Announcing the Kamuela Philharmonic’s 9th Annual Youth Concerto Competition


The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra will conduct its ninth annual “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition” on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Young string players from around the state of Hawai‘i are eligible to enter the competition this year. The venue for this year’s concerto competition will be at a private residence in Kailua-Kona.

During the competition, contestants will perform—by memory—one movement of a piece chosen from standard orchestral repertoire with piano accompaniment. A panel of judges will select one winner from each age category: 12 years and under, 13-15 years, and 16-18 years. The competition winners will perform their solos with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra during its winter concert “Innocent Beginnings” on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 2 pm at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea (Kamuela). In addition to performing in concert with the Orchestra, the winners of the competition will also receive cash rewards.

Allyson Kwong (courtesy photo)

Founding Artistic Director, Dr. Madeline Schatz-Harris recognized and admired the talent exhibited by many young music students in Hawai‘i and came up with the idea of holding the yearly concerto competition as a showcase for that talent. Like his predecessor, KPO’s current artistic director and conductor, Brian Dollinger, has a passion for teaching, conducting, and mentoring young students, and has embraced the competition as an opportunity to continue this legacy.

“I have always believed that having a concerto competition for our young musicians is a critical aspect of an education program for a symphony orchestra,” said Dollinger. “Many talented young students dream of performing with a symphony orchestra, and this opportunity could be life-changing for them.”

“This competition gives the student an objective to work and practice towards, as well as various stages of personal exposure, that most children do not get – i.e., the audition process, and ultimately the concert performance,” he added. “The emotional growth these students experience going through the process, whether they win the competition or not, has exponential positive influences on their day-to-day confidence and problem-solving skills.”

Instrumentalists interested in learning more about the competition should visit the Concerto Competition page on the Orchestra’s website:

Applications to enter the competition must be received no later than August 28, 2019.

About the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra

The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra (KPO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing live, high-quality orchestral music to audiences on Hawai‘i Island. KPO celebrates and promotes the timeless beauty of classical music, as well as the rich cultural and musical traditions of the Hawaiian people. The Orchestra is a charitable organization as described in Section 501(c)(3), and part of its mission statement is furthering the musical knowledge of local young people. Sponsoring this competition is one way of working to accomplish that goal. Those who wish to contribute to this endeavor, either financially or in other ways, are encouraged to contact the KPO either through its website or at P.O. Box 2597, Kamuela, HI 96743.

Featured image: Sevastian Swan. Provided by KPO.


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