NPR’s “From the Top” Seeks Young D.C.-Area Musicians

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Provided by George Mason University

From the Top, the hit NPR radio program showcasing America’s best young classical musicians, is seeking local talent for its live show recording on Saturday, Feb. 29. The recording will take place at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for the Arts on George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Guest hosts Greg Anderson (a From the Top alum himself) and Elizabeth Joy Roe will emcee the program. They’ll perform alongside the young artists for the Center for the Arts performance. The weekly hour-long radio program is heard Sundays on WETA 90.9 FM at 6:00 p.m. and on more than 200 other stations nationwide.

From the Top welcomes audition entries from young classical musicians ages 8 to 18 who have not yet graduated from high school. Solo performers on all instruments, composers and vocalists, as well as instrumental or vocal ensembles are welcome.  In addition to seeking talent for its upcoming live concert in Fairfax, the program seeks young musicians for other concerts that are part of its national tour on a rolling admissions basis.

Application and scholarship information is available online at

To be considered for From the Top at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax, eligible young classical musicians must submit recordings and complete an application by Nov. 15, 2019.

Of the more than 100 musicians chosen to appear on the radio program every year, approximately 20 will receive Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Awards in support of furthering their musical education. These scholarships of up to $10,000 are given to deserving young classical musicians ages 8 to 18 who have high levels of artistic achievement, demonstrated financial need, and a solid academic record.

Celebrating its 20th season the air, From the Top is the most popular weekly one-hour music program on public radio. The live show features spirited performances and entertaining interviews with five featured soloists and/or ensembles. Young performers share their passion for classical music, and speak about their non-musical lives, from career goals and family traditions to hidden talents, school, and community life.

A core component of the From the Top Experience is participation in Arts Leadership training and Community Engagement. Arts Leadership sessions are integrated into the schedule of rehearsals and events surrounding the radio taping and take place in a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere in which musicians are encouraged to bond with one another.

Through group exercises and discussions, young musicians explore how they can utilize their artistry beyond traditional performance settings; gain a broader perspective on classical music and its larger artistic and societal context; develop a greater understanding of possible career choices within the music world in addition to possibilities outside of music; and are introduced to a range of ways to be involved in their communities. Performers put their learning into practice by creating and implementing customized engagement activities in the communities From the Top visits. Their activities range from visits to soup kitchens and senior centers to performances designed for young audiences.

For additional information, please contact From the Top Recruitment, at 617-437-0707 x 134 or

Ticket and event information for the live From the Top recording Saturday, Feb. 29 at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for the Arts:


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