Waitlist/acceptance ordeal

Hi all,

Earlier this year I was accepted to Interlochen as an Emerson Scholar (full scholarship), but was also accepted to the BUTI wind ensemble and waitlisted for their orchestra. However, I recently received notification that I was accepted from the orchestra waitlist with significant scholarship (though not full tuition).

I’m much more interested in BUTI based on people I’ve talked to and reading past topics here.

How badly would it reflect on myself if I were to withdraw from Interlochen now? Would it forever blacken my name, or do these things happen more often than I think? My parents are advising to still go to Interlochen because it would be “morally wrong.”


My S had to do a similar thing last year. He bowed out of his acceptance at BUTI and took a fellowship at Aspen off the waiting list. It was an easier decision to justify for him because Aspen was a full fellowship and BUTI was not. However, he lost his BUTI deposit. That aside, do you have reason to think that BUTI is better than Interlochen? My S enjoyed both. The Emerson put him automatically into the top chamber group, which turned out to be a better group of players than he experienced at Tanglewood. He really enjoyed the BSO concerts at BUTI, but the weather was much nicer at Interlochen.

First, congratulations on having auditioned well enough to have really great options for the summer.

I have no comment about which program is a better fit for your personal situation, just wanted to say that I’m guessing that your parents aren’t too familiar with the world of summer music programs. These programs all know that kids have to apply to more than one place, and won’t hear back from all at the same time, so they’re prepared for some shuffling around in late spring. Backing out on Interlochen’s offer is nothing like quitting a little league team in the middle of the season. If Tanglewood is a better fit for you this year, by all means, take their offer.

I hope you’re being tongue-in-cheek with the phrase “forever darken my name,” … Interlochen deals with thousands of kids every summer, I bet they’ll be able to move on. (And I’ve met their admissions director, and she’s super nice and was not at all huffy that my daughter decided against applying this year. It’s hard to imagine she keeps a blacklist!)

I showed my daughter (oboe player) this thread, and she votes unequivocally for BUTI orchestra. The equation may be different for string players.

It’s nothing wrong with choosing a most suitable summer orchestra for yourself.

As for the choice between orchestras, BUTI YAO is the best summer orchestra IMO, in particular for wind players, most of who eventually go to conservatories.

Thanks for all the comments!

Although I’ve explained to them that the BUTI orchestra is a bit better than Interlochen’s, and in the end, I’m going to festivals for musical experiences, my parents still think Interlochen would be better financially.

It’s hard to plead my case when my sister is getting married this spring as well, so money is tight. So, financially it would be wiser to attend Interlochen, but musically wiser to attend BUTI (I’ll still have to pay ~$3k+). I also replied to the admissions director regarding my financial status, and asked if they could possibly increase the scholarship amount a bit. Was this too bold of a move?..

Absolutely you should reach out to the admissions director. Good for you! You will find lots of opportunities in your musical future where persistence, fortitude and creativity may produce additional benefits.

No, it’s not too bold. If finances are keeping you from accepting a place in a program, you should always ask. The worst that will happen is you’ll be turned down. But you will not receive more scholarship if you don’t ask.

Update: I received some more money from them, so I will be attending BUTI this summer! What exactly should I say to Interlochen?

You can tell them that it was a very difficult decision and you really appreciate the acceptance and scholarship.