Contests (Youth oriented) in Midwest
Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I've seen various threads looking for contest listings. I'm trying to identify some contests in the Cleveland area that would be a motivator for my child who is relatively accomplished for his age (13) but seems to have reached the conclusion that he is good enough and doesn't need to practice a lot.
There is obviously the Cooper competition (... happening again in 2019), but that is drawing the most advanced young players in the WORLD. He's not there yet...
He already participates in the soloist competition with his community orchestra. I was hoping some teachers or players here might know of some specific competitions the midwest (IN/OH/PA) area that are a notch below the Copper, for example, there is a Sigma Alpha Iota annual competition in Cleveland (only goes up to age 13) and the Blue Water Orchestra used to run a concerto competition but it hasn't been on their annual concert schedule for a couple years now.
I'm always finding posters at a local conservatory advertising competitions for older college age "young" artists, but I'm specifically interested in competitions for pre-college age (i.e., geared to 14-18 y.o. players).
Thanks in advance!
Look for MTNA competitions, I think they are in most states. Better get on your horse, though. Registration for the Ohio competition is due in a few days.
This would be a great question for your son's teacher. There are state ASTA competitions if his teacher is a member of ASTA.
MTNA and ASTA, plus the competitions of all the symphonies in your area -- a large number of them will probably have competitions, especially the major cities with notable orchestras (Cleveland, Columbus, etc.).
I know you asked for contests but not everyone is motivated by that level of stress. If the ultimate goal is continual improvement or commitment, an alternative would be to consider chamber music. All that solo stuff can make you stale.
I wouldn't at all agree that a Meadowmount summer will make you "stale." I had a wonderful time there and improved enormously. And there is chamber music at Meadowmount. That being said, I do understand your point that it is a very narrow focus. All things considered, I did prefer Interlochen, just for the breadth of arts involvement available there.
If your son is in youth orchestra, ask the director about local competitions. If he's not, that would be another great motivational tool.
Fair point, and I didn't go there. I think my larger issue was that intense, competitive environments (which Meadowmount may or may not be) can either cause a kid to embrace the challenge--or totally turn him off. I worry about those kids on the cusp--the ones who are perfectly capable of a lifetime of music-making but ill-suited to the career for various reasons. I guess it's a coin toss. I was reading between the lines here but something in the OP made me think that this kid might be rebelling against parental ambition. It is easy to get caught up in the acceleration without keeping the long-term goal in mind, or even being clear about the options. When friends ask me about their kids and teachers, programs, etc, I tend to ask them if they actually want to raise a professional musician...or if they're just hoping to help their kid progress as long as he or she wants to, with the goal of fostering a lifelong hobby. (I say this as a parent of a son who has inherited our various talents in spades but has a very different idea of what he wants to do with them.)
Thanks for the great responses. I am going to look into the NMTA contest -- not sure if his teacher is a member, but the junior competition looks promising.
Gene, I hear you. Does he like the music he's playing? I think some of those late intermediate concerti can start to feel tedious (there's a reason symphonies aren't selling out concerts of Viotti, Rode, and De Beriot...) Also wondering if he goes to concerts at all. I found the concerts at Duke (many, varied, often free) to be a great motivator when I was young. Something to consider...
Meadowmount is most definitely intense. It's five hours a day of mandatory individual practice, plus private lessons and chamber music and whatever else you want to do on top of that. It is not for the faint of heart, and I think it's likely not the best place to dip your toe in the water of the larger music world. (Not to mention, it's very difficult to be accepted.) Interlochen, Blue Lake, or Northwestern would be a better start.
From what you write about his playing level, Gene, it sounds like lower-level local competitions would make more sense, since your son is decently accomplished for his age (good for an hour of practice a day), but he's not advanced for his age. At age 13, the serious students will already be working on the advanced, professional repertoire.
Comic books?! LOL.
On more thought, I think that the system for training youngsters is broken in some ways, because music in youth tends to be a competitive activity -- no different than improving one's baseball stats or chess ranking, in many ways -- but music in adulthood (whether amateur or professional) is a collaborative activity. Players who are motivated by being "better than that guy over there" run into the ugly truth eventually that they might be at the top of their local heap, but there are a thousand other kids who are better than them (which can be crushing) -- or they actually reach the top of the global heap and now they have to find a reason for continuing other than racking up points on an imaginary scoreboard. Ranking might motivate some kids but it's likely to be a terrible incentive for life-long music-making.
I too dislike competition in music, and find it to be tedious and not conducive to creative artistry. I am not a very competitive person overall, though. I prefer to be my own worst critic. That said, I do enjoy the IVCI. That may be the one exception.
High-stakes top-flight international violin competitions are fascinating for the same reason as the Olympics. :-)
Exactly. Also, the last time I was at the IVCI, the most exciting part for me was the audience. It was clear that everyone in the audience knew who won, and that's not because the candidates were not all outstanding. It's because the audience was that savvy. It was a great experience to be in that energy.
Gene, next summer may be a long ways off, but the audition deadlines are obviously much sooner. Feel the rumble on the tracks? That's a train that's coming. Interlochen's recommended audition list includes Bruch, Mozart 3/4/5, Mendelssohn, & Saint Saens IRC.
I was just skimming the thread again and realized I missed something in the OP's comments about chamber music -- that he seemed to find it a drawback that the group doesn't compete.
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