A Music Competition for Talented Students
YPSCA holds an exciting annual concerto competition, called the School Music Auditions (SMA), for students in grades 7 through 12 who are skilled at playing orchestral instruments or piano, and who are enrolled full-time in an accredited school in Minnesota or other Upper Midwest locations. Each contestant prepares a portion of a major work, such as a concerto movement, to perform from memory. At the Preliminary Auditions, performances are judged by experts in each area: strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion and keyboard.
Contestants who advance to the Finals will all ultimately receive a cash prize or scholarship; in a typical year, the total value of these prizes is more than $7,000. But only one finalist will claim the top prize – $1,500 plus the most coveted award of all, the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra at a Young People’s Concert the following year. For the Finals, held on the Orchestra Hall stage, YPSCA welcomes members of the public to attend and to witness the contestants’ extraordinary levels of musical expertise and riveting performances.
Hard-working YPSCA volunteers carry out myriad tasks to ensure that the competition is a success from start to finish. They prepare announcements, review applications, select judges, handle registration, escort contestants to their warm-up and audition rooms, announce and time the performances, organize hospitality –– and much more. If you’d like to be involved, contact us here, and join in the thrill of working with young musicians who make the SMA a highlight of the musical season!
Kudos to Our Past Winners
Here are all the talented performers who have won the School Music Auditions in the past.