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What is the National Youth Wind Ensemble of America?

The NYWE is a program for wind, brass, and percussion instrumentalists, ages 16-19, created by the Global Initiative for Talented Students founder Edward R. Lopez and Perform America-TX, LLC in 2022.  Instrumentalists are chosen to come together for a week of music-making and mentorship from premier musicians and conductors in the nation’s capital.

When and Where does the NYWE take place?

June 4 – 7, 2025 in Washington D.C., culminating in a concert in the Warner Theater.

Who is conducting the 2025 NYWE?

Guest conductors for the 2025 program: Jerry Junkin, Director of Bands at The University of Texas at Austin and Lieutenant Colonel Ryan J. Nowlin,  Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

Who are the members of the faculty for the 2025 NYWE?

Musical preparation will be done by the conductors of the NYWE in full ensemble rehearsals. Sectionals will be coached by top musicians from the D.C. area concert bands and master music educators from around the country.

The entire education program is overseen by Kerry Taylor, Executive Director of the National Youth Wind Ensemble. Mr. Taylor comes to the NYWE with 35+ years of experience as a band director and fine arts director in the Texas Public Schools. A member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, Mr. Taylor currently serves as the Director of Bands for the highly successful Westlake High School Band in Austin, Texas.

Are there any fees or costs to me to participate?

There is a non-refundable $60 audition/application fee for all applicants.

If selected, the total cost for participation, which includes lodging, meals, masterclasses, ground transportation, monument/museum tours and all other activities that will be listed in a sample itinerary is estimated to be $1,695.00 (flight not included). We are working with donors/sponsors to assist with participants costs!

Flight coordination will be made by participant into DCA – Ronald Reagan National Airport.  A shuttle bus will be provided until 4:00pm to transfer to hotel.  

What else can I expect as part of my NYWE experience?

The NYWE will include social and recreational time, mentorship, masterclasses, and rehearsals with musical leaders from the top military bands in D.C., tour of national monuments and military barracks, experience a rehearsal with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, including the Evening Parade “Oldest Post of the Corps”, and more.


Who is eligible to participate?

The NYWE is open to US citizens or permanent residents from all backgrounds between the ages of 16-19 during the summer of participation. 

Are there any exceptions to the age requirement?

No, you must be between the ages of 16-19 during the summer of your intended participation.

What instruments are eligible?

NYWE will be a 55-piece wind ensemble consisting of: flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, harp, piano, string bass. Based on repertoire, there may be positions for other instruments.

Can I apply on more than one instrument?

Yes, but a separate application is required for each instrument. Please note that auxiliary instruments (piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, contrabassoon) do not require a separate audition/application.  If you are proficient on one of these instruments, we recommend that you perform a short solo or etude in your audition video on that instrument.

Can I participate in the NYWE for multiple years?

Yes, you can participate as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Each year will require a new application and audition process.


My excerpts are longer than three-minutes each, is this okay?

Due to a large number of applications, our panel dedicates serious time and careful consideration to each audition and cannot accept videos that are longer than 8 minutes in total (3 minutes per excerpt and 2 minutes for introduction/spoken text).

Do all of my references need to be musicians?

No; however, we recommend that your references know your experience and abilities as a musician.

My video recordings are not professionally recorded – will this affect my chances?

No. As long as you meet the video guidelines and we can accurately listen and evaluate your performance, it is our goal that this program be accessible to all that apply.

Can I submit materials after the January 1, 2025 deadline?

No and yes. Materials will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. CST on January 1, 2025 unless there are still spots to be filled in the ensemble.