Honors Music Program (HMP)
Alison Neely, Director
Craig Levesque, Academic Coordinator
John Paul Velez, Jazz Coordinator

Download the 2015-16 HMP Admissions Brochure (PDF)


Founded in 1985, The Honors Music Program (HMP) of Westminster Conservatory is central New Jersey’s leading pre-college program for talented classical young musicians. HMP develops musical artistry and scholarship through its comprehensive curriculum and its vibrant, supportive community. Students, age 8 to 18, major in Instrumental or Vocal Performance, Composition, Music Theory, or Musicianship Studies. Students enroll in one of three divisions of study and attend their classes on Saturdays at the Conservatory’s Princeton campus. An exceptional faculty of performers, composers, and scholars inspire students and offer unmatched personal attention. By graduation students are prepared to pursue advanced study or careers in music.

The elementary- and middle-school programs are offered from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the high-school program is offered from 11:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. from September through early June. Students must attend a 45- or 60-minute weekly private lesson in addition to HMP. Students may choose to study with a private teacher on the Conservatory faculty or with an outside teacher.

HMP‘s core curriculum includes a course sequence in Music History and in Music Theory. Performance offerings, which vary by division, are discussed below. Students prepare for the Royal Conservatory’s Music Development Program Rudiments evaluations and the College Board’s Advanced Placement Exam in Music Theory. Graduates accelerate their college study by completing advanced courses in Counterpoint, Analysis, Orchestration, and Composition. Semester grades are awarded in all classes, and a transcript is maintained.

Audition and/or application materials, a brochure, and the HMP handbook are available in the Conservatory office and on the program’s website www.honorsmusicprogram.com. Contact Alison Neely at HMPDirector@rider.edu for more information.

Honors Music Program Faculty
Ben Cahill
Carol Comune
Stanton Davis, Jr.
Michael Green
Ikumi Hiraiwa
Larissa Korkina
Julia Kovalev
Patricia Landy
Craig Levesque
Elena Panova
Galina Prilutskaya
Kyu-Jung Rhee
Marvin Rosen
Angelina Shapoval
Rita Shklar
Danielle Sinclair
Timothy Urban
John Paul Velez
Kevin Willois
Richard Tang Yuk

Click here for faculty bios

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Young Artist (YA)

Young Artist is HMP’s premiere, performance-oriented division, and its students are gifted and highly motivated musicians. YA students receive a comprehensive music education and accelerate their development into top performers and composers. Students audition to major in piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, or trombone. Singers (age 14 to 18) audition to major in voice, and composers (age 10 to18) apply to major in composition.

YA instrumentalists attend four weekly classes: Chamber Music, Theory and Ear Training, Music History, and Jazz Improvisation. Students showcase their achievements in five public performances each year: two YA Solo Recitals, two Honors Program Chamber Music Concerts, and the HMP Jazz Concert. Students also perform in solo Performance Classes four times each year. Young Artists prepare a solo program for annual evaluation by a panel of Conservatory faculty. Repertoire is prepared in accordance with the YA Performance Curricula guidelines under the direction of the student’s private teacher.

YA vocalists attend four weekly classes: Diction, Vocal Repertoire, Theory and Ear Training, and Music History. Singers showcase their achievements in four public performances each year: two YA Solo Recitals, and two HMP Chamber Music Concerts. Vocal students are encouraged to enroll in piano lessons.

Outreach performances, workshops, and master classes by distinguished artists are offered throughout the year. The curriculum culminates in Senior Seminar, a course re-designed to meet the interests of each senior class. Seniors prepare and perform an individual senior recital and receive significant college admissions support. The Young Artist Admissions folio accompanies music school applications or college and university Arts Supplements and impressively presents the student’s transcript, recommendation letter from the Director, and press materials.

Number of weeks: 30
Tuition:  $2,700 (materials and private lesson tuition not included)


Young Musician (YM)

Young Musician is designed for the motivated student who is interested in deepening his or her musical study through participation in HMP. Instrumental students audition to major in piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, or trombone.

The YM curriculum includes three weekly classes: Chamber Music, Theory and Ear Training, and Music History. Each year students showcase their achievements in two performances in the Honors Program Chamber Music Concerts. YM students also participate in Solo Performance Classes four times during the year. In addition, YM students perform solo repertoire for annual evaluation by a panel of Conservatory faculty. Students prepare two contrasting pieces and an etude under the direction of their private teacher.

Additional opportunities include Conservatory-wide recitals, outreach concerts, master classes, and workshops presented by distinguished artists.

Number of weeks: 30
Tuition: $1,980 (materials and private lesson tuition not included)


Young Music Scholar (YMS)

Young Music Scholar is a non-performance-oriented program for students interested in enriching their music education through the study of Music Theory and Music History. The program accepts students based on a private teacher recommendation, an interview with the HMP director, and on class availability in the student’s particular age and level. An audition is not required.

YMS students take two weekly classes: Music Theory and Music History. Students follow the HMP graded theory curriculum. Students progress through Music History survey courses and then enroll each year in one of several Music History electives, which are offered on a rotating basis.

Number of weeks: 28
Tuition:  $1,120 (materials and private lesson tuition not included)