The director welcomes any person considering the cantorial school to come for a preliminary discussion. There are many issues to consider, and early advice could be of great benefit to an applicant.
Candidates must be Jewish according to halakhah and are expected to be living according to Jewish tradition. The mitzvot should guide the lives of all cantorial school candidates; these mitzvot include, but are not limited to: traditional observance of Shabbat and festivals, regular daily prayer with tallit and tefillin, dietary laws, talmud Torah, and acts of gemilut hasadim. Women candidates are required to accept equality of obligation for the mitzvot from which women have been traditionally exempted, including tallit, tefillin, and tefillah. While Conservative Judaism recognizes the validity of pluralism in religious expression within the boundaries delineated by the movement, the director and the cantorial school faculty reserve the right to determine the degree of observance required of candidates and of students. It is recognized that applicants may be in the course of deepening their Jewish commitments. Personal religious guidance is available to students at any time.
An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university must be earned before the anticipated date of registration in the cantorial school. Applicants preparing for the cantorate must have a professional sounding singing voice or a voice that shows clear indication of acquiring this quality in a few years. The candidate should have a knowledge of the rudiments of music as well as some ear training, sight-singing, and, preferably, instrumental background.
The admissions committee meets twice yearly, in December and in February. Entrance examinations include an audition, an individual interview and tests aimed at determining music aptitude and levels of Hebraic and music knowledge. Candidates for admission are requested to prepare two musical selections including one prayer setting from the Jewish liturgy to be chanted a cappella. A secular piece should be prepared for performance with piano accompaniment.
An applicant who, in the opinion of the faculty, does not meet all of the educational requirements but is otherwise qualified may be accepted conditionally. The conditional status will be removed when the student has reached a satisfactory level of knowledge in the area of the deficiency.
The candidacy of all students in the cantorial program will be reviewed during the students' second semester of residence in New York. The faculty, in conjunction with the diector, will review the progress each student has made to date and assess the student's potential to complete the degree successfully. If the faculty and the director are not satisfied with either the student's progress or potential, they may exercise their prerogative of terminating the student's participation in the program.
All admissions inquiries and requests for applications should be addressed to the Director, H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027-4649. You can phone in with inquiries to (212) 678-8037, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The material necessary for application must be submitted by November 1 for December auditions and by January 16 for February auditions. These should include:
1. Application together with the $65 fee
2. Official transcripts of all post-secondary studies
3. Applicants whose native language is not English may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)