Carnegie Application



March  2025
An Unmatchable Experience

Carnegie Hall’s unparalleled grandeur has enchanted performers and spectators alike for over 100 years. Director’s Choice provides the most accessible opportunity for student performance groups to cross this esteemed stage with the Premier Performance Invitational. Performing in this internationally-acclaimed venue allows your students to taste world-class prestige and excellence.

“Getting to Carnegie Hall, the kids learned that nothing is impossible.
During the process, they became better people, better musicians and
became that band that I dreamed about leading in college.” 
Stan Mauldin, Seguin High School Band

FAQ | Rules + Guidelines | Application

Frequently Asked Questions

When will we know if we have been accepted?

The Director’s Choice Premier Performance Invitational selection committee meeting is scheduled as needed when applications are received. Your application packet will be reviewed at the selection committee meeting. All applicants that submit an application will be notified immediately following the meeting.

Is the Premier Performance Invitational at Carnegie Hall adjudicated?

No. The only adjudication portion of the Premier Performance Invitational is the application process. Once selected, ensembles are encouraged to focus on presenting the best possible musical performance without regard for the competitive element of musical selections.

What time will my ensemble perform?

Performance times will be assigned 60 days prior to performance.

Is transportation included in the package price?

The package price does not include any transportation.

What is the appropriate attire for the Premier Performance Invitational?

For the performance, groups must wear uniforms or concert dress.

Will we have an audience for our performance?

Directors’ Choice will arrange for each performing ensemble to listen to another performing ensemble. This ensures every group will perform for a knowledgeable and respectful audience.

Can we purchase CDs or photographs of our performance?

Due to Carnegie Hall’s strict licensing agreements, it is not possible to sell media of any type from the concert performance. Each ensemble will receive an archival DVD and an archival onstage photograph. Duplication of the archival media is prohibited.

Can we take our own photographs or video recording of our performance?

Due to Carnegie Hall’s strict licensing agreements, it is not permissible to video or photograph inside the auditorium.

Can more than one ensemble “share” a performance slot?

No, the 40 minute window can only be utilized by one ensemble. However, we do provide a 3 hour package which can be utilized as a feature performance for a school of music or music program to be shared as desired.

Are there any exceptions if we have more than 80 performers in one performance slot?

Only choral ensembles will be allowed more than 80 performers.

Are we allowed to change clothes in our assigned backstage room?

No, the backstage room you will be assigned is a pre-concert gathering area for each ensemble, but is not set up nor large enough to utilize as a dressing room. Each ensemble needs to arrive at the hall in concert dress.



The Application

Digital Recording:

We can accept digital recordings using the following methods:

  • CD
  • File Upload (.wav)
  • Flash Drive (.wav)

The recording sampling rate should be 44.1 kHz and greater than 192 kbps. Note that over compression of .mp3 files will greatly diminish recording quality. Please include: Track Number, Title, Movement, Composer, and Arranger of each selection. Each selection must be a continuous performance which was recorded at a concert, festival, or contest. Multi-movement works must be recorded from a continuous performance. Recordings should not be edited after the performance except to remove announcements and introductions. Engineering, editing, or tampering with the recording in any way is not allowed. The recording should represent a fairly recent recording of the ensemble and the director that is applying to the Premier Performance Invitational.Music Requirements:

  • Concert Band - One march and one concert selection
  • Instrumental Jazz Ensemble - Two selections in contrasting styles
  • Orchestra - Two selections contrasting in historical period, styles, and tempo (no solo repertoire)
  • Concert Choir - Two selections in contrasting style

The Concert


While most Americans have heard of Carnegie Hall, many do not know why a performance in this venue is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Educate your students and community in regard to this amazing venue. Encourage them to research the history of the hall and the musicians that have performed on its stage.


Each ensemble will be given 40 minutes to perform their entire concert program. This time includes an onstage warm-up, special tuning, breaks between movements, and time between selections. There will be a 10-20 minute set change between ensembles. Note: this applies to the 40 minute concert package. More customization is allowed in the 3 hour package.

Creating the perfect program for a Premier Performance Invitational performance is a task that demands careful consideration. As a general rule, a thoughtful conductor will select a program:

  • which features the strengths of your ensemble
  • that is enjoyable for an audience of parents and young musicians
  • written by recognizable composers
  • that is not too difficult for the ensemble
  • of the appropriate length

In addition, it is important to consider the duration of your program based upon the ability level and endurance of the performers.

Without the rules and restraints of a traditional music contest or festival, you are encouraged to explore exciting options such as featuring a soloist (student or professional) or having a composition commissioned for the ensemble.


Without the rules and restraints of a traditional music contest or festival, directors are encouraged to explore these inclusions.

The Premier Performance Invitational at Carnegie Hall includes:

  • Performance in one of the world’s leading venues - Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
  • Program listing (Playbill) and on-site signage (3-sheet poster) announcing performance
  • Commemorative shadow box for each ensemble, including archival onstage group photograph
  • Archival DVD recording of performance for conductor
  • 20 minute sound check on stage
  • 40 minute performance time (or) 3 hour concert package
  • Each ensemble will be assigned a pre-concert gathering room backstage for the purpose of organization and use as a short warm-up facility. Music stands and chairs not available for warm-up
  • Poster size replica of 3-sheet poster for each ensemble

Equipment Provided in Premier Performance Invitational at Carnegie Hall package:

  • Grand Piano
  • Chimes
  • Concert Bells
  • Xylophone
  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone
  • Timpani 23", 26", 29", 32"
  • Large Gong with Stand
  • Concert Bass Drum

All other equipment and accessories are the responsibility of the performing ensemble. Students assume all responsibility for bringing sticks, beaters and mallets.

Director’s Choice Performance Events team can assist with the rental of additional instruments if notified at least 90 days prior to event. Additional instruments are not covered in the Premiere Performance Invitational at Carnegie Package.

Additional large instruments and percussion equipment will be assigned specific load-in times to meet load-in and performance schedule. Load-in/load-out of large instruments will be handled by Carnegie Hall stagehands.


All audience members, including performers, must have a ticket for the concert. Tickets for performers, conductors, guest artists and backstage chaperones are included in the performance package and do not need to be purchased separately. Any non-performers and guests with the group will receive a complimentary ticket, if request is received by Director's Choice on or before December 1. We will not accept requests for additional tickets after December 1. Additional tickets may be purchased online or from the box office on the day of the concert.

Publicity:Director’s Choice will promote and advertise your performance as follows:

  • Carnegie Hall’s printed, monthly concert calendar
    • distributed in house; by mail to select ticket buyers; in various hotel concierge desks, sponsors and other outlets; appears, in poster form, on the outside of the Hall
  • Carnegie Hall’s website (
  • Three-sheet poster on outside wall of Carnegie Hall
  • Carnegie Hall’s in house program (Playbill), to include:
    • ensemble bio and photo, conductor bio and photo, performer names, program information
    • It is the conductor’s responsibility to provide accurate information within the timeline specified. All requested materials are due 90 days prior to the performance date.
  • Ensembles are not permitted to distribute any additional printed materials at Carnegie Hall


Event Pricing

  • 40-minute concert: $35,500*
  • 3-hour concert: $95,250*

*2024 pricing; 2025 concert date & pricing coming soon

The undersigned customer and Director’s Choice (provider) hereby enter this contract and agree to the following terms and conditions, including terms, conditions and selections indicated on the attached package form:

  • Application Fee $995 (only refundable if application is denied) (40 minute or 3 hour concert)
  • Non-refundable deposit due 60 days after acceptance:
    • $6,000 non-refundable deposit for 40 minute concert 
      $17,000 non-refundable deposit for 3 hour concert
  • 50% of total production charges is due by 120 days from performance
  • 75% of total production charges is due by 90 days from performance
  • 100% of total production charges is due by 60 days from performance
  • If payments are not made according to the payment schedule, registration may be canceled. Registrations may be reinstated by Provider, at its option, upon receipt of payment. This may affect the availability of goods and services. Late payments incur a $25.00 late payment fee.
  • Any excess funds will be applied as an account credit toward future charges unless a refund check is requested in writing.
  • Returned checks are subject to a $25 processing fee


All cancellations must be made in writing via email by the client. Upon receipt of written email notification of cancellation, refund of production charges will be applied as follows:

Time Period*Package Cancellation
120-90 days prior to performance50% of package price less non-refundable application fee and deposit
90 days to performance100% of package price | No refunds will be made.
No-show100% of package price | No refunds will be made.
Application fee + depositNon-refundable

*The date that written notice of cancellations or changes is received in the Provider’s office and confirmed via email will be the date from which charges will be based.

Responsibility + Liability:

  • Provider shall not be held liable in whole or part, for any damage or injury to persons or property, including damages arising from acts of negligence by any vendor or member of a Group unless such damage is caused by the gross negligence of Provider.
  • Provider shall not be responsible for events beyond its control, such as, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, acts of war or terrorism, government restrictions, or for acts of omissions of persons or companies not controlled by provider, such as, without limitation, air carriers, bus companies, railways, and hotels. Provider and its officers, directors, employees, and agents are hereby released from all claims arising out of such event, acts, or omissions.

General + Administrative:

  • Unlike other festival products, Carnegie Hall Premier Performance Invitational requires a significant amount of communication with the client. It is imperative the client responds to communications from the Director’s Choice Performance Events team in a timely manner to ensure the client’s performance experience is the best it can be.