First-prize winner(s) in each division will be featured soloists in concert with the Houston Civic Symphony at a concert currently scheduled for Friday, March 8, 2024, 7:30 p.m. at the Morris Cultural Arts Center, Houston Christian University. Monetary scholarships are awarded in both divisions as well.Apply for the Competition
Deadline is November 3, 2023
1. Eligibility Requirements
The competition will be open to students in the fifth through twelfth grades residing in the Houston area. (Grade is determined by the highest level of classification from any entity which might include but is not limited to UIL, Home School Grade, Public School Grade etc.) Competitors from outside the greater Houston area are welcome, but any such entrants should be mindful of the rehearsal schedule listed below in the event he or she is chosen as a winner. Previous winners of the Young Artist Competition are not eligible to compete within the same division.
Junior Division (Grades 5-8): Orchestral instruments (strings, winds, percussion) No piano competition for 2023-24. An entry in the Junior Division is a representation that the student is currently in the indicated grades, and that no representation that the student is in any other grade level has been made to any person or organization. One first prize may be awarded in the Junior Division. The First prize winner will perform with the Houston Civic Symphony and receive a scholarship award.
Senior Division (Grades 9-12): Orchestral instruments (strings, winds, percussion) No piano competition for 2023-24. An entry in the Senior Division is a representation that the student is currently in the indicated grades, and that no representation that the student is in any other grade level has been made to any person or organization. One first-prize may be awarded in the Senior Division. The First prize winner will perform with the Houston Civic Symphony and receive a scholarship award. Second-prize winner(s) will receive scholarship awards, but will not perform with the Houston Civic Symphony.
One movement of a large-scale work for either a solo instrument and orchestra or a double concerto or other multiple instrument work, composed with symphony orchestra accompaniment is acceptable. For the Senior Division the movement must be a maximum of 20 minutes in an un-cut format including all orchestral tuttis. For the Junior Division the movement must be a maximum of 12 minutes in an un-cut format including all orchestral tuttis. Orchestral accompaniment parts must be readily available and approved by the Houston Civic Symphony Music Director. Memory work is suggested, but not required.
4. Competition Rules
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- Two stage competition. Each entrant shall submit a video of the entrant performing the entered work by the close of entries, which shall be 11:59:59 p.m. on November, 202 submitted video shall comply with the requirements of Section 9 below.
- General rules. For both rounds competitors will be responsible for providing his/her own piano accompanist and orchestral reduction piano part. Video round may use SmartMusic as a form of accompaniment. Final round must be with piano accompaniment.
- Judging of initial entries. The Symphony shall judge the initial entries, and shall notify those selected as finalists on or before November 13, 2023.
- Finalist competition. Those designated as finalists shall present a live performance for the judges on Monday, November 20, 2023 at a time and place to be announced when the finalists are designated. A concert grand piano will be available for the finalist competition. Finalists must provide one original score for the judges to view during the competition. Photocopies of music will be permitted, and the use thereof will constitute a representation by the competitor that the usage complies with all applicable copyright requirements. Audition times will be limited to 12 minutes for the Junior Division and 15 minutes for the Senior Division. Please cut orchestral tutti sections accordingly. The Competition Coordinator is authorized to make binding decisions regarding conformity to competition guidelines and rules.
Deadline is November 3, 2023
If no performance in a division/category is deemed acceptable by the judges for a first-prize award, no winner will be declared, and there will be no performance opportunity in that division/category.
The performance will take place on Friday, March 8, 2024, in Dunham Theater, Morris Cultural Arts Center on the campus of Houston Christian University. Winners must perform at the concert.
Rehearsals times with the Houston Civic Symphony will be set once repertoire has been chosen and will draw from the following dates (Mondays – February 19, 25, March 4, and a dress rehearsal on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Winners will be guaranteed three rehearsal dates, one of which must be the dress rehearsal.
7. Scholarship Awards
Each first-prize winner will be invited to perform with the Houston Civic Symphony as noted above. The work performed in the competition will be the work performed, unless the performer(s) and the Music Director, Houston Civic Symphony, agree on a different work.
Scholarship awards will be made as follows:
Senior Division – First Place – $500; Second Place – $200
Junior Division – First Place – $200
All entries will be made online at the Symphony’s website www.civicsymphony.org. The application consists of three parts:
- Providing information on the entrant, his or her parents, music teachers, accompanist and work to be performed, etc.;
- Submission of a YouTube Video containing the video performance; and
- Payment of the $50 entry fee.
All three parts of the entry must be completed online by the entry deadline of 11:59:59 p.m. on November 3, 2023. Failure to complete any of the three parts of the entry will render the application void. In the event of technical difficulties the video may be submitted on physical media. Application and physical media of audition submissions, application information, and the $50 non-refundable entry fee must be postmarked by November 3, 2023.
All communications with entrants will be done through firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Video File Submission
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- The video file shall be of a performance recorded no earlier than three months prior to the entry deadline (August 3, 2023).
- The video recording shall be made in one continuous recording from one fixed camera location.
- The performer should be placed in the frame so that the instrument and the performer’s face and hands are clearly visible without obstruction.
- The video recording shall not be edited or enhanced in any fashion.
- The video file shall be uploaded to YouTube as an “Unlisted” video and the link emailed to email@example.com