Young Performers

Competition Date:

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

(late afternoon and early evening

Official Rules and Regulations

The goal of the St. Cloud Symphony’s Young Performers Competition istoprovide 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 29, 2023 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. Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 in g minor is not eligible for the 2023 competition.


1. All applications and fees must be received by January 23, 2023. 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 candidate 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, March 1, 2023 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 29, 2023 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

Past Young Performers Competition Winners