Young Artist Competition


The Young Artist Competition, held every two years, is designed to encourage students to further their music education and experience the competition process. 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 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 2021-2022 Season.



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 1, 2021.
• Senior Division: Students aged 19 or older (but not older than 24) as of September 1, 2021.

• Junior Division: Solo piece with accompaniment should be prepared. For the application, memorization is encouraged, but not required. Pieces may be up to 15 minutes in duration, but no shorter than 5 minutes.
• Senior Division: Only one movement of a standard concerto 15-20 minutes long (or equivalent selections not exceeding 20 minutes) 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. The repertoire for the application must remain the same through subsequent rounds. For the application, memorization is encouraged, but not required. Cuts to the solo part must be approved; cuts to the accompaniment are encouraged, but do not need prior approval.
• In the event that Orchestral parts are not available for your selections, the ISCS may contact you for an alternate piece. If you have questions, please contact the ISCS Librarian at
• Contestants must provide three (3) copies of the piano accompaniment with the solo part for judges. Photocopies are acceptable.
• Judges will hear the contestant’s selection in its entirety (no longer than 20 minutes). If your piece is longer than this, cuts to the solo part must be approved; cuts to accompaniment are encouraged, but do not need prior approval.

• Live auditions will be held September 18, 2021, beginning at 4:00pm.
• Junior Division selection must be no less than 5 minutes or longer than 15 minutes.
• Senior Division selection must be no less than 10 minutes and no longer than 20 minutes. Instrumentalists may add an additional movement, and vocalists may add an additional aria, if needed, to meet the time requirements.
• Memorization is encouraged, but is not required.
• Entrants must provide their own accompanist.

• At most, one winner will be chosen in each division; however, judges reserve the right not to choose a winner in either division.
• The winners in both divisions will be invited to perform with the ISCS on February 11, 2022.
• The winner in the Senior Division will receive a $1000 scholarship; the winner in the Junior Division will receive a $500 scholarship.

The application form and a non-refundable $50 entry fee must be submitted no later than September 1, 2021. This fee helps covers competition expenses. Please submit your application and pay your entry fee online by clicking the registration button below. You will receive a confirmation email of your payment.

For technical assistance email the Symphony office at Please include your name and phone number and we will call you at our earliest convenience.

Previous Young Artist Competition Winners

Brandon VanOrden, clarinet - 2018 Sr Division Winner

Brandon VanOrden, a Senior at Idaho State University, where he is a candidate for the Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance. An Idaho native, Brandon spent his early years in Boise, and then moved to Pocatello upon entering middle school, where he joined the band and started playing the clarinet on a whim. Brandon decided he enjoyed the clarinet enough to continue through the music program at Century High School. Ultimately, he decided to audition as a music major at ISU because he wanted to continue the personal improvement that he had started as a high school Junior in Marching Band.
Since starting college, Brandon has been completely consumed by his musical studies, and they now drive his everyday life; no day passes without serious practice, with his daily goal being to better himself as an overall musician. He has been regularly involved in nearly every instrumental ensemble offered at ISU, including the Idaho State-Civic Symphony, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, and other mixed woodwind chamber ensembles. Most recently, Brandon was featured as one of the ISU Symphonic Band Concerto Competition winners, and was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious summer clarinet-intensive program, Lift, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He looks forward to performing his Senior recital in December 2018; this will be his third solo recital at ISU.
After graduating from ISU in May 2019, Brandon plans on pursuing a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance, and aspires to be a professional musician. He enjoys reading, appreciating art, and playing video games made by smaller Indie developers that show excellence in art and sound design. Aside from orange and black, his favorite color is purple.
Brandon currently studies with Dr. Shandra Helman at Idaho State University. He has participated in additional master classes and lessons with Casey Emerson, Dr. Wesley Ferreira, Dr. Kim Cole-Luevano, and Dr. Jana Starling.

Reiko Tachibana, violin - 2018 Jr Division Winner

Reiko Tachibana, a sixteen year old junior, currently attends Timberline High School. Ever since she was eight years of age, she was passionate about music and participated in various musical activities. In freshman year, she lived in California and went to Orange County School of the Arts. She was also the assistant principal of second violin of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Last year, Reiko won Meridian Symphony Young Artists Competition, Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra concerto competition, and Idaho All State solo violin. As a first violinist in her string quartet last year, her quartet was first place in the Boise Chamber Music Young Artists String Quartet Competition and was second place in the Gresham Arts Festival and Idaho All State string quartet. Furthermore, she was assistant concertmaster of Idaho All State Orchestra. Starting from the season 2017-18 to present, Reiko is a concertmaster of Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.


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. 

© Idaho State Civic Symphony 2021