Led by Paul Heinemann, YAAjunior is a training program that gives middle school singers, actors and dancers from all around the Maryland, Virginia and DC areas, the rare opportunity to study and perform large-scale productions of music-theatre with full orchestra.
YAAjunior strives to strengthen students' skills in singing, acting and dancing through a fun yet rigorous rehearsal process as they prepare to participate in YAA's two mainstage productions of staged theatrical concerts in major venues around the Washington, DC area, including The Clarice in the fall and Strathmore in the spring. Our primary focus is always on healthy, honest and communicative singing, acting and movement, working towards the goal of a final production.
Learn more about what our students say about our program here.
Schedule & Location
YAAjunior is a yearlong program that runs from September through May.
YAAjunior students will participate In YAA's two mainstage productions, alongside students from our Orchestral and Vocal programs. YAAjunior students will also be featured in their own spring production of a JR musical.
The Fall production is a fully-orchestrated, concert production at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The Spring production is a fully-orchestrated, staged theatrical concert production at the Music Center at Strathmore. The YAAjunior spring production will be a staged theatrical production at our newest venue, AMP by Strathmore.
YAAjunior meets 1-2 times a week for rehearsal at our Montgomery County Campus at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD.
Learn more about our Rehearsal schedules.
Learn more about our Campuses.
Each season, our students are exposed to a vast repertoire, encompassing classic and contemporary musical theatre, grand opera and choral oratorio.
Recent innovative programming has included staged theatrical concerts of large scale musical theatre as well as unique productions that have been devised for and have received their world premiere with Young Artists of America.
In addition, YAAjunior students will prepare and present a JR version of a musical in the spring.
Besides being mentored by older students in our Vocal Program YAAjunior students have the unique opportunity to work closely alongside leading professional mentors both in rehearsal and performance. Recent mentors have included Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin), Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, On the Twentieth Century), Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County, Songs for a New World), Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet, Shrek the Musical), Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Wild Party), and many more.
Auditions for the YAAjunior take place in September for the season. Additional solo opportunities will come available during the season within the program.
All of our YAAjunior students must audition to be accepted into the program, but we encourage students to audition regardless of stage or choral experience, as the program is meant to be an education program that welcomes performers of all levels.
Please visit our Auditions page for more information about upcoming auditions.