Welcome to Hilltop Boot Camp!


newman_mitchell_175x175As a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1987, I have prepared many students and professionals for orchestra auditions. With the fierce competition for jobs, there is a need for an innovative and intensive training program to help string players prepare for and successfully perform in orchestra auditions. This program is designed for the advanced student or professional string player 18 years and older. 

Participants in the Boot Camp’s challenging, yet rewarding program will gain a thorough and objective understanding of the audition process. In this two week program players will have the practice time and supportive environment to devote their attention towards learning the orchestra literature at the highest level. Participants will gain confidence and learn to develop a “performance edge” through private instruction, master classes, simulated auditions, professional feedback from recorded lessons, and classes on relaxation techniques, mental preparation and physical fitness.


Developing a “performance edge” is important. An orchestra audition is like an Olympic sporting event. A candidate has one chance to perform at an optimal level, technically and musically, from start to finish. There is very little time to get comfortable in one’s performance environment. A performance edge–in which one’s strengths are maximized and weaknesses minimized–is a  critical factor in performing successfully under such high-pressure situations.

I am proud to have assembled a faculty of members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic who are devoted players and teachers who, like myself, enjoy preparing musicians in this process.

String players can come to prepare for a specific audition or to get a head start on the process of preparing for any orchestral audition through the study of repertoire that is found on many auditions lists. There are no orchestra rehearsals; just practice time, lessons and performing in master classes and mock auditions. And evening chamber music reading with faculty and students. Take a look at the photo gallery to see what we were up to!

I am very excited to have launched this project. I am grateful to have the support of my colleagues and an Honorary Board including prominent performers and teachers. The faculty is passionate about life in the orchestra. It has enriched our lives and has helped us become better musicians. We are all looking forward to helping string players launch their careers in the orchestral world.


– Mitch Newman