Junior Competitions

November 26, 2021, 8:27 AM · Hi. I was hoping someone could direct me to a list or lists of competitions for 11-14 year olds, Concerto or solo.....
My 13 yr old recently won a statewide contest in her age group, she is wondering what else she could do. She enjoyed the process and the goal setting was useful to her. All I find when googling is things like American Protege which don't list their jurors and seem like cash machines for someone.....
We don't have any local things, most regional list nearer counties, not state or open....
If anyone knows resources, that would be great!

Replies (10)

November 26, 2021, 11:54 AM · How about something that is not competitive? Something about the joy of making music? A chamber music work shop for example?
Edited: November 26, 2021, 12:30 PM · I don't know exactly what you've already seen, but community orchestras are maybe the lowest stake competitions - I'm not aware of a website compendium of them, but googling resulted in this:

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=community+orchestra+competitions

Beyond that, here's some more centralized resources:

https://www.mtna.org/MTNA/Engage/Competitions/Competitions.aspx

https://www.musicalchairs.info/competitions

https://www.musicalamerica.com/pages/?pagename=competitions2021&header

Hopefully that helps somewhat - You could search around your area for the local orchestras - Probably a majority of them have a concerto competition.

November 26, 2021, 12:29 PM · She is doing all those things, too, as much as is available within our reach. The competition she won was the first one she has entered. For the kid, it was motivating and raised her game...
Mostly, I think she would like the opportunity to play a concerto with an orchestra- usually happens through a competition......
November 26, 2021, 1:35 PM · Thanks Christian, we are very rural. There is one next Spring, but most of the area ones do not include our county in the area they cover. But I will follow up the links...
November 26, 2021, 5:18 PM · Almost all orchestras that offer performing with orchestra as a prize have distance limitations for where the kids can come from. Usually it's the immediate vicinity of the orchestra's metropolitan area (and possibly not inclusive of the farther reaches of that metro area's suburbs). In other words the students need to be within an easy commute distance to the rehearsals.
November 26, 2021, 6:17 PM · When you live rural, it is really tough to find opportunities. In addition, lots of the good competitions have been put on hold due to the pandemic, especially ones with community orchestras.

I would avoid virtually all of the internet ones where you send in a video, almost everybody wins something, and then you pay a ridiculous fee to play on a winner's concert. Virtually all are pay-to-play and some are outright scams. These have multiplied 100 fold during the pandemic. Yes, it is something to put on your resume and maybe makes you feel good for a day or two, but you otherwise don't get much out of it. Most don't even give comments.

I guess the main question is how far are you willing to travel to enter the competition? There are lots of community orchestra competitions around the big cities, but you would have to go there to audition in most cases. Some are restricted by area, but others are not, as long as you are willing to go there.

Finally, if her real goal is playing with orchestra, try to figure out some other ways to make that happen. Talk to your regional orchestras or universities and see if they are interested in working with her. Sometimes they are; sometimes they aren't. It's kind of hard to do if you don't have any contacts there, so definitely ask everyone around you (teachers, school music people, players) if they have contacts.

November 27, 2021, 7:12 AM · There are summer festivals that include concerto competitions. I used to go to one in Burgos, Spain that had a very competitive one with both a junior and senior level - some of the previous winners are now international soloists. You need to get into these early. Of course, they may take rather a lot of financial commitment.
November 27, 2021, 8:48 AM · Susan, thanks as always. There is a local concerto competition this Spring, associated with a regional orchestra, generally for HS juniors and seniors, but think they are considering opening it to younger. The nearest cities, about an hour and a half away each, all limit to the surrounding counties. Elise, I don't think it is about the commute for rehearsals but taking care of their student base over outsiders. They could include our county though and my daughter would almost certainly be the only entry from here.:) Thanks for the advice, just had a moment to try to poke around the internet and see what opportunities were there. Her regular teacher and masterclass teachers are telling her she could be doing it.
The competition part of it is not important, but the feedback and social part given our location are valuable. We are working toward more general changes, hopefully we will be in a better situation, with more opportunities by next Fall when she starts 9th grade.
December 3, 2021, 1:09 PM · Are you ready to travel for concerts and have a Bach piece handy? The Junior Bach Festival in Northern CA is a nice one, at least for the local junior high and high school students. Audition this year is via video (you may have missed the deadline to register but you can email). The concerts may be in-person or with videos this year depending on covid situation. Quality of competitors is high but it's not national level. It's popular one in this area which has lots of good violin students.
Edited: December 6, 2021, 4:03 PM · Note: No personal attacks, even on people no longer here.

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