Concerto Competition

Senior string students and wind, brass/percussion seniors who have been in Symphony for at least two consecutive years may audition to compete for one of three solo spots on the concert calendar. Auditions are held during Midterm Exam time for the Spring Concerto Concert. The work must be a movement from a standard concerto or solo work with orchestral accompaniment. Availability of orchestral parts is a determining factor, and students must make sure parts are available before auditioning in the concerto competition. Concertos with piano accompaniment will be performed on the night of Senior Thesis.

Applicants must perform their full concerto from memory up to concert tempo accurately, without slowing down during technical spots. Up to three solo works will be selected; the actual number of solo works may be less if not enough applicants meet the following minimum standards:

  • Technique: Hand and instrument position and technique have no significant flaws that impair performance.
  • Tempo/Rhythms: Convincing and musical tempo (not too slow); consistent—no slowing down on challenging passages; rhythms are consistently correct.
  • Intonation: No pitch center problems; minimal note problems
  • Tone: Bow speed, weight and contact point used very well to produce strong, powerful, good quality tone
  • Musical Style and Interpretation: Articulations are correct for the time period; interpretation is convincing and meaningful—not just a bunch of notes.

Final decisions about winning soloists are made by the Symphony Director. The primary determining factor is the level of accuracy and artistry in each student's performance. The director will also consider the appropriateness of the work's length, orchestral instrumentation, difficulty and availability of the orchestral parts.