Prelude: Singer-Actor Performance Lab

Now Live Online!

An auditioned yearlong program (September – May) for high school students ages 14-18 who seek an environment where they can experiment and discover new possibilities as performing artists. 

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Student singing into a microphone

NEW Components with Online Learning

  • Monologue Study
  • Honing Audition Materials for Singer/Actors (Resume/Repertoire List)
  • Song-writing
  • Digital Audio Workshops
  • Introduction to Critical Response
  • Mentoring with Prelude Graduates
  • Virtual Ensemble Projects

The 2020-2021 MacPhail Prelude

“I can confidently say that [Prelude] shaped me into the vocalist I am today. Joining Prelude in high school was not only one of the best music decisions I’ve ever made – but life decisions”

Alec Waters, Prelude Alumnus and Pop Singer

“The skills that I learned in Prelude were key in my success as an opera singer. The training and support that I received were second to none and set me up for enormous success”

Brian Wallin, Prelude Alumnus and Palm Beach Opera Benenson Young Artist Program Member

Original Prelude Components

Vocal Ensemble

Performance Lab:  Voice Work, Acting, Movement for Singers


Meet Our Prelude Faculty

Tuition, Scholarships & Financial Aid

Tuition for 2020-2021 is $650 per semester. For information about financial assistance applications please call Student Services at 612.321.0100 or email.

To apply for financial aid, please complete the Financial Aid Form.

Performance scholarships are awarded based on Prelude Auditions. The following scholarships are awarded on an annual basis:

Elinor Watson Bell Preparatory Program Endowment, created in 1991 by MacPhail board member Elinor Watson Bell (1911-2002). A gifted pianist and lifelong advocate of the arts, Elinor served on the boards of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and MacPhail. The first student to receive a scholarship in her honor was MacPhail Preparatory Program and violin student Emilia Mettenbrink in 1995.

Lillian Vail Scholarship, created in 1989 by Robin Withington in honor of her aunt, Lillian Vail, who taught dance at MacPhail for 43 years. She was a former vaudeville dancer who performed on Broadway and was friends with the actor Rudolph Valentino, comic George Burns and actor Archibald Leach (aka Cary Grant).

Henry H. Wade Scholarship, created in 1992 by Henry H. Wade at his death based on his long love of music and his desire to encourage students who are wishing to pursue a career in music.

Three students performing on stage

Get Started Today!

Singer-Actor Performance Lab is a year-long program (September-May). A written application begins the process.

Step 1: 2021-22 Application coming soon

Step 2: Submit application by email to Manon Gimlett. (Brief essay (250 words) and teacher recommendations may also be sent to this address.)

Auditions for the 2021-2022 class will begin in late May or June. Please check back.

Once we have received your application we will email you to set up a 5-minute audition/interview, and direct you to Student Services to pay the $20 application fee. The auditions will be done on Zoom, so you will receive a meeting code to click on, with password. Be prepared to wait just a few minutes in the “waiting room.”  We look forward to hearing you!

Email Manon Gimlett with any questions.

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