Young Artist Competition


The Young Artist Competition, held every two years, was designed to encourage students to further their music education. They are free to use the scholarship awards at a school of their choice, for additional private lessons, music camps, and the like. The Competition is sponsored in part by J. R. Simplot Company.
Young musicians who reside in or attend school in Idaho are eligible to apply for any of the following categories: strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, piano, and voice, in the appropriate age category– either the Junior (13-18) or Senior (19-26) Division.
The first place winner in the Senior Division receives a $1000 scholarship; the first place winner in the Junior Division receives a $500 scholarship. In addition to the monetary awards, the first-place winners are invited to perform with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony in the Jensen Grand Concert Hall of the Stephens Performing Arts Center during the 2018-2019 Season.

Click Here to Complete the Online Application 

Applications due Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Competition: Saturday, September 15th, 2018, Stephens Performing Arts Center

Winners Concert: Friday, November 2nd, 2018, Stephens Performing Arts Center  

Rules & Guidelines for the Young Artist Competition

• Residency requirement: Applicants must be legal residents of Idaho, or students attending high school, college or university in the state of Idaho.
• Junior Division: Students aged 18 or younger as of September 1st, 2018.
• Senior Division: Students aged 19 or older (but not older than 24) as of September 1st, 2018.

CHOOSING REPERTOIRE: Only one movement of a standard concerto 5-15 minutes long (or equivalent selections not exceeding fifteen (15) minutes in total duration) should be prepared. If necessary, to meet the minimum time requirement, instrumentalists may add an additional movement from the same piece; vocalists may add an additional aria or song. Instrumentalists and vocalists will be considered in the same pool. The repertoire must feature the soloist with standard symphony orchestra accompaniment. The selection(s) must be published and available through reliable commercial sources. In the event that orchestral parts are not available for your selection, the ISCS may contact you for an alternate piece. The repertoire for the application must remain the same through subsequent rounds. For the application, memorization is encouraged but not required.  Cuts to the accompaniment are encouraged and do not need prior approval.

COMPETITON: In the preliminary round, judges will hear up to 10 minutes of the selection(s). Any cuts made to the solo part to fit the allotted time need to be approved.  Cuts to the accompaniment are encouraged and do not need prior approval. Entrants must provide their own accompanist.  Contestants must provide three copies of the piano accompaniment with the solo part included. (Photocopies are acceptable) . Entrants who are late for their allotted time will be disqualified.  Final round will be in a Concert setting, open to the public.  Contestant's selection will be performed in its entirety.

PRIZES FOR WINNERS: Prizes of $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to the Winners of the Senior and Junior Divisions, respectively, upon completion of the final performance with orchestra. Winners will be selected based on performance in the Final round, and the results will be announced immediately at the end of the competition by a panel of professional judges. There will be up to one winner selected from each division. The Symphony reserves the right to have no winner in one or the other (or both) categories. The winners will perform live with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony on November 2nd, 2018, which will require up to four (4) days residency in Pocatello. A recent headshot and updated biography will be required of the winners for press and advertising purposes. 

TO APPLY: Complete the online application no later than Friday, September 1st, 2018. Early applications are encouraged.

APPLICATION FEE: An application fee of $50 is due on September 1st with the application form. The fee covers competition expenses and is non-refundable. Please pay online when you submit your application. You will receive a confirmation email of your payment.


Click Here to Complete the Online Application 
Please call the Symphony office for technical assistance 208-234-1587

Previous Young Artist Competition Winners


Anna Black, violin - 2016 Jr Division Winner 

Anna Black is a 12th grader at Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho. She began her music studies at the age of four and currently studies with Professor Craig Purdy. Anna has won first place in the Meridian Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition, the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Idaho MTNA Senior Strings competition, as well as the IMEA State Solo competition for violin. She is concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She has also performed with the All-Northwest Orchestra, the Idaho All-State High School Orchestra, the Tuscia Opera Festival Orchestra and the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra. She has studied during the summer at the Castleman Quartet Program at SUNY Fredonia and the Credo Music Program at Oberlin Conservatory. This past summer, she performed in New York and Europe as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. Anna plans on studying violin performance in college and hopes to become a professional orchestral musician.


Rumeng Liao, violin - 2016 Sr Division Winner 

Rumeng Liao comes from China. She is a violin performance major at ISU, studied under Dr. Keum Hwa Cha for a year. She studied to play violin since she was three years old. Rumeng Liao was the concertmaster of Nanya Middle School Symphony and performed at the John F. Kennedy Art Center in July 2011. In 2014, she went to California to the Montecito International Music Festival (MIMF). In 2015, she became a member of Idaho State Civic Symphony.

Adam Merrill, piano - 2014 Jr Division Winner 

Adam has always enjoyed listening to classical music. Although he didn't start to play until he was twelve, he has worked tirelessly to pursue his passion. Adam currently studies with Dr. Kori Bond and has also studied with Dr. Brandon Bascom, Jeff Long, and Carissa Hess. Adam plans to go to college at ISU to major in Piano Performance and wants to become a concert pianist. Adam is an active performer in recitals and Masterclasses, as well as musical summer camps in Idaho. Adam was a finalist in the Musicians West piano competition where he received an honorable mention. Adam also competed at the state level of the MTNA national piano competition. Outside of the world of piano, Adam loves nothing more than being outside, whether he is hiking, biking, skiing, or rock climbing. He received his Eagle Scout when he was fourteen. He is also homeschooled and enjoys studying theoretical particle physics.


Yonsoo Park, violin - 2014 Sr Division Winner 

Yonsoo Park began her violin studies at the age of 4. She is a native of South Korea and moved to the USA in 2010. She attended high school at Boise High. She was the concertmaster of the Boise High Symphonic Orchestra, a contributing member of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, as well as being a member of the 2011All-Northwest Orchestra. Upon graduating Boise High School at age 16, she immediately enrolled at Boise State University. She has served as principal 2nd violin and concertmaster of the BSU Symphony Orchestra. She is the 2013 winner of the Boise State University Concerto Aria Competition where she performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Boise State University Symphony Orchestra. She is a recent second-prize winner in the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Northwest Young Artists String Competition, representing Idaho and competing against some of the finest string players in the Northwest. She has performed in masterclasses for such internationally recognized violinists as Chee-Yun, Charles Castleman, and Yehonaten Berick. Ms. Park is an avid chamber music player, her BSU String Quartet being two-time winners of the Boise Chamber Music Series Collegiate Chamber Music Competition. 

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