How to Apply

Application Deadline: Monday February 28th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Eligibility Criteria for Award Applicants

The bursaries and other prizes will be open to music students:

  • who are following a recognized course of music study in preparation for a career as a professional orchestral musician.
  • AND
    • who have resided during their formative years in the NCR, as defined in the National Capital Act OR
    • who are from outside the NCR and have been studying at a recognized institution in the NCR for the full academic year immediately prior to applying OR
    • who have been studying under a recognized orchestral instrument teacher in the NCR over the past year.
  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.  
  • The applicants must be not less than 16 years of age and not more than 26 years of age as of the closing date for applications. 
  • The competition will be open to students of wind and brass instruments, and percussion and timpani.

Decision on an applicant’s eligibility rests entirely with the Committee.


Applicant Availability: Those applying for the NACO Bursary Competition must be available for the duration of the Competition, including the Preliminary Auditions and, if selected, the Finals.

Online Application: Applicants will complete the required online application (by clicking on the “APPLY NOW” link below) and submit by the deadline indicated. Late applications will not be accepted.

  1. Additional Requirements:
    • An up-to-date résumé/curriculum vitae (one page maximum) is required. Résumés should be a PDF file.
    • A photo is required. Photos should not be more than 200k file size, (.JPEG). Photos do not need to be professional-quality, but must be a clear, unobstructed headshot of the applicant.
    • These documents are to be prepared before starting the online application process. They will be required as attachments to the online form.
  2. Communication: The main form of communication for this Competition will be by email. Applicants are advised to have an email address. It is the responsibility of the applicant/participant to check email on a regular basis for communications.
  3. Audition Requirements
    • Solo repertoire: The approved solo repertoire list has been carefully developed and is regularly reviewed by the NAC Orchestra Bursary Committee. In drawing up this list the Committee has chosen pieces which, in terms of length, variety and level of difficulty, best meet the requirements of this Competition. No substitutions will be allowed. Candidates must state in writing their chosen solo repertoire from the approved list at the time of application.
    • Orchestral excerpts: In addition to the solo repertoire selections listed, each candidate will be required to perform a selection of excerpts from the orchestral repertoire. Excerpted parts will be forwarded to candidates upon acceptance to the Competition after the closing of the application deadline. These excerpts are an integral part of the audition; practice and study of these elements should be given as much weight as the other repertoire.
  4. Status of Application / Notice of Acceptance: Candidates will be sent notice by email confirming the status of their application approximately two weeks after the application deadline. Should their application be accepted, their audition time will be indicated on this notice.
  5. Collaborative pianists: Candidates are responsible for providing their own collaborative pianists for the audition. All solo selections requiring accompaniment must be played with accompaniment. Orchestral excerpts are to be performed without accompaniment.
  6. Dress Code: While there is no formal dress code for either the preliminary or final auditions, informal dress appropriate to the occasion would be appreciated. Formal gowns or attire are not necessary.
  7. The Day of the Auditions: The jury reserves the right to ask any candidate to perform a second time before a final decision is made. The jury also reserves the right to cut short an audition in the interest of time.

    For the preliminary audition, candidates must provide the jury members with 4 high-quality copies of their solo pieces, which must be high-quality photocopies, with composer and title clearly marked on each sheet. Candidates who are unable to provide four legible copies of their repertoire for jury risk disqualification.

    Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your audition time. A warm-up room will be provided. Scheduled audition times are approximate. Candidates must be ready at least fifteen minutes ahead of their scheduled time (or risk disqualification), and auditions may run up to fifteen minutes late.

Contact Us

For further information about the NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition, please contact Music Education Coordinator Kelly Symons: