“Now it hurts me to think you might never know…”*

By: Mónia C. Estima, Senior Assistant Director for Music Admissions

By now, many of you know that Juilliard is doing something different this year, with regard to application deadlines and audition periods for the music division. This year, we’ve got two of each! (OMG!) In the normal scheme of things, all orchestral instrument applicants would have had the December 1 deadline that we’ve had, like, forever, and they’d all audition during the first week of March. But not this year, oh no. This year, we’ve had to break things up (if you’re a graduating high school or college senior, you should already know the deadline and audition dates for your department). (Wait…you do know the deadline for your department, right?) (No c’mon, really? It’s, like, the end of October and you haven’t checked this stuff out yet?!) (*Sigh* OK, click here.)

So, if you clicked there, you saw that 12 music departments have a November 15 application deadline, and the other 13 have the typical December 1 deadline. The Nov. 15 folks have auditions in January and the rest audition in March (excepting Orchestral Conductors and Classical Guitarists, whose auditions will take place late February).

“What’s up with that?” you may ask. (Curiously, no one’s been asking. Admissions worried that applicants affected by this switcheroo would freak out but if they are, they’re keeping veeeeeewy quiet about it. Not that I want anyone to freak out, mind you, I’m just sayin’.) Well, what’s up with that is that the New York Philharmonic scheduled a tour over our March audition dates. Many of our faculty are in the Phil, as are faculty at both Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College The New School for Music. After the Associate Dean of Admissions and I heard about this (and after we recovered from our heart attacks), we got on the horn with the Admissions folks at MSM and Mannes and set up a meeting to figure out how we were going to handle what would surely turn into a scheduling nightmare for us all.

Many bottles of smelling salts and boxes of Kleenex tissues later, we emerged with the plan of scheduling the 12 affected departments in January (and, as much as possible, the three schools tried to keep departmental dates close together so that, say, a bassist interested in Juilliard AND Mannes AND MSM wouldn’t have to make separate trips to NY to audition at all three. See how much we all care about you guys?). We at Juilliard consulted with our faculty members to glean their availability for this time period during the 2008 March auditions (when they were more or less our captive audience), and thus came about the dates you saw if you clicked on the above link. The earlier application deadline reflects our need for sufficient time to process applications so we can schedule auditions and still give you enough time to make your travel and lodging arrangements.

The roughest part of it for you Nov. 15 deadliners is having to get your supporting documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, TOEFL if applicable) to us by the time you audition (unless you’re a DMA applicant and have to get all of that stuff in by the Nov. 15 deadline). On the bright side, you’ll have some free time during your December breaks to do some intensive practicing so, theoretically, you’ll be fresher for your Juilliard audition. Plus, the bulk of these January auditions is taking place over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, so you may not have to worry about missing classes to take your audition with us (unlike some folks auditioning in March). Also, you’ll hear about your admissions decision from us earlier (though Financial Aid awards will not be determined until the end of March).

Anyway, I wanted you to know that we didn’t choose to do January auditions for funsies. It was one of those “desperate times call for desperate measures” kinda things. (To borrow a phrase from my esteemed colleague, Geoffrey Scott, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)

*The title for this blog was filched from the song “Nice” by Duran Duran.