Music major Hannah Steward accepted to National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute

Promotional Photo for Hannah Steward CSU Music MajorHannah Steward, a Colorado State University first-year trombone performance major, was one of sixty exceptional young musicians accepted to the prestigious National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute.

Steward was excited to see her selection email from The Kennedy Center, especially given the large number of applicants.

“Dr. Leslie made a difference just encouraging me to audition for summer programs in general. While there is always room for improvement, I feel like if I did not have Dr. Leslie for the first four months of my college career my chances for even just the alternate position would have been decreased,” Steward said.

The 2024 program takes place in Washington D.C., July 1-29, and culminates in a performance at the Kennedy Center. Each applicant accepted into the program attends on a tuition-free scholarship.

Program applicants are required to submit a recorded video audition, consisting of orchestral excerpts for their instrument, a solo piece, two essay questions, and one recommendation from a music teacher or conductor.

The required repertoire Steward recorded included Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, and “Ride of the Valkyries” from Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre. There was an optional concerto competition for which Steward chose to record Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cavatine.

Drew Leslie headshot

Dr. Drew Leslie

“This is a very prestigious and highly competitive orchestral program and I am so excited for Hannah to have this opportunity to study with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as perform in orchestral and chamber music groups with other talented musicians from across the country!” said Dr. Drew Leslie, CSU professor of trombone.

Steward, who has never traveled to Washington D.C., said, “I am really looking forward to playing with other great musicians and learning from them as well.”

According to the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute (NSOsmi) website, the tuition-free program is designed to expose and prepare students for a 21st-century career in music through individualized training and rich experiences to empower students as leaders and thinkers in their chosen fields, while reducing barriers to access.

Students receive:

  • Private lessons taught by a member of the National Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber music coaching by NSO musicians
  • Masterclasses and seminars
  • Side-by-side orchestra rehearsal(s) with the NSO
  • Attendance at selected rehearsals and performances of the NSO
  • Participation in the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra
  • Performance opportunities in the D.C. metropolitan area
  • Exposure to internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians

Please join us in congratulating Hannah Steward on this prestigious honor!