Young Performers

Young Performer Competition
January 31, 2024


Young Performers Competition

Competition Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

(late afternoon and early evening)

Official Rules and Regulations

The goal of the St. Cloud Symphony’s Young Performers Competition is to provide talented young musicians in central Minnesota with an opportunity to compete for scholarship awards, receive written feedback from a panel of distinguished judges, and perform for family and friends on the Honors Concert. The Grand Prize winner will perform as soloist with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.



Each winner will receive a $400 scholarship to be applied to tuition or the further study of music. In addition to receiving a scholarship, the Grand Prize Winner will perform as soloist with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra on April 27, 2024 in Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University.


1. The competition is open to student musicians who are enrolled in an educational institution or studying music with a professional teacher, and who have not previously been awarded the Grand Prize (performed as soloist with the SCSO).

2. Contestants will compete in one of two divisions:

School Age Division – Grades 7-12

College Age Division – Undergraduate

3. School Age Division students must reside in one of the following counties: Benton, Sherburne, Wright, Meeker, Kandiyohi, Pope, Stevens, Douglas, Todd, Morrison, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Isanti, or Stearns. College Age Division contestants must be enrolled in an institution located within those counties, or have a permanent address therein.

4. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

            School Age Division: Piano

            School Age Division: Brass, Woodwind, String, Percussion and Vocal

            College Age Division: Piano

            College Age Division: Brass, Woodwind, String, Percussion and Vocal

5. Eligible concerto movements must not exceed 15 minutes in length, and orchestra parts must be readily available. Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61, Mvt. 1 by Camille Saint-Saëns is not eligible for the 2024 competition.



1. All applications and fees must be received by January 24, 2024. Applications must include a $25 application fee, which is non-refundable. The competition will be held in the Ruth Gant Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University and will be open to the public. Winner(s) will be announced the day after the competition.

2. Each contestant will present a concerto movement that they are prepared to perform with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra. All movements submitted as an entry (including cadenzas) must be prepared in their entirety, although the actual competition auditions will be limited to 8 minutes. Necessary cuts should be made carefully so that the judges have the opportunity to evaluate the most important segments. If the entry represents two movements, both movements must be represented in the audition.

3. All contestants (including pianists) must perform the audition with an accompanist, at their own expense. Two pianos will be provided at the audition site.

4. Contestants must provide the panel of judges with 3 copies of the music score of the prepared concerto movement. Memorization is strongly recommended but not required.


1. A panel of judges will select winners in each category to receive scholarships and perform on the Honors Concert.

2. The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen in consultation with Artistic Director Hisham Groover.  Artistic, logistic, and financial considerations of the orchestra will be taken into consideration.  All decisions are final.

Honors Concert

The judges will select participants whose musicianship displays a readiness for a formal concert setting to perform in the Honors Concert.  The Honors Concert will be Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 7:30 pm in Ruth Gant Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University.

Grand Prize Winner

The Grand Prize winner(s), if any, must be available to perform with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra on April 27, 2024 at 7:30PM at Ritsche Auditorium, and will attend rehearsals as agreed upon between the winner and the conductor, Hisham Groover.


If you have questions, need more information, or if financial concerns make the application fee a problem, please contact Lucia Magney at 320-252-7276 or

2024 Young Performers Application Form

"*" indicates required fields

County in which you reside, or if in college, county where you attend school.
please include publishing house and date
may not exceed 15 minutes
must not exceed 8 minutes
Teacher's Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Young Performer Competition

Scholarship Winners


Laina Burris, Violin

TJ Stang, Piano


Grand Prize Winner

Lorelei Schoenhard, Violin

Laina Burris

Laina Burris is a senior at Saint John’s Preparatory School.  She has been playing violin for seven years and studying with Michael Zellgert for the last four years.  Laina is a part of the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra and has played in the All State Orchestra for the past two years.  She enjoys calculus, classical music, and making jewelry.  She plans to study music and physics next year at Cedarville University.

TJ Stang

TJ is a sixteen-year-old pianist who enjoys playing the piano, coding on his computer, and volunteering his time at church.  He is a member of the church worship team.  He enjoys competing in local and state piano competitions, especially concerto contests.  He is also a post-secondary student at St Cloud Technical and Community College working on his general education along with his high school classes.  TJ hopes to study music in the future and make a career in the world of music.

Grand Prize Winner

Lorelei Schoenhard, Violin

Lorelei Schoenhard studies violin with Marion Judish, professor emeritus of Saint Cloud State University.  She plays in the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony.  Earlier this season, she won the Music Teachers National Association competition – Minnesota junior strings division and the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association competition – intermediate division.  With equal joy, Lorelei studies piano with Bonnie Sorensen-Ernst at her Saint Germain Music Studio.  She has won multiple divisions of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association annual piano contest and consistently earned superior ratings in the Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs annual piano festival.  She attends Saint John’s Preparatory School.  When she’s not practicing, Lorelei likes to read novels and build Lego.

Past Young Performers Competition Winners