Competition Guidelines

San Jose Youth Symphony Young Artist Competition

The San Jose Youth Symphony holds an annual Young Artist Competition in the spring. This year the competition will take place on April 12, 2015, 5 pm, in the Sanctuary of the Los Gatos United Methodist Church (LGUMC).

Please read the following page carefully and thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the competition’s rules and guidelines.

General Information

  • The Young Artist Competition is open only to members of the Philharmonic Orchestra — who have demonstrated full commitment within the terms of the SJYS Membership Agreement — or to non-members who play the piano;
  • Members of the Philharmonic Orchestra may not compete in the year they are graduating from SJYS;
  • Winners of the competition will perform their piece in one of the Philharmonic Orchestra’s subscription concerts scheduled for the the following season, and will receive a monetary prize in the form of a discount applicable towards the following season’s member tuition:

    1st prize – $300
    2nd prize – $200
    3rd prize – $100

  • SJYS cannot guarantee that the winners will be able to perform their piece in its entirety as it depends on the length of the piece and its instrumentation.

Application Process

  • Applications are being accepted from now until January 31, 2015. No new applications will be accepted after this deadline;
  • Download and fill out the Young Artist Competition application form and then mail the completed form to the SJYS Office with a $40 application fee, by check made payable to SJYS
  • All applicants MUST SUBMIT a digital recording of their performance of the selected piece for the competition WITH THE APPLICATION FORM; The recording must include the entire piece;
  • The applicant’s recording must have occurred no earlier than three months before the filing of the application form ;
  • All applications will be prescreened. A maximum of 16 applicants will be chosen for the competition, and will be announced within two weeks from the application filing deadline;
  • SJYS will schedule a performance time and will notify the applicant of the assigned time no later than two weeks prior to the competition date;
  • All applicants must be on call to perform at any time during the afternoon of the competition, in case of potential last-minute schedule changes.

Competition Rules

  • Contestants may play any orchestral instrument or the piano;
  • Double or triple concertos are accepted;
  • Vocalists or winners of the last competition may not apply;
  • Contestants are not permitted to enter the competition with a concerto that was performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra during the previous season;
  • SJYS strongly recommends that contestants choose pieces that are from the standard concerto repertoire — included in this sample list — preferably scored for full orchestra (including brass and percussion);
  • If the applicant wishes to perform a concerto which is not included in the sample list, he/she must submit a request for approval from SJYS by November 15, 2014;
  • SJYS will notify the applicant by the end of January whether the concerto selected is acceptable;
  • All contestants must prepare their concerto in its entirety. No exceptions will be made. Contestants must play their piece from memory;
  • All contestants must provide their own accompanist for the competition (a second
    piano will be available for piano concerto accompanists);
  • All contestants must bring two copies of his/her music for the judges
  • Contestants who arrive after their assigned time will not be allowed to perform. Please plan to arrive early and warm up in the room provided;
  • Contestants may not exchange audition times with other contestants.

The Competition

  • The competition will be divided into four categories: strings, woodwinds/brass, piano/percussion, and double/triple concertos;
  • No more than five winners will be chosen. The judges have the right to choose no winners in the event that the level of performance does not meet the standards of competition. The decision of the judges is final;
  • The judges will announce the winners at the conclusion of the competition;
  • SJYS members and parents are welcome to attend the competition as observers;
  • SJYS expects that the winners keep their performance level as high or higher by the first rehearsal date with the orchestra. There will be a mandatory meeting with the conductor one month prior to the first rehearsal date, where the winners are expected to demonstrate their competence in performing the work.