Student Competitions

The Twin Cities Horn Club has established a special fund and process to underwrite serious horn students' application fees to major local competitions.  

We hope to achieve the following objectives:
  1. To encourage serious young horn students to hone their skills by entering concerto competitions offered by various organizations in the Twin Cities, providing financial support for their application fees;
  2. To encourage TCHC members and others to support young hornists by contributing to this designated fund;
  3. To build a cash reserve that will allow underwriting of several students’ competition fees every fiscal year;
  4. To visibly support the educational and mentoring aspects of our mission. 
STUDENTS, take a look at the list below and talk to your teacher about whether you should enter one of these competitions. When you're ready, email us at and we'll guide you through our request-for-reimbursement process.

TEACHERS, if you have a student who would benefit from competing, let them know about this opportunity.

TCHC MEMBERS, if you would like to help us build up this fund, send a donation via PayPal or by mail, designating it "competition fund." You can find the PayPal link and our mailing address on this tab of our website: Support Us  We would love to have your contribution on an "open" basis, but if you'd prefer that it be used to underwrite the fees for a particular competition, just let us know!  Also, if you have promotional material to share for any particular competition, let us know and we'll do our best to publicize it.

We have assembled this list of upcoming competitions (sorted by submission deadline):  

 Sponsor Competition Name Next Submission Deadline Criteria Prizes More Info
Young People's Symphony Concert Association School Music Auditions  12/04/17 Students enrolled full time in an accredited school, grades 7 through 12, from the Upper Midwest One of these students is selected to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra at a Young People's concert and receive a $1,500 prize. Other cash prizes and scholarships are also presented.
MN Public Radio (MPR)  Minnesota Varsity  12/04/17  Classical instrumentalists, composers, and classical and musical theater singers, ages 14-18 If you're chosen as a Featured Artist, you'll get to work with an audio engineer from MPR to produce a professional recording of your performance. Your piece may also be broadcast on-air, streamed played on the air and available from MPR and MPR Classical websites and social media sites. -plus- One free recording (on CD) of the MPR-prepared recording of their performance (retail value: approximately $500)
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) Concerto Competition  12/11/17  Students must participate in GTCYS for the entire season
MacPhail  Concerto & Aria Concert 12/17/17  Applicants must be registered at MacPhail for at least eight hours of private instruction in the fall semester of 2016, and register for at least eight hours of private instruction for the spring 2017 semester The MacPhail Concerto & Aria Concert is our premiere performance opportunity for students. MacPhail students of all instruments and ages are eligible to perform before a panel of judges in two rounds of auditions with a movement from a concerto or an aria from an opera. Six students will be selected to perform live on stage with a chamber-sized orchestra comprised of professional musicians – both MacPhail faculty members and guest musicians – in Antonello Hall.  One additional student soloist is selected to perform with the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis.
Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition 01/08/18 Students enrolled in grades 7-12, college or graduate programs in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, or Iowa are eligible. Entrants must be currently studying music privately. The Young Artist Scholarship Competition awards approximately $20,000 in scholarships each year! Scholarships are awarded in each age division and instrument category. First place awards for college are $1,000; high school, $750; and junior high, $500. Second place and honorable mention awards are also granted. First place winners are recognized with a featured concert performance at MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. Additional performance opportunities are also offered to winners.
Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition 01/19/18  Piano-Strings-Brass-Woodwinds-Guitar-Voice-Organ.  Applicants must be a resident or enrolled in a learning institution within the 5-state region (MN, WI, SD, ND or IA) The competition began in 1922, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Schubert Club. It started modestly with three winners representing the categories of voice, violin, and piano.  The competition has since grown to fourteen different categories with two cash prizes awarded for each category – $2000 and $1500 – to be used for further musical education. The winners of each category are also invited to perform in the annual Winners Recital.
Friends of the SPCO  The SPCO Youth Chamber Music Competition  02/05/18  For pre-college students living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North or South Dakota and playing in ensembles of 3-8 musicians. Traditional classical ensembles plus non-traditional instrumentation for national folk music, Latin music, fiddle music and jazz. The winning ensemble will be awarded $500 and will perform in the Finals/Winners Recital to be held on Sunday, March 18, 2018 in Sundin Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN at 2:00 p.m.
MN Sinfonia Young Artists Competition not yet announced for 2018 String musicians up to age 19 Both the Junior and Senior Division winners are awarded solo appearances with the Minnesota Sinfonia, and the Senior Division winner receives The Claire Givens Violins $500 cash prize.
Friends of the MN Orchestra Young Artist Competition summer 2018 (for competition January 2019) Competitors, up to the age of 25, are judged and critiqued by professional orchestra musicians through the preliminary and semi-final rounds First Prize is a solo performance opportunity with the Minnesota Orchestra and $7,500 in cash prizes. The Grand Prize, awarded at the discretion of the Music Director, elevates the first prize to a subscription series concert performance and $8,500 in cash prizes. Other prizes include performance opportunities, festivals, and monetary awards.
U of MN School of Music Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition not yet announced Enrolled students For info, email the Wind Ensemble  email:
Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS) Annual Symphony Solo Competition was 10/21/2017 - not yet announced for 2018 Student must participate in the Symphony Orchestra for all three trimesters Performance of the solo will take place on February 11, 2018 at Orchestra Hall.
U of MN School of Music  USO Concerto Competition  was 11/07/17 - not yet announced for 2018  The competition is open to all full-time graduate and undergraduate music majors who have the approval of their applied teacher  The winner(s) will perform with the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm 
Medalist Concert Band  Earl C. Benson Concerto Competition was 11/17/17 - not yet announced for 2018  Open to players of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments (no piano) who are enrolled in schools in the Twin Cities metropolitan and surrounding area, as well as selected outstate areas. Students must be in grades 10–12 during the 2017–2018 school year. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and be the featured soloist with the Medalist Concert Band at its 2017–2018 finale concert on Sunday, May 20, 2018