20/21 Concerto Competition Application

***Notes from Mr. Koehler regarding the special COVID-related circumstances of the 20/21 competition***

Though this usually happens in November, we will move it to early-mid February (with a precise date and location as yet to be determined). And because of the limited number of people involved, this event can take place in person* regardless of whether or not the KJSO is able to be rehearsing in person at that time.

There is an important caveat to this year’s competition, however: though I am absolutely committed to offering an opportunity for the winner to perform with the KJSO at some point in the future, I cannot guarantee such an opportunity. This is because a) we already have a concerto competition winner from last year who needs to be scheduled, b) because the 2021 winner’s work might require an orchestral accompaniment that is too large to fit on a socially distanced stage this year, and/or c) because the 2021 winner might be a senior whose plans for next year might not allow them to return and perform. As I do not want to promise what I cannot be certain will take place, I repeat this year’s winner is not guaranteed a performance with the KJSO…but I will still make every effort to have it happen. And even if it does not, I hope the rewards of preparing and competing will be enough to make this a worthwhile endeavor for all who want to take part.

So to all those interested in competing, please keep practicing and keep in your sights a competition for early-mid February! We’ll send more details as soon as we have them. In the interim, happy holidays to you all, and I look forward to our continued work next year, whatever form that takes.



*Wind and brass players taking part in the competition would be asked to wear a bell cover/bag and mask while playing. This instrument PPE has been ordered by the KJSO and should be arriving soon.


Feb 18, 6-9pm
First Baptist Church, Kzoo
Application Deadline
January 17th, 2021


Concerto Competition Rules (Please read carefully!)

1. Participant must be a member in good standing with the KJSO.
2. If your piece has multi-movements, only one movement may be performed.
3. Participants must bring three copies of the solo part of their audition piece to the competition for use by judges. These will not be returned.
4. Please plan to arrive at the auditions at least 15 minutes early in order to warm up.
5. Participants will need to provide their own accompanist. If the circumstances of the pandemic make it difficult for you to secure accompaniment, please contact dcrider@kjso.org to discuss options.
6. The Concerto Competition is a closed audition; only judges and accompanists may be present.
7. The winner will be announced at the first rehearsal after the competition. Participants will have previously received an email announcing the winner, but we ask that they keep it confidential until we have a chance to announce it to the whole orchestra.
8. A past winner of the KJSO Concerto Competition may not re-apply for two years following their win.
9. Auditions are generally 15 minutes long. If your movement is longer than this, please let us know.
10. Each student will be assigned an audition time. Please make sure you inquire about your accompanist’s availability before making your audition appointment.