMA provides young, talented musicians with an opportunity to compete. Finalists become soloists with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra in (a movement of) a solo concerto or a solo piece during a symphony concert. The prize is a week in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, awarded to the winner of the evening competition as judged by the international jury.  Read more about the competition and the rules on the competition page.

Consider studying at PRISMA:

• if you are passionate about music

• if you want to obtain the necessary tools to win a position in a professional orchestra

• if you want to be part of a supportive and collaborative learning environment

There is no age limit for PRISMA; musical excellence is the sole criterion. 

How to apply:

PRISMA uses Acceptd for all student registration. Please visit their website to create your profile. All applicants must follow the application and audition procedures outlined below. An incomplete application or lack of payment of the application fee will inhibit the application process.
If you have difficulties submitting your application please contact us at
Students will be notified by email no later than March 31, 2019 with the results of their application. Please note, the application fee is non-refundable.
Step 1: Create a free profile on Acceptd or log in if you have an existing account.
Step 2: Select PRISMA from the dropdown menu (top right) under “Program Group”
Step 3: Choose the instrument/discipline you wish to apply for under “Program”
Step 4: Complete the online application form
Step 5: Submit your biography/resumé
Step 6: Submit the link to your YouTube audition video (YouTube links only; make sure the setting of your video is “public” or “unlisted” but not “private.” Click here for suggested audition repertoire)
Step 7: Pay the application fee. The rates are as follows, with incentives for early registration:
·  $50 USD October 15, 2018 - December 31, 2018 (Save $25 USD!)
·  $75 USD January 1, 2019 - February 28, 2019
Step 8: When you have completed all these steps, click on Send Application. Once you press send you cannot go back into the application. Any additional materials can be sent to
Applications close on February 28, 2019 at midnight PST. For questions, please email All applicants must follow the application and audition procedures found here. An incomplete application or non-payment of the application fee stops the application process. Students will be notified by email no later than March 31, 2019  with the application results. The application fee is non-refundable.
We look forward to receiving your application and seeing you at PRISMA 2019!

Click here to download the PRISMA 2019 brochure.

Audition Requirements:

Auditions for PRISMA are conducted by video, so that students from around the world are given the opportunity to present themselves at their best. Please make your video using the requirements outlined below and upload it to YouTube under the “public” or “unlisted” (not “private”) setting. You may record your audition in one continuous session, or record movements and excerpts separately, as long as recordings are not edited. Please ensure that any separately-filmed excerpts are combined into a single Youtube video.
• (part) of a movement of a standard concerto
• a movement of unaccompanied Bach
• a minimum of three contrasting excerpts at choice
• part) of a movement of a standard concerto
• a minimum of five contrasting excerpts at choice,
• excerpts for auxiliary instruments at choice
You may use an audition video prepared for other programs, as long as it includes orchestra excerpts. Auditions without accompaniment are preferred. 

Below are suggested excerpts for your audition. Please note that you may choose other exceprts.


Please note: Canada requires visas from certain countries.  To find out if you require a visa, click here to search for your country and the necessary requirements. If one is required, we strongly recommend contacting your visa office as soon as possible about processing times. A student visa application may take up to 60 days.
Visas are not required for students from the United States (US citizens and permanent residents/green card holders).
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and are coming to Canada solely for PRISMA, you will enter as a temporary resident/tourist/visitor. If you are just attending a short-term program such as PRISMA, you are not considered to be entering Canada to study. You do not need––and should not apply for––a student visa.
When you enter Canada, you will have to complete a Customs form. You should check that the purpose of your visit is “Personal” not “Study”.