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Music Academy to Hold Auditions Sept. 17 for MERIT Extended Program

Applicants ages 11 to 18 will be expected to perform two compositions and be prepared to sight-read

The Music Academy of the West will host auditions on Saturday, Sept. 17, for MERIT Extended, the academy’s classical chamber music program for local instrumentalists ages 11 to 18.

Applicants will be expected to perform two compositions of contrasting styles and periods, and be prepared to sight-read.

Audition times will be assigned once applications and reference forms have been processed. Applications and reference forms, which must be postmarked by Sept. 10, should be sent to Music Academy of the West/MERIT Extended Program, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2899.

The academy’s MERIT Extended program takes place September through May. Students participate in chamber ensembles, receive four hours of coaching each month, and take part in masterclasses and performances throughout the school year.

Inaugurated in 1998, MERIT (Music Education Reinforces Intellect and Talent) Extended provides promising local students with an opportunity to expand their chamber music education. Directed by Linda Holland and supported by the Henry E. and Lola Monroe Foundation, the Cheeryble Foundation, the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, Connie Frank and Evan Thompson, Michelle and Michael O’Brien, and Goldman Sachs, the program also operates as an intensive two-week immersion in the academy’s annual Summer School and Festival, including mentoring from academy fellows.

This version of the program, known simply as MERIT, requires a separate application process. All MERIT participants receive scholarships covering program expenses.

Applications for the 2012 Summer MERIT Program will be available in February. For more information, click here or call 805.687.6875.

— Tim Dougherty is the communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.

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