2020-21 CU Orchestra Young Artist Concerto / Aria Competition
Musicians, we held our yearly Concerto Competition this past fall, but because of the pandemic we did not present our November with the winner as soloist. If circumstances are closer to normal by mid-year we hope to return to the typical auditions (live auditions and live concerns) with both the 2020 and 2021 competition winners performing.
Keep an eye on this page for updates to the 2021 competition.
THE RULES ARE POSTED BELOW, FOLLOWED BY ONLINE APPLICATION FORMS.
A. Age—The competition is open to two categories of students: high school students and Clemson University students. University students must be enrolled full-time during the fall 2020 term. Winners from previous CU Orchestra Young Artist Concerto/Aria Competitions are ineligible to apply.
B. Location—High school applicants must live in one of the following counties: Pickens, Oconee, Anderson, Greenville, or Spartanburg (students of the Governor’s School may apply if their hometown is in one of these counties). Clemson University students have no such restrictions.
C. Winner(s)—One winner will be invited to perform with the orchestra if it is reasonable to do so, in consultation with Dr. Levin, the winner and the winner's teacher. Considerations include where the student is living when the concert is rescheduled (in either April or November 2021) and if the work is still appropriate for the soloist and orchestra. Winners must perform the audition work. In the event a winner is unable to fulfill his/her obligations, the finalist awarded Honorable Mention will be considered to perform. The winner(s) will also receive a $200 scholarship award.
D. Music—Applicants may submit any work, pending availability of the music and feasibility of its performance as determined by the conductor of the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra. The conductor must approve the work before an application and recording are submitted (see below). The following works are acceptable:
1. Instrumentalists—any single-movement work or one movement of a multi-movement work. If the movement is quite short, an additional movement may be entered, pending approval by Dr. Levin.
2. Vocalists—an aria (or comparable work) that has an available orchestration. If the aria is quite short, an additional aria may be entered, pending approval by Dr. Levin.
II. Application Procedure
Applications and supporting materials are now handled only electronically.
Applicants must receive approval of a selected competition work before submitting an application. Complete online a Repertoire Request Form by 8 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The approval process is necessary to protect the applicant from preparing a work that is inappropriate for this competition.
The application form and recording of the competition work must be received by 8 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2020. The student must play the entire work with piano accompaniment on the video recording or the application will not be accepted. Hard copies of the application and/or recording are no longer accepted. It is to the applicant’s advantage to make a fine quality recording. If you are concerned about providing adequate audio quality, consider borrowing a videorecorder or microphones to attach to a video recorder. We do not need broadcast quality or CD quality recordings; just one whose audio enables the judges to hear the soloist clearly and without distortion. No audio manipulation (e.g., edits or reverb) is allowed nor can the performance be stopped and started again; signing the application is acknowledgement that no such digital manipulation has been applied. The performers should dress appropriately for a competition, since their performances may be shared with the orchestra's audience at some late time. Please do not send the video recording by mail; rather, post it online to a site such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive. If an online submission requires authentication, make sure to include the password in the application form.
If more than six videorecordings are submitted, Dr. Levin will judge a preliminary round so that the final round contains six soloists. Whether there is just a final round or also a preliminary round, in both cases the contestants will be drawn from both high school and university students. All entrants will be notified regarding their finalist status no later than 8 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2020. And because this competition is an educational experience, judges’ comments will be scanned and emailed to the finalists by 8 pm on Friday, October 30, 2020.
The judges will listen to the Finalists and share the results with the Dr. Levin, who will then publically announce the winners of the competition at 8 pm on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Soloists are not required to play on the audition videorecording by memory and whatever choice the soloists makes on this account will not affect the students' score. Also, the audition must be accompanied by a pianist (who will not be provided). Orchestral tuttis should be shortened.
III. Rehearsals and Performance
The winner(s) will perform with the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday morning and evening, November 10, 2020. Orchestra rehearsals occur Mondays from 7:00 until 8:30 PM and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Preparation for this concert begins September 10 and will continue until the concert date. Dr. Levin will contact the soloist(s) regarding their actual rehearsal times soon after the finals. The soloist(s) should be prepared to participate in at least three rehearsals, one of which is the dress rehearsal on Monday, November 9. Rehearsals take place in room 112, whereas the dress rehearsal and concert will be on the Brooks Center stage.
IV. Other Information
A. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Levin via email.
B. All dates and rules are firm. In fairness to all applicants, strict adherence to all rules—especially to the dates—is essential.
C. All decisions made by Dr. Levin and the judges are final.
Thu, Oct 8, 8 pm -- Approval of competition work must be given
Thu, Oct 22, 8 pm -- Application materials must be submitted (online only; see above for specifics)
Thu, Oct 29, 8 pm -- Application materials will be forwarded to judges for the final round; judges'
comments will be scanned and emailed to the applicants the next day
Thu, Nov 5, 8 pm -- Winners will be announced (by email and other means)
November sometime -- Original application video recordings by the winner and finalists
will be presented in some form on the Internet