ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York State Education Department is encouraging students in grades 8-12 to apply for the 2018 Summer School of the Arts.

There are seven component schools: Theatre, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestral Studies, Choral Studies, Visual Arts, and Media Arts. Auditions will be held across the state starting in January.

Applications and a schedule of audition sites are available online .

The New York State Summer School of the Arts provides over 400 talented students the opportunity to study with professionals in the visual and performing arts. The residential program offers highly competitive pre-professional training to promising artists from a variety of disciplines.

Each program culminates in a public final presentation or exhibition.

Programs are held at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, SUNY Fredonia, Alfred State and SUNY Delhi.

For more information: http://www.oce.nysed.gov/nysssa