Hartt Preparatory Academy

HPA students

The gateway to an accelerated Bachelor of Music program.

This program will not be offered in the 2022-23 school year. Please check back for future offerings.

The Hartt Preparatory Academy (HPA) is a two-year, comprehensive pre-college music training program for high school juniors and seniors. The program includes music theory, ear training, keyboard studies, performances, advanced ensemble, private instruction, and other classes. Students fulfill academic and musical requirements that prepare them for an accelerated undergraduate music degree at The Hartt School. This is an unprecedented curricular pathway approved by the University of Hartford. 

When in session, core classes meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 6 p.m.–8:40 p.m., September–May. 

Student Spotlights

Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • plan to major/minor in music after high school
  • demonstrate exemplary skill with their primary instrument or craft
  • should have previous private music instruction experience
  • should understand basic musicianship and music theory principles
  • must have a track record of commitment, academic excellence, and a passion for the performing arts

Students apply for the program during their sophomore year in high school for entrance in the following fall. Applicants must complete an online application form, audition on a primary instrument/voice, and interview with program directors. 

Details about auditions will be here posted in early spring. Students are encouraged to submit their HPA application by May 31 so their interview can be scheduled prior to the audition. After that date, applications and auditions will be considered on a rolling basis as space allows.

Audition requirements for different instruments/voice are given below. In addition to these requirements, scales and/or sight-reading may be required.

Piano: Perform three contrasting pieces of different historical periods/styles. At least one of the pieces must be performed from memory.

Voice: Sing two selections from the standard classical vocal literature: art song, oratorio, or opera. At least one selection should be from memory. You must bring a copy of your music in a binder for the accompanist.

Classical Guitar: You will audition through an individual meeting with a member of the collegiate guitar faculty at a mutually convenient time. Once your HPA application has been received, Dr. Rudman will contact you about setting up an audition. Prepare two contrasting pieces or movements of your choice. You may also be asked to play music you are currently learning, perform scales, and/or do sight-reading.

All other instruments: Perform two contrasting unaccompanied movements or pieces. These should be etudes, concerto movements, or other similar types of compositions.

Classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6–8:40 p.m., September–May.

HPA students are assigned to one of two learning cohorts. Cohorts include up to eight students each, for a total of 16 students per class year. Core classes meet two evenings per week from 6–8:40 p.m., in addition to private lessons and ensemble work. Students receive 28 one-hour weekly lessons during the school year as part of their HPA tuition package.

First-year students attend the following classes:
  • Diatonic Harmony
  • Elementary Ear-training 1
  • Piano Keyboard Class 1 (an alternative is provided for piano performance students)
  • University Interdisciplinary Studies or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)
  • Information Literacy in the Performing Arts
Students complete an online University Interdisciplinary Studies (UIS) class through HPA.
Second-year students attend the following classes twice weekly:
  • Chromatic Harmony
  • Elementary Ear-training 2
  • Piano Keyboard Class 2 (an alternative is provided for piano performance students)
  • University Interdisciplinary Studies or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)


Students must complete the following performance requirements:
  • Four semesters of private lessons with an approved HCD faculty member
  • Four semesters of an HCD advanced performing ensemble:
    • Connecticut Youth Symphony
    • Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble
    • Connecticut Children's Chorus
    • Advanced Chamber Ensemble (for pianists)
    • Guitar Ensemble (for classical guitarists) 
    • Composers Ensemble (for composers)
    • Opus 89
  • Composition students will register for two years of the Young Composers Project or a comparable composition private lesson experience
  • Complete a performance jury at the end of year one
  • Present a culminating recital at the end of year two

At the completion of the program, HPA students may audition and apply for entrance to University of Hartford and The Hartt School. Pending acceptance, students may complete select undergraduate music degrees in three years or an otherwise reduced period of study. These degree programs include:

  • BM Performance - Orchestral Instruments
  • BM Performance - Voice
  • BM Performance - Piano
  • BM Performance - Guitar
  • BM - Composition
  • BM - Theory
  • BM Music Education - Instrumental*
  • BM Music Education - Vocal*
  • BM History - Performance Practice Emphasis
  • BM History - Scholarship and Research Emphasis
  • BA in Music

* Because of the course requirements and student teaching, students pursuing music education degrees may be able to complete their degrees in 7 semesters.


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