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Rising Stars Program

About the Rising Stars Program

The Rising Stars at Levine is designed to train and prepare dedicated musicians of all disciplines for entry into the Honors program. Through solo performances, chamber music, and other group classes designed to enhance students’ musicianship, technique, creativity, and entrepreneurship, students develop the skills to become well-rounded artists and ambassadors for music in their community.

Scholarship Support

Students who are accepted into the Rising Stars will receive a scholarship covering 50% of the tuition for 45-minute weekly private lessons. All performance classes, musicianship classes, small ensembles, performance events and concerts will be covered at 100%. Rising Stars students are still eligible to apply for Tuition Assistance if additional funding is needed to cover the cost of private instruction.


The Rising Stars program requires a concerted commitment for the academic year. All students enrolled are expected to prioritize Rising Stars events, the majority of which will be announced at the start of the fall and spring semesters. The group activities detailed below are expected to take place most Saturday afternoons between 1-4 PM, and students must be available during this time from September through May in order to participate in the program.

Music Study Requirements

Each Rising Stars student must be enrolled in private lessons, small ensembles, theory/musicianship classes for the entire year, and other planned group activities outlined below.

  • Individual Private Lessons: All Rising Stars Students must be enrolled for the full year for a minimum of one weekly 45-minute private lesson.
  • Musicianship Class: All Rising Stars students are required to enroll in a theory or musicianship class for the entire school year. Students will either be placed in one of Levine’s leveled theory classes or may enroll in a musicianship class designed to connect music theory with performance, repertoire, and composition.
  • President’s List: Each semester, Rising Stars participants must complete the President’s List and submit the application at the end of each semester. Applications will be available online in early September at
  • Small Ensembles (optional): Rising Stars students will have access to small ensemble experiences through Levine’s course offerings as a precursor to the Honors small ensemble requirement. Students must have some weekend availability throughout the year. Interested students will be matched accordingly.
  • Demonstrated progress and commitment: Rising Stars students must attend and demonstrate suitable progress in all lessons and classes. Teacher concerns will be brought to the attention of the Honors Program Directors and students may be placed on probation or potentially dismissed from the Rising Stars program if there are any concerns.


Each Rising Starts student will be expected to participate in performance classes/recital events and are encouraged to represent the program in Levine performances and concerts in the community.

  • Performance Classes: Attendance is required for 3 performance classes scheduled throughout the year and students are expected to perform at least two of the classes.
  • Recitals: Each Rising Stars student is required to perform in Levine’s spring Rising Stars solo recital in addition to at least one Levine recital/performances outside the Rising Stars program.
  • Competitions & Master Classes: Rising Stars students should participate in one of Levine’s competitions – Ruth P. Cogen Concerto Competition, Marlin-Engel Solo Competition, Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition OR in a master class experience as provided by the Rising Stars Program. Competitions and master classes outside of Levine would also fulfill this requirement.
  • Performance Week: Rising Stars students are required to participate in all department juries/critiqued recitals and are expected to maintain a minimum grade of “merit” or above. Certificate juries, where offered, are optimal, but not required.


An integral part of the Rising Stars experience is sharing skill and talents to enrich our community. All Rising Stars students are expected to participate in at least one service project AND one community performance. Some options include:

  • Visiting Instrument Day: “Visiting Instrument Day” is held throughout the year in Levine’s First Music department. Rising Stars students can introduce their instrument to a classroom of young children.
  • Community Service Projects: Opportunities will be provided for students to work together to provide positive change within our community.

Community Performance: Rising Stars students are encouraged to share their talent through performance at local retirement homes, nursing homes, and schools.

Group Events Requirements

Attendance is required for the following events, which give students a chance to get to know their fellow Rising Stars colleagues:

  • Season Opener: an informal gathering providing students an opportunity to meet their fellow Rising Stars cohort and set expectations for the year.
  • Other Group Events: Rising Stars student will have access to a series of scheduled group events. These may include performances and workshops at Levine, or concerts and field trips in the DC metro area. All events are organized for the Rising Stars students to attend together. 

Applicant Requirements

The Rising Stars welcomes applications from current Levine students ages 9-16. Applicants are responsible for adhering to and submitting all required materials below.

Lesson Requirement: Rising Stars program students must be enrolled in weekly 45 -minute private lessons with a teacher at Levine.

Yearly Audition: Students must audition each year for the Rising Stars Programs. Participation in the program for one year does not guarantee a place for the upcoming year. Students will not be admitted into the program without an audition and completed application. View video audition requirements and guidelines. Rising Stars students are also expected to audition for the Honors Program after 2-3 years in the Rising Stars program or when recommended to do so by their teachers.

Application Form: All potential Rising Stars students must submit a completed online application. Please note that a completed application includes the student essay and screening video (NEW students only). The 2024-25 application is due on April 10, 2024.

Teacher Recommendation: All applicants’ private instructors will be required to complete an online Teacher Recommendation Form (a separate form).

Performance Week: Applicants must participate in a Spring Performance Week activity (i.e. jury or certificate recital). Certificate juries are strongly recommended, if available, but not required. Department Chairs will verify applicant participation. If your department is not holding juries this Spring, please provide a copy of the faculty/judges comment forms from your most recent performance (i.e. Levine competition, solo festival, state band/orchestra audition, Levine fall jury).

Age Requirement: Applicants should be 9 years old by September 1, 2024. Students who are younger than 9 may audition for the program but should understand that the Rising Stars students engage in chamber music, performance classes, and recitals as a cohort. Younger students must demonstrate the ability to engage with older classmates and focus during rehearsals and classes. Please ask your teacher to include why we should grant a waiver of the age requirement in their recommendation form.