2023-24 Musician Handbook: Tuition & Tuition Assistance

Tuition, Payments, and Fees

Annual tuition varies by orchestra and is as follows for the 2023-24 season. Scroll down to learn about our generous tuition assistance.

  • Philharmonia East & Phliharmonia West: $795
  • Sinfonia East & Sinfonia West: $880
  • Concertino East & Concertino West: $980
  • Camerata: $1,025
  • Concert Orchestra: $1,080
  • Philharmonic: $1,165
  • Symphony: $1,295

All orchestras also have a $100 retreat fee that covers the fall and winter retreats.

Retreat Fees

The retreat fee is $100 total for the fall and winter retreats; reduced fees are available for tuition assistance recipients.
Note: We are shifting back to our standard pre-pandemic practice of collecting the fall and winter retreat fee with tuition upon enrolling. We hope this streamlines the process, so families don’t have to complete two separate payment forms during the school year.

Payment Options

Families may pay in full or with an eight-month installment plan (August – March). If neither option suits your family’s needs, email GTCYS’ Program Assistant Katie Heilman at katie@gtcys.org – we are happy to work with you to create a suitable option!

If paying with a credit card, the credit card fees will be automatically calculated and added to your total upon paying; credit card fees scale with tuition totals. GTCYS does not charge an additional surcharge for installment plans.

Sibling Discounts

GTCYS offers a sibling tuition discount in the amount of $95 per additional child enrolled (second sibling, third, etc.). You may subtract the sibling discount while paying with credit card (follow the instructions in the payment form), or when paying with check (follow the instructions on the check payment page).

Sibling discounts do not apply toward retreat fees. Email katie@gtcys.org with any questions.       

Tuition and Fees for Students Joining Mid-Year

Tuition amounts are adjusted for students starting in January. Second semester tuition is 60% of the annual tuition total.


Adding a charitable gift of any size helps provide access to meaningful music experiences for all students and more than $200,000 in tuition assistance. With tuition covering only approximately 50% of your student’s GTCYS participation, your tax-deductible contribution now or during the season makes an incredible difference. To make make a gift, visit gtcys.org/donate. Thank you!

Tuition Assistance

We are deeply committed to access and equity so all interested students can benefit from the GTCYS experience regardless of ability to pay. Tuition assistance and support for private lessons are based on demonstrated financial need using a confidential application process, and special circumstances are also taken into consideration. 

We encourage all families experiencing financial hardship to apply, especially if cost is a determining factor for participation.


  • Tuition assistance is offered for all of GTCYS’ programs including school-year orchestras, summer programs, tours, and special activities. No work study or volunteering is required for scholarship recipients.
  • Support for private lessons is also granted (see Sponsored Lessons below).
  • Assistance is based on a sliding scale, which considers household income, number of children living at home, and special circumstances such as job loss, health crises, and unexpected expenses.
  • Families who qualify for tuition assistance typically include:
    • Families who qualify for the Federal Free or Reduced-Price School Meals program may typically pay 3% -10% of GTCYS tuition/fees.
    • Families who report gross adjusted incomes of $80,000 or less may typically pay 50-75% of GTCYS tuition/fees. Extenuating circumstances are considered even for higher income levels, and award amounts may fluctuate year to year based on demand.
  • More than 120 students typically receive tuition assistance for GTCYS’ programs each year.
  • We anticipate awarding more than $200,000 in assistance for our 2023-24 school-year orchestras, private lessons, camps, Symphony tour, and other GTCYS activities.
  • Families with multiple children in GTCYS may complete one application for all children
  • Customized payment plans are available for all GTCYS families upon request, regardless of tuition assistance status.


To complete GTCYS’ Tuition Assistance Application, you’ll need the following items:

  • If possible: Copy of your last year’s Federal income tax return (form 1040) or similar income verification.
  • If applicable: Written verification from your school district of your Free or Reduced Price School Meals program status.
  • If applicable: Documentation that verifies unemployment
  • Statement of Financial Need: A brief letter describing your circumstances and need for tuition assistance.
  • Click here to apply for tuition assistance

Accessibility and Inclusivity at GTCYS

To provide more comprehensive support, we also provide:

  • Sponsored Lessons: GTCYS students who receive tuition assistance may apply for this program, which matches students with a private teacher for weekly half-hour lessons paid by GTCYS.
  • Reduced-Price Concert Tickets: Although most GTCYS concerts are free, families who receive tuition assistance can purchase reduced-price tickets to ticketed performances.
  • Concert Attire: If purchasing concert attire is financially prohibitive, GTCYS will assist in finding necessary clothing.
  • Reduced-Price Audition Fee: A $5 option (instead of the regular $40 fee) is available on the registration form for families who need it.
  • Activity Fees: Lower priced options are available for extra GTCYS activities, such as orchestra social events, day trips, and special projects.
  • Symphony Tour Assistance: Financial assistance is available for Symphony’s biennial international tours using an application process.

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