The Conservatory Program


The Conservatory Program at The Rivers School inspires and challenges a select group of musician-scholars to reach their loftiest artistic goals by providing robust musical and musical theater training to complement the school’s rigorous academic curriculum. Students in three tracks—classical-instrumental, jazz, and musical theater—develop their artistic voices in a supportive environment that values personal growth, emotional wellness, and shared community. Members of The Conservatory Program lead by example, bringing diligence, intellectual curiosity, and creativity to all of their artistic pursuits and representing The Rivers School and The Rivers School Conservatory communities as ambassadors.

The Conservatory Program provides students with:
• Elite instruction from a world-class faculty.
• Inspiring and relevant classes.
• Ample, prestigious performance opportunities.
• Artistic mentorship, career guidance, and logistical coordination.
• Opportunities to cross genre and discipline boundaries in projects and performances.
• Lifelong friends and colleagues.

Interested in applying?
Contact Dr. Matthew Heck, director of The Conservatory Program
at The Rivers School at or 339-686-2370.

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  • How to Apply

    Audition and Application Process:

    1. Email Matthew Heck to schedule an audition. (See below)
    2. Complete the Rivers School Application through your Ravenna account.
    3. Complete the Conservatory Program Supplement on your Rivers School Application. (This supplement requires two letters of recommendation from teachers involved with your music education.)

    Audition Details:

    Audition Dates:
    Sunday, January 7
    Tuesday, January 9
    Thursday, January 11

    Audition Requirements:
    Orchestral Instruments and Classical Guitar
    • Two contrasting movements or works from the standard solo, sonata or concerto repertoire.
    • One major and one melodic minor scale up to three sharps and flats in two octaves.
    • Skills and repertoire should be in the range of an advanced "Level Three" as described in the Rivers School Conservatory Curriculum Guides.

    Classical Voice
    • Two contrasting pieces (ex: one in English and one in a foreign language), performed from memory.  • Art songs and musical theater repertoire is preferred.
    • Sight reading will be assessed.
    Classical Piano
    • Two contrasting movements of standard repertoire from memory. Concertos are not accepted.
    • One major and one harmonic minor scale up to four sharps and flats, hands together in parallel motion for three octaves.
    • Skills and repertoire should be in the range of an advanced "Level Three" as described in the Rivers School Conservatory Curriculum Guides.

    Jazz (Voice & Instruments)
    • Three tunes; two must feature improvised solos.
    • One of the three must be a mid-tempo jazz standard.
    • One of the remaining two must be in one of the following styles: ballad (required for vocalists), blues, be-bop, ragtime, stride, modal jazz, bossa nova, Afro-Cuban son/jazz, funk, fusion, or classical.
    • Major and melodic (or harmonic) minor scales up to three sharps and flats (four sharps and flats for pianists) and minor blues scales starting on four different tonics.

    Jazz (Drums)
    • Four unaccompanied grooves: a swing feel, a Bossa Nova (or Soca, Mambo, Mozambique, Bembe, Nanigo, or Guaguanco, etc.), a straight 8th feel, and a funk feel.
    • A snare drum etude (optional).

    Musical Theater
    • Two contrasting songs (ex: one ballad and one up-tempo) from a musical or similar material.
    • No sight reading will be required.
    • Two original compositions in manuscript form (one must be hand-written).



The Conservatory Program at The Rivers School would not be possible without the extraordinary resources of The Rivers School Conservatory (RSC), one of the finest community music schools in the country. RSC faculty interact with Conservatory Program students in every aspect of the program—coaching ensembles, leading master classes, and teaching private lessons, theory classes, electives, and more.

Founded in 1975, RSC supports a superb faculty featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the region. Over 100 experienced instructors teach more than 1,000 students of all ages from the Greater Boston area. Faculty provide private instruction on all classical and jazz instruments as well as voice, and RSC sustains more than thirty ensembles and offers more than 200 performance opportunities every year, including recitals, concerts, and music competitions. RSC teachers guide students toward excellence while instilling in them a lifelong love of music.

Visit The Rivers School Conservatory website to learn more.
333 Winter Street Weston, MA 02493
P: 781.235.9300 F: 781.239.3614