NPR’s hit show “From the Top” seeks local talent

Published 9:14 am Monday, December 5, 2016


Norton Center for the Arts 

“From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley,” the hit NPR radio program showcasing America’s best young classical musicians, is seeking local talent for its live show recording on March 16, at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts. The weekly hour-long radio program is heard on nearly 220 other stations nationwide.

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“From the Top” welcomes audition entries from young classical musicians, ages 8 to 18 who have not graduated from high school. Solo performers on all instruments, composers and vocalists, as well as instrumental or vocal ensembles are welcome. In addition to seeking talent for its upcoming live concert in Danville, the program seeks young musicians for other concerts that are part of its national tour on a rolling admissions basis.

“From the Top’s” variety show format features serious musical performances and lively interviews with some of the country’s best pre-collegiate performers. This unique blend of music, talk and humor draws nearly over half a million loyal listeners. It is an essential part of “From the Top’s” mission to take musicians out of the concert hall and into the community. In conjunction with every live recording, the education and outreach programs offer valuable support and resources for young musicians as they prepare for multi-faceted careers in the arts, inspire and build new audiences for classical music, and use their talents to make a difference in the lives of others.

Of the more than 100 musicians chosen to appear on the radio program every year, approximately 20 will receive Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Awards in support of furthering their musical education. These $10,000 scholarships are given to deserving young classical musicians between the ages of 8 and 18 who have high levels of artistic achievement, demonstrated financial need, and a solid academic record.

Audition and scholarship information is available online at Applications and recorded auditions are accepted continuously and on a rolling basis. However, any students wishing to audition specifically for the performance at Norton Center should fill out an application before Dec. 20, and send an email to indicating an intention to apply. 


NPR’s “From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley” will be recorded live at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 16. This performance is open to elementary, middle and high school students. Admission is free but reservations are required and can be made by calling the Norton Center Box Office at (859) 236-4692.