Concerto Competition

Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Rock Valley College collaborate to present this annual concerto competition targeting young musicians up to 21 years of age from a 50 mile radius of Rockford.

Cash prizes are awarded for the top three competitors and the first prize winner is offered an opportunity to perform with the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra at its spring performance.

Competition Guidelines:

  • Entries will be accepted in: Piano, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion.
  • The competition piece, for the purpose of the the audition, should not exceed 10 minutes (excerpts acceptable) and must be appropriate to perform with a youth orchestra, such as a movement from a concerto, or an aria for voice. The RSYO reserves the right to determine suitability and may contact the applicant if their piece is deemed unsuitable for any reason.The final performance piece may be up to 15 minutes.
  • The competition piece need not be memorized.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining their own accompanist.
  • The applicant must bring three copies of their music for the judges.
  • An entry fee of $35 must accompany the application.

1st Prize
$350 and appearance as soloist with the RSYO at the 2019 Spring Concert

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

Recent first prize winners include:


2020 Elena Stavropoulos, piano
Edvard Grieg, Piano Concerto in a minor Op. 16
2019 Claire Arias-Kim, violin
Antonin Dvořák, Concerto in A minor
2018 Kodai Speich, piano
Robert Schumann, Piano Concerto
2017 Annaliesa Caswell, violin
Edward Lalo - Symphonie Espagnol, Op. 64
2016 Anna Stenzel, violin
Camille Saint-Saens - Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
2015 Margaret O'Malley, violin
Max Bruch - Concerto No. 1 in G Minor for Violin and Orchestra
2014 Sofiya Kyrylyuk, violin
Camille Saint-Saëns - Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
2013 Kristiana McCombs, cello
Dmitri Kabalevsky - Cello Concerto No. 1
2012 Joanna Nerius, violin
Felix Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor
2010/11 Hannah Bingham, violin
Felix Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto, Op. 64
2009 Genevieve Smelser, violin
Edward Lalo - Symphonie Espagnol, Op. 64
2008 Colette Metras, French horn
Camille Saint-Saëns - Morceau de Concert
2007 Sam Battista, violin
Samuel Barber - Concerto for Violin, Op. 14; Allegro molto, moderato
2006 Kyle Krause, piano
Felix Mendelssohn - Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor
2005 Hellen Weberpal, cello
Edward Elgar - Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85