so percussion

Summer Institute Application

Info for Applicants

Application Deadline: Friday, February 26, 2021

Program Dates: July 11-25, 2021

Questions? Contact [Please enable javascript to see the email address]

Program Overview

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI) brings ambitious college-aged percussionists and composers together on the campus of Princeton University to learn and perform in a hands-on environment with one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles and composers with whom they collaborate. This unique two-week program allows participants to experience the inner-workings of the commissioning, workshop, rehearsal, and performance cycle first-hand. SōSI prioritizes collaboration between performers and composers, and features/highlights mentorship from Princeton’s composition faculty, Sō Percussion, and guest faculty/special guests. To ensure fruitful/productive collaboration, students are expected to be highly engaged and prepared well in advance of the program.

Joined once again by composition director Andrea Mazzariello,we will present the student composer program in a new format that deepens collaboration and co-creation between student composers and their colleagues in the performance program. Composers will create two new percussion ensemble works: one for portable instruments, composed prior to the institute and performed in the first week, and another that we will develop, rehearse, and revise throughout the festival. Both pieces will be performed by students in the percussion program, with regular coaching by the members of Sō Percussion. As in past years, percussion students at SōSI will be placed in groups to perform in numerous concerts and masterclasses throughout the two weeks. Composition students will study with Andrea Mazzariello as well as with members of Sō Percussion & guest faculty. Both undergraduate and graduate composers are welcome to apply. Composition parameters and guidelines are available through the application portal.

Applicants should apply in only one category; however, those with an interest in both performing and composing are invited to inquire about opportunities to explore both during the Summer Institute. Email us at [Please enable javascript to see the email address]

Highlights This Year

Highlights of SōSI 2021

  • SōSI is delighted to welcome back Sarah Kirkland Snider to the Composition Faculty!
  • Premieres of new pieces from Princeton University PhD composers.
  • Masterclasses, lessons, and coachings with renowned composers and performers.
  • Performances at community businesses in Princeton, NJ and Princeton University.
  • More exciting details to be confirmed soon!

2021 Application Instructions

Deadline for Online Submission is Feb 26, 2021 for all materials.

The following materials will be required for all applicants:

  • Completed 2021 Application Form (online)
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a current or former teacher. Please have your recommendation letter sent directly to Shelby Blezinger-McCay at [Please enable javascript to see the email address].
  • Current Resume (optional – uploaded as a PDF)

* Students must be at least 18 years old in order to be eligible to attend the Summer Institute.

Requirements for Percussionists

  • List of chamber works performed and works you would like to perform
  • Audition recordings (uploaded or linked through the application)
  • Recording Requirements for Percussionists: 10-20 minutes of solo and/or chamber audio/video recordings that best demonstrate your abilities and interests as a player.

Requirements for Composers

  • Audio recordings and/or PDFs of scores (if applicable) for two—three recent works
  • A list of works written and/or a statement about your compositional process
  • Graduate and Undergraduate composers will be considered for the program.
  • Please read the Composition Guidelines before starting your application.
  • Composers are only eligible to attend SōSI two times total. Composers who have attended once may reapply. Composers who have already attended twice are no longer eligible and should not re-apply.

Tuition, Room and Board

Tuition/Room and Board for SōSI 2021: $2600

Price as listed covers tuition, housing, and lunch/dinner from check-in July 11th to check-out July 25th (non-refundable, due in full by June 15th). Students should bring money or supplies for breakfast. All rooms include air conditioning and communal kitchens. Off-campus housing is possible in some cases; however, all students are required to participate in the meal plan. Contact Shelby Blezinger-McCay for more information.

  • Students wishing to live off-campus must find their own housing.
  • Tuition for Students living Off-Campus - $1,850


Scholarships are available for the Sō Percussion Summer Institute through application via the application portal. Scholarships range from $250–$1,000.

Sō Percussion is pleased to announce a special scholarship fund for students who identify as black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) towards participation at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI).

— and —

A composition assistant scholarship fund.


The purpose of these scholarships is to:

  1. assist promising and deserving students of color, and
  2. provide financial support for the selected students to participate, learn, and perform in the 12th annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute 2021 held at Princeton University.

Eligibility Requirements:

In order to be eligible for the BIPOC scholarship fund, applicants must identity as BIPOC on the scholarship application form.

Eligibility for the composition assistant scholarship fund is determined by your application submission through the “composition” track. If interested, please answer the questions in the application that refer to this scholarship fund.

Please note that we offer separate tuition assistance for new students. Please complete a scholarship application in the scholarship application portal to be considered for general scholarship funding.

COVID-19 Considerations

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute must follow and abide by the Princeton University Gatherings Policy and Visitors Policy. Princeton University guidelines adapt in accordance with the guidelines from the state of New Jersey. Guideline Changes will be communicated with all participants by Sō Percussion.

Should Princeton University not allow summer programs, the Sō Percussion Summer Institute will go online. Tuition will be reduced consummate to program changes.


Direct any application questions to Shelby Blezinger-McCay: [Please enable javascript to see the email address].


Sō Percussion actively seeks students, faculty, and staff who share in our commitment to excellence, and who will bring a diverse range of viewpoints and cultures to SōSI. Sō Percussion and our SōSI community affirm all people regardless of their age, culture, disabilities, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We strive to create a place and community where individuals and groups learn with and from each other. We aim to foster a sense of shared experience and common purpose, along with a collective responsibility for each other's well-being.