Kamuela Philharmonic’s Youth Concerto Competition Goes Virtual

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For the first time, the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra will conduct its annual “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition” online. In a typical season, unaffected by a global pandemic such as COVID-19, contest participants would compete at a venue on Hawai‘i Island with around 50 people in attendance, and a panel of judges would select a winner from each age bracket: 12 years and under, 13–15 years, and 16–18 years.

While a panel of judges will still choose the winning performances, to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the competition, how the young musicians compete will be significantly different this season.

Participants will submit a high-quality video recording of themselves performing (by memory) one movement of a selected piece from standard orchestral repertoire (with piano accompaniment) to the Kamuela Philharmonic as their entry. The judges will then choose the winners of each age bracket from the pool of submitted video recordings. The Kamuela Philharmonic will announce the winners on January 8, 2021.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many events around the world, we believe it is paramount for our young Hawai‘i music students that we carry on with this season’s competition,” said Brian Dollinger, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kamuela Philharmonic. “We believe that with the use of available technologies, we can move forward with the competition auditions in a safe manner for the students, their accompanists, the judges, and the public as a whole. These young performers work extremely hard on their craft, and we want there to be as many opportunities for them as possible.

I am eager to see the talent that this year’s auditions will bring to the Philharmonic. I have seen amazing levels of musical talent and maturity each and every year of this competition. My hopes are that these talents help to showcase the amazing potential of our Hawai‘i youth, and more focus and support can be found for the performing arts and its instruction. – Brian Dollinger

This season’s competition features young woodwind, brass, percussion, and piano players from around the state of Hawai‘i. Winners of the competition will receive scholarship awards, as well as the opportunity to perform their solos with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra during one of its upcoming concerts at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea (Kamuela). 

To enter the 2020-2021 “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition,” all audition application materials must be received by the Orchestra no later than December 19, 2020.

For more information about the “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition” and how to enter the competition, visit the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra website at kamuelaphil.org

About the “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition”
The Orchestra’s 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 an annual concerto competition as a showcase for that talent. It was the first youth concerto competition in the state of Hawai‘i. Later, to honor the founder and Conductor Emeritus, the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra named its annual concerto competition the “Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition.” The competition has become a beloved part of the performing arts community in Hawai‘i. Taking place on Hawai‘i Island, but often attracting students from the neighboring islands, the competition is an essential part of the Kamuela Philharmonic’s mission and the focal point for one of its season concerts.


About the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society
The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society (KPOS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing live, high-quality orchestral music to audiences on Hawai‘i Island. KPOS 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 KPOS either through its website or at P.O. Box 2597, Kamuela, HI 96743

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