CUSO Young Artist Concerto / Aria Competition
Coming soon: 2022 information! The competition will be held in the late fall semester this year. Check back for info after September 15th.
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 2021 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 or two performers will be selected to perform with the orchestra, regardless of whether they are high school or Clemson University students. 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 invited to perform if at all possible. 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 the conductor.
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 the conductor.
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 the end of Friday, August 13, 2021. 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 the end of Friday, August 20, 2021. The student must play the entire work with piano accompaniment on the recording or the application will not be accepted. Hard copies of the application and/or recording are no longer accepted. Audio recordings may be posted online or sent via email (the latter as an MP3 file). Video recordings can only be posted online, since video files are too big to send via email. Online submissions can be posted to YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, or other such sites. If an online submission requires authentication, make sure to include the password in the application form.
From these recordings, the conductor will select approximately seven finalists, taken from the pool of both high school and university students. All entrants will be notified regarding their finalist status no later than August 27, 2021. NOTE: It is to the applicant’s advantage to make a fine quality recording. If a stereo recorder is used, place the soloist and accompanist on separate channels. If a monophonic (one channel) recorder is used, place the soloist closer to the microphone than the accompanist; this is especially important for piano soloists. Make sure the soloist is heard much more strongly than the accompaniment. A poor quality recording may disqualify the entrant if the soloist cannot be heard clearly. No audio manipulation (e.g., edits or reverb) is allowed; signing the application is acknowledgement that no such manipulation has been applied.
Finalists will audition before two judges on Saturday, September 4, 2021, beginning at 6:00 PM. Auditions will be held in room 117 in the Brooks Center at Clemson University and are open to the public. Soloists are not required to play the audition or performance by memory, though musicians usually play better when they do. Also, the audition must be accompanied by a pianist (who will not be provided). Orchestral tuttis should be shortened. And because this competition is an educational experience, judges’ comments will be provided to all finalists after they perform. The winner(s) will be announced at the conclusion of the finals and later that evening via email.
III. Rehearsals and Performance
The winner(s) will perform with the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday morning and evening, November 9, 2021. 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 11 and will continue until the concert date. The conductor 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 8. 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 the conductor 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 the conductor and the judges are final.
Fri, Aug 13 -- Approval of competition work must be requested
Fri, Aug 20 -- Application package must be submitted
Fri, Aug 27 -- Finalists will be announced and can sign up for an audition time
Sat, Sep 4 -- Finalist auditions: 6:00 – 8:00 PM, 117 Brooks
Thu, Sep 11 -- Rehearsals begin: 4:30 – 6:30 PM, 112 Brooks
Mon, Nov 8 -- Dress rehearsal: 7:00 – 9:30 PM, Brooks Theatre
Tue, Nov 9 -- Concerts: 9:30 AM and 7:30 PM, Brooks Theatre