Early Music America (EMA) has been proud to bring together pre-college and collegiate early-music ensembles throughout North America since 2010.

In previous years, the Young Performers Festival was presented at early-music festivals in Berkeley, CA, Bloomington, IN, and Boston, MA, and virtually through EMA’s digital platforms. We are looking forward to presenting the next Young Performers Festival as a central component of the EMA Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, October 24-26, 2023.


Selected YPF ensembles will be paired with a second YPF ensemble, each performing a 30-minute program as half of a shared concert during the Summit.

All members and directors of the selected YPF ensembles will receive free registration for the 2023 EMA Summit and will have access to the presentations, panels, workshops, exhibition, performances, and other networking opportunities as EMA gathers the early-music community together.

Selected ensembles will also be issued a grant up to $2,000 to assist with travel expenses to Boston. Ensembles located in the host city are not eligible for travel grants.

The application will be available November 1, 2022 through January 3, 2023.

Videos of previous Young Performers Festival performances can be viewed in EMA’s Video Resources.

Guidelines for Application

Applications are due Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

We highly encourage all applicants to submit your application at least ONE WEEK prior to the deadline (Tuesday, December 27, 2023) in case there are any issues with your application, so we can resolve them in a timely manner before the deadline.

All required materials MUST be submitted via the application form.

Those selected for the Young Performers Festival will be notified by the end of January 2023.

Please submit questions to [email protected].

  • Applicants must be directors of pre-college or collegiate early-music ensembles from schools in the USA, Canada, or Mexico.
  • Either the director of the ensemble or the school must be a current member of EMA prior to the application deadline. Please ensure your membership is current at the time of submission.
  • The majority of participants must be students enrolled at the ensemble’s home institution.
    • The ensemble may include non-student community participants and/or faculty members as well, as long as they are less than one-third of the members in the ensemble.
  • Although the term “early music” is understood in different ways, for the purposes of this Festival, it involves the following criteria:
    • Attention must be given to matters of historical performance practice.
    • Where instrumental performance is involved, the ensemble performs on period instruments OR is working towards the goal of using a period-instrument based group. Please inquire if the pandemic has limited your ability to access appropriate instruments for your repertoire.
    • Past YPF programs have typically featured repertoire composed before ca. 1820, however we welcome repertoire from later eras, so long as it meets the criteria above.
    • Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose programs that expand beyond the Western canon.

Ensemble Information

  • Director and/or Contact Name
  • Ensemble Name
  • Name of affiliated school or university
  • Contact address
  • Contact work and cell Phone
  • Contact email
  • Brief description of the ensemble and its place within its institution
  • Number of students and community members in the ensemble.
  • Upload three recent concert programs (PDF only) dating no earlier than January 2021.

Performance recording(s) should meet the following requirements (submitted as a list of the URL addresses of your performance audio or video recordings as well as the title/composers of all pieces performed for each):

  • A live recording of the ensemble with a minimum of 10 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes of total audio and/or video files.
  • Recordings must be from no earlier than January 2021.
  • The recorded examples need not feature the exact same performers (it is assumed that student ensembles change somewhat in their membership from year to year) or the same proposed program, but a substantial number of the performers should be the same.
  • Submitted performance recordings should be of the highest video or audio quality possible.
  • We will only accept audio or video recordings in the form of links to YouTube or another internet hosting/streaming site.
  • Recordings can be multiple short selections, or one long selection.
  • Please include a list of the URL addresses of your performance audio or video recordings as well as the title/composers of all pieces performed for each.

Festival Travel Grant Payment Details (one required)

  • Check (Payee name, contact phone, mailing address for check)
  • Paypal (Payee email)
  • Zelle (Payee phone number or email address associated with Zelle account. USA only.)


A panel of educators and professional musicians designated by EMA will assess all applications. Selections will be based on the strength of the application and the quality and creativity of the recorded performances.

Ensembles that have not previously been selected are strongly encouraged to apply.