A Symposium for High School Students Interested in the Music Education Profession

The North Carolina Music Educators Association Young Professionals’ Symposium occurs during the NCMEA Annual Conference and provides junior and senior high school music students specifically tailored sessions and experiences.

Up to 25 applicants are accepted and these individuals must meet four requirements:

  1. Create a satisfactory résumé of their musical activities,
  2. Complete an essay titled “My Musical Aspirations,”
  3. Receive outstanding recommendations from their high school music instructors,
  4. Meet the application deadline.

Students may attend the symposium only once, if accepted, and no more than three students from the same school may apply in any particular year.

During the three-day symposium, participants are paired with NAfME Collegiate student mentors. Mentors accompany students to symposium sessions while providing valuable information about college and becoming a music major.

Students participate in mock college auditions and interviews where faculty members from several North Carolina institutions give individualized feedback and support. Participants also actively engage in choral or instrumental conducting sessions by conducting a predetermined piece with a collegiate ensemble.

Finally, all participants attend other specialized sessions encompassing a variety of topics, have dinner with a keynote speaker, attend the North Carolina High School Honors Chorus and Honors Orchestra Concerts, and visit booths in the exhibit hall to gather information about specific music education programs.

The Young Professionals’ Symposium is a valuable program that exposes and prepares them for the realities of an undergraduate degree program and a subsequent career in music education.

Application Information

A complete application for the Young Professionals’ Symposium must include the following:

  • Completed YPS Student Application Form
  • Letter of Recommendation from High School Director
  • Typed essay of 300 words maximum entitled, “My Musical Aspirations
  • Musical resume detailing musical accomplishments and experiences
  • Deadline is September 30, 2021

The Professional Development Conference Scholarship is intended to provide grant funding to NCMEA members attending the NCMEA Professional Development Conference for the first time. The purpose of this grant is to encourage membership in NCMEA and to encourage yearly participation in the NCMEA Professional Development Conference for the length of a career.

Three scholarships will be awarded each year. The scholarship funds will cover the cost of conference registration and three nights in the conference hotel. The estimated value of each scholarship is $600. Individuals may receive the scholarship only once in their lifetime.

The scholarship is intended for NCMEA members who are first time attendees to the NCMEA Professional Development Conference (does not include first year teachers who are a part of the mentor program). The scholarship does not cover the cost of membership dues nor the cost of substitute teachers for the period of the conference. Preference will be given to teachers who are employed in a Title-I school or who provide evidence of strong institutional and/or personal financial need.

Awardees are expected to implement what they have learned from the conference in their classroom. Awardees are also expected to attend at least one day of the NCMEA Professional Development Conference the following year and participate in a round table session. All three scholarship recipients will conduct the roundtable to share how they implemented what they learned the previous year. Costs for attendance to the conference of the year following the scholarship year are not included in the initial funds provided by NCMEA.

Application Requirements:

  • Applicant must have current membership in NCMEA
  • Applicant must be employed full time in a music teaching position in North Carolina
  • Application with a signature from current principal
  • Two letters of recommendation

Selection Process:

  • Applications opens on August 15th of each year.
  • Application deadline is October 1st.
  • A committee appointed by the NCMEA President and approved by the NCMEA Board of Directors will review applications for possible approval.
  • The Executive Director shall notify all applicants of their acceptance or rejection by October 15th.
  • Recipients must commit to attending two consecutive NCMEA Professional Development Conferences (one at their own cost) and must commit to hosting a roundtable at the second conference.



NCMEA Young Professional Symposium Collegiate Mentor Sign-Up Form