USC mUSiC Concerto Competition

USC mUSiC Concerto Competition Rules & Guidelines 2021

What is a Concerto?

A concerto is a musical work (usually instrumental) composed for one or more soloists accompanied by an orchestra or other ensemble. The USC mUSiC Concerto Competition is an annual event designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore and perform substantial musical works for their chosen instrument. This will give them the opportunity to develop their musical skills at a high level and expose them to a variety of repertoire for their instrument. Where possible, the winner of this competition may also have the opportunity to perform as a soloist with one of the University’s large instrumental ensembles (or other available ensembles).


When is it?

This competition is held annually at the end of the second semester (April). Specific dates will be announced at the beginning of the school year.




  • Students must be currently enrolled Music Majors or Minors of the Department of Music and Fine Arts.
  • Student must be in good academic standing (Cumulative GPA 2.0 or above)
  • Permission to compete and repertoire approval must be granted by the student’s Performance Studies instructor. The instructor will only approve students demonstrating the highest level of musicianship and technical ability.
  • A contestant can compete as an individual soloist, or as a member of a duo, trio, or quartet of soloists. A student may not apply twice in one year nor compete in more than one area competition. For example, Bach oboe/violin Double Concerto can only be entered in the woodwind area or string area, but not both.
  • Previous winners are not eligible for entry as the principal soloist.
  • If the piece is able to be performed with a large ensemble, the winning performer must be available for the concert performance in which the student(s) is/are featured as soloist(s) as well as all rehearsals in preparation for the said concert. The student(s) will also be responsible for all necessary travel expenses.
  • Winners of the competition agree to have their name and image used for any promotional activities associated with the competition.


  • Instrumental (Piano, Steelpan, Guitar, Woodwinds, Percussion, Brass, Strings)
  • Voice



Preliminary Round

Each contestant’s application must include:
  • A non-refundable $100.00 entry fee (waived for the 2020-2021 edition).​​
  • Completed Application Form with the endorsement of the student’s Performance Studies teacher who is familiar with the applicant’s performance ability.
  • An audition recording of the piece to be performed.
    • Students are to submit a link to an UNEDITED video recording of their audition performance with the application form. A copy of the score (including piano accompaniment) must also be submitted along with the video.
    • The video must be no longer than 15 minutes in duration and must be submitted by uploading to YouTube and including the link in the online application form. The video should begin with the contestant introducing him/herself and giving the name of the piece(s) to be performed.
  • Online Application Form:
  • Audition/Application Deadline: April 2nd, 2022


Final Round

  • Finalists will be chosen from these preliminary auditions by the members of the concerto competition committee.
  • Successful Finalists will be notified within 48 hours of the application deadline.
  • Finalists will have an opportunity to submit a new video recording of their piece as their submission for the Finals.
  • Final performances should be submitted by midnight on Thursday April 15th


General Rules

  • The candidate should perform the entire selection with (piano) accompaniment at a Student Recital shortly before the Concerto Competition.
  • Contestants must provide their own accompanist (piano) for the competition. In extreme circumstances where a live accompanist may not be available, exceptions can be considered, however this approval must be requested from and granted by the concerto committee at the time of the original application.
  • If multiple contestants are chosen as winners, none of the performers are eligible to compete in the following year’s competition.
  • If a multi-soloist performance is selected as the winner of the competition, performers may enter the following year as individual soloists.


  • The Concerto Competition Committee the Concerto Competition Committee will be comprised of the following:
    1. A chairperson (mUSiC Program Coordinator or designee)
    2. Directors of the University Orchestra and Concert Band/Wind Ensemble, or their designees
    3. One faculty representative from each applied area (woodwind, brass, percussion/guitar, strings, keyboard, and voice). If no member of an applied area is available to serve on the Competition Committee, non-applied faculty may serve as substitutes.
    4. Guest adjudicators may also be invited to sit on the panel as deemed appropriate by the committee chair.
  • The members of the panel will be made public before the close of the application period.
  • The adjudicators will be instructed to choose the best student performer(s), regardless of division or repertoire.
  • Judges will not give a score for his/her own student.
  • The scores for each competitor will be added up and divided by the number of judges that cast a vote.
  • The number of winners will be determined by the judging panel. The judges reserve the right to declare no winners if, in their judgment, a sufficient minimum standard is not met.
  • If there are several worthy contestants of equal merit, preference will be given to upper-class students.
  • All decisions made by the judges are final.


  • First Prize - $3,000 TT
  • Second Prize - $2,000 TT
  • Third Prize - $1,000 TT
  • Additional Consolation Prizes to be won.



  • All travel and related expenses, as well as accompanist’s fees are the competitor’s responsibility.


  • Should it become necessary for a competitor to cancel, the competitor must notify Concerto Committee in writing at least two weeks prior to the date of the competition to facilitate the re-organization of the schedule and other inconveniences.


  • Applicants not complying with these rules will be disqualified. Providing false information in the application will result in the disqualification of the competitor

All informatinon can be found via the following pdf file:

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