Collegiate Performance Preparation Program
Auditions 2023 - 2024
Final 2023-2024 CPPP Auditions: August 24, 2023
To ensure you are successfully signed up for an audition, please follow the steps below:
1. Complete application form and email it to email@example.com
"Thank you for the final updates on Prep Class. This has been such an amazing experience for Gregory! He has learned so much as a musician and performer. Gregory also loves spending time with others who love music too! He would definitely like to participate next year."
-Parent, Amy Barr
2. Sign up for an audition time
The Collegiate Performance Preparation Program is designed to create the opportunity for talented young classical musicians (ages 12-19) who dream of becoming music majors in college, to progressively prepare and successfully enter music schools of choice. This program provides the environment to develop musical potential, study college research, and achieve standards of performing excellence at the highest levels.
The Collegiate-Performance Preparation Program’ includes strategically planned confidence gaining opportunities through:
• Weekly in-house classes include rehearsals coached by the Prep Class official pianist, followed by weekly performances guided by the program director
• The honing of technically progressive performance and foundational repertoire
• Seasoning and solidifying performance nerves with positive reinforcement
• Developing self-assurance through public speaking
• Training stage presence and etiquette
• Weekly guided performance evaluations by peers with welcomed feedback
• Monthly public outreach concerts that provide a larger arena for performances within the local community
• Creating a successful resume and repertoire list
• Training for end of year Performance Jury Adjudications that include college audition requirements
• End of the year Senior Result Panel and Senior Graduation Ceremony and Recital
• Progressive college research assignments that train students how to:
o Knowledgeably apply to collegiate music schools in a timely fashion
o Research teaching faculty and college locations
o Discover the differences between music conservatories and liberal arts schools with excellent music departments
o Choose five or six final college application choices
o Record and submit successful pre-screened audition jpegs
o Navigate audition tours successfully
o Ultimately be accepted to collegiate schools of choice
"I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity I had to participate in your program during my junior year. I learned a lot about the process of applying and auditioning for college. You helped motivate me and encouraged me to be serious about pursuing music in college. I would not be where I am without you. Thank you again for all the hard work and time you dedicated to helping young musicians like me to be successful in the college audition process."
-Student, Lauren Roberts
College Prep FACULTY
Over the past 40 years, Margaret Pressley has served as one of the country’s foremost instructors of pre-college musicians. Ms. Pressley established the Pressley Violin Studio and founded the Seattle Conservatory of Music, the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. For her exceptional support, inspiration, and outstanding contributions toward the growth and development of music education, Ms. Pressley has received honors, including a Music Teacher National Association’s National Fellow Award, a Washington State Outstanding Studio Teacher of the Year Award (American String Teacher Association), a prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Violin Foundation Grant, and induction into the Washington State Music Teacher Association’s Hall of Fame. She was also given the Seattle Youth Symphony’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to music and the SYSO community. Conservatory and Studio alumni have been accepted into every major collegiate music school in the country. They currently work as chamber musicians, members of orchestras, international soloists, college professors, and free-lance musicians across the United States and Europe. Ms. Pressley has served as Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder, Lecturer at Western Washington University and Adjunct Professor at Seattle Pacific University. She has also served as a Master Teacher at Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, the Heifetz Institute, Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, the Nationalla UYngdomssymoniorchestern in Sweden, the New Conservatory of Dallas, Music in the Mountains Festival and the Seattle Young Artist Music Festival. Ms. Pressley has led master classes, presentations and clinics in state and national conferences and has served as regional and national advisory panels. Currently she resides in Colorado Springs.
Kelly McSweeney Zuercher, principal pianist of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has appeared throughout the United States as a soloist, chamber musician, and in concerts with her husband, David, principal trumpet of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
Mrs. Zuercher maintains a private piano studio; in addition, she is a composer and arranger for Sound Ideas Publications and for First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs. She has served on the piano faculties of Metropolitan State College in Denver, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and as an adjudicator for the Rocky Mountain International Amateur Pianists Competition. Mrs. Zuercher recently has appeared as piano soloist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.
Having made her solo debut at age twelve with the Oklahoma City Symphony, Mrs. Zuercher’s teachers have included Philelle McBrayer, Clarence Burg, Richard Cass, Jules Gentil, and Lee Luvisi; she also has coached with Malcolm Frager and Emmanuel Ax. She has earned piano performance degrees from Oklahoma City University, Ecole Normale de Musique, and the University of Louisville.
Open to orchestral musicians ages 12-19*
(includes piano and harp)
Audition Address: 3113 Primrose Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Tuition: Early registration cost is $850! After June auditions, cost is $900 with Non-Refundable Deposit of $200 due upon acceptance*
Calendar Year: September 2023 - March 2024
Director Contact Information:
Margaret Pressley, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Participation in a CSYSA large group is not required
Graduates of Collegiate Prep have attended the following colleges:
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Music, Ohio
Colorado State University School of Music, Fort Collins
Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Ohio
Peabody Conservatory of Music, Maryland
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
University of Northern Colorado School of Music, Greeley
Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York
University of Wyoming School of Music, Laramie
Williams College, Massachusetts
"I have been working with Margaret Pressley since the fall of 2021 and participated in the prep class for the 2022-2023 season. Margaret has helped me significantly in getting me into the college that I want. With her guidance, I was able to complete the entire college application process with much less stress than I thought was possible. Margaret is very passionate about teaching music and always goes above and beyond for all of her students. I felt incredibly supported having her by my side throughout my journey. Being in the prep class has tremendously helped my performance anxiety, performance etiquitte, as well as my speaking skills. The assignments that she gives to her students are also very well timed and thorough to ensure a very smooth application process as well as teach her students very important skills such as time management, writing, and making connections early on. I know that without Margaret’s help and the prep class, the conservatories that I’ve always wanted to attend would never make it out of my dreams. I highly recommend Margaret’s prep class to everyone who plans to be a musician for a living because I know that I definitely could not have done it without her."
- Jasmine, attending the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music