Young musicians learn advanced musical skills through private instruction, ensemble training and music history and theory studies.

Guided by professional, practicing musicians, the Music Department offers pre-professional training in the following areas:

Brass | Harp | Percussion | Piano | Strings | Voice | Woodwinds

The Residential High School program includes orchestral training, advanced vocal studies and opera workshop, chamber music experience, instrument-specific seminars and master classes, and courses in music theory and music history. All music students sing in the Governor’s School Choir.


As part of the intensive curriculum, students represent the school through performances in the Governor's School Choir and one or more of the following large groups each semester: Cantus Chamber Choir, Concertato String Orchestra, Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.


Music students also have the opportunity to compete in regional and national competitions and have been recognized by organizations such as the American String Teachers Association, Carolina Youth Symphony, Music Teachers National Association, S.C. Band Directors Association, and YoungArts.

When to Apply By Grade

Music students apply in the 10th grade to attend in the 11th and 12th grades. Advanced students can apply in the 9th grade through the Instrumental Early Audition (IEA) program. Learn more about the application requirements and the audition process below.


Students playing brass instruments
Close-up of percussion player
Student playing string instrument


Apply Now!

First Application Deadline: $50 application fee automatically waived if application form is submitted by November 30, 2020

Final Application Deadline: January 6, 2021

Components for Online Application Process

Inquiry & Login Credentials

Application Form

Passport-Style ID Photo

Music Experience
Classes & Training
    Music Teachers
    Technique Books & Repertoire

Personal Essay *see details below*

Art Area Recommendation

Academic Recommendation

Official High School Transcript

Current Report Card

Current Attendance Record

Guidance/Registrar Form

Audition Video *see Audition tab*

Personal Essay

Finished essays will be uploaded to the application.

In order for the Music Faculty to get a sense of who you are as an individual, submit an essay using one of the following topics listed below. The essay should contain 500-800 words, be double-spaced using a 12-point font, and includes your name in the upper right-hand corner. 

  • Describe one of your most meaningful artistic experiences and how it has shaped you as a musician.
  • Discuss a positive experience in your life that has helped you become the young adult you are today. How do you hope to build upon this experience as you enter adulthood?
  • Discuss a challenging experience in your life that has fundamentally shaped you into the young adult you are today. How do you hope to move forward from this experience as you enter adulthood?

Upload the essay in Word or PDF format. Do not upload using the PAGES app.

IEA Application Requirements

The Instrumental Early Admission (IEA) Program allows gifted and socially mature rising 10th grade (current 9th grade) instrumental students to apply early to the SCGSAH Residential High School. Click below to learn more!

Brass & Woodwinds IEA Video Guidelines Video Submission Guidelines

Percussion IEA Video Guidelines

Piano IEA Video Guidelines

Strings IEA Video Guidelines


The Residential High School Music Auditions will be held virtually this year.

Phase 1: Submit an Audition Video (see details below for each instrument family). This video must be submitted by January 22, 2021.

Phase 2: Selected applicants will be invited to this phase based on their application materials and video audition. During this 10-15 minute virtual audition, students will complete a basic demonstration of musicianship, interview, and other components based on instrument family. See the "Virtual Audition Preparation" tab for more details. These will take place on Saturdays in late January & in February.

Audition Video & Submission Guidelines

Brass & Woodwinds Video Guidelines

Concert Harp Video Guidelines - available upon request

Percussion Video Guidelines

Piano Video Guidelines

Strings Video Guidelines

Voice Video Guidelines

Video Submission Guidelines

Virtual Audition Preparation

Brass & Woodwinds Virtual Audition

Concert Harp Virtual Audition - available upon request

Percussion Virtual Audition

Piano Virtual Audition

Strings Virtual Audition

Voice Virtual Audition

Our musicians have continued their studies at institutions such as...