Gustavus Symphony Orchestra

2019-2020 Concerto/Aria Competition for High School Musicians

High School Competition PosterEligibility

The competition is open to all high school instrumentalists and vocalists currently enrolled in applied lessons. Specifically grades 9-12 in the 2019-2020 school year. Winner of past Gustavus music competitions will not be eligible.


Students should select a concerto or aria written for solo instrument(s) or voice(s) with orchestral accompaniment approved by their applied teacher. Competition and performance time is limited to 15 minutes. Students may choose to perform either the entire work or selected movement(s) for the competition. Longer works may be considered on an individual basis. There is no memorization requirement. Please note that a winner may be asked to perform a different piece based upon factors such as availability of the performing materials and the level of technical difficulty.


Registration: Interested students should complete the application, including a
recording submission online. The application fee is $25, students in financial
distress may apply to waive the fee by contacting Dr. Lin.

  • First round: Complete applications including recordings must be submitted by November 1st at 12PM. Submissions will receive email confirmations. Two Gustavus faculty will determine up to five finalists from the first round. Finalists will be announced via email by November 15th.
  • Second round: Finalists will be invited on campus for a live audition on the evening of Monday December 9th. Two other Gustavus faculty will adjudicate the second round. Comment sheets for all finalists will be made available after the competition upon request. One winner will be selected and featured on a concert with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra on March 28th 2020. 


For the first round, while it would be preferable to have accompaniment, students may submit recordings without accompaniment. Finalists are required and responsible for appropriate accompaniment for the competition. Finalists may apply for financial assistance to cover the cost of the accompanist by emailing Dr. Lin.


All finalists will receive one free 30 minute lesson with a Gustavus faculty member. Students may choose to have the lesson prior to, or after the competition. Additionally, all finalists are guaranteed a Music Scholarship should they apply for admissions at Gustavus Adolphus College. The Gustavus Music Scholarships are open to all students who are interested in continuing with their musical education in college, it is NOT exclusive to students who are planning on becoming music majors.

In addition to the lesson and the Music Scholarship, the winner of the competition will also perform with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra in March 2020. The winner must be available for rehearsals with the orchestra on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 6:30-8:20PM.

Please email Dr. Ruth Lin should you have any questions.