Deadline approaches to apply for ‘From the Top’


BOWLING GREEN, O.—It’s last call for young musicians to apply to audition for National Public Radio’s popular program “From the Top.” The preeminent showcase for young musicians will come to Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts on Sept. 28 to record a radio broadcast in Kobacker Hall.

Applications are due by June 28 and can be downloaded at www.fromthetop.org. Accomplished young classical musicians from northwest Ohio are encouraged to apply.

The live recording Sept. 28 will also lead off the college’s 2013-14 Festival Series.

Hosted by pianist Christopher O’Riley, the show is heard locally Sundays on WGTE-FM and features the performances and personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country.

Regional musicians can submit an application and recording by mail. Classical musicians ages 8-18 who have not yet graduated from high school are eligible for the program. Young performers can audition as soloists (including vocalists), instrumental or vocal ensembles, or as composers who have a piece they wish to have performed. While the show focuses mostly on classical repertoire, from time to time it will feature other genres, especially if the piece connects with the heritage of the regional taping.

There is a $50 application fee which can be paid online or by check. The fee is waived for students with financial need who are also applying for the show’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award scholarship.

In addition to being a radio program, From the Top is an independent, Boston-based nonprofit. Each year, it partners with the Cooke Foundation to award about 20 scholarships of up to $10,000 to pre-collegiate classical musicians who appear on the show. Students must demonstrate high levels of artistic achievement as well as financial need to be eligible for the award. Interested applicants apply for the scholarship in tandem with their application to appear on the radio program. More information about the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award can be found on the “From the Top” website.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners each week, “From the Top” has been described by the Boston Globe as "an entertaining, accessible and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits and games; the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives."

Annually, the program’s live tapings reach more than 20,000 audience members of all ages. In conjunction with its national tour, From the Top offers leadership training to young artists and conducts classroom and community programs leveraging the power of its performers as role models for younger students. Through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the program has invested more than $1.6 million in support of pre-college students since 2005. Learn more at www.fromthetop.org.

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Editor’s note: The BGSU event contact person is Susan Hoekstra, at shoekst@bgsu.edu. The “From the Top” program contact is Robin Allen LaPlante, at rlaplante@fromthetop.org.

(Posted June 12, 2013 )