2023 Concerto Competition Information

Welcome to the 2023 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition!

  • Competition for East Tennessee musicians including:
    • Orchestral Instrumentalists (except piano)
    • Solo voice
  • Categories:
    • Youth: Grades 9-12
    • Adult: Post-High School to age 25

Any High School musician in grades 9-12 or adult post-high school to age 25 from East Tennessee may enter this juried competition. Both solo vocalists and instrumentalists (except piano) are encouraged to participate for a chance to perform their piece with the Scruffy City Orchestra in concert during their Cathedral Concert Series performance at The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in November, 2023 (final Friday date TBD; either Nov. 3 or 17).


  • Deadline: Midnight on Thursday, May 11, 2023.
  • Only completed online applications will be accepted. 
  • One entry per person.
  • Entry Fee: $50.  Payment must be made through PayPal to Scruffy City Orchestra.  Click here for payment.
  • Your application will be finalized when your payment is received through PayPal and your entry has been accepted.


  • Competition will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Beaver Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 7225 Old Clinton Pike, Knoxville, TN 37921.
  • Individual time slots will be e-mailed to each participant after the registration deadline once registration and payment are both received.
  • Participants must bring three copies of music to their performance with measure numbers marked every 10 measures for the judges.
  • Results will be e-mailed to all entrants within a week of the competition.


  • Repertoire performed must be from a standard concerto.
  • Music may be a single movement from a concerto or multiple movements or sections for an instrumental or vocal soloist totaling no more than 12 minutes.
  • Contestant must be accompanied by piano during competition.*
  • IMPORTANT: Orchestral parts for the winning entrant must be COPYRIGHT-FREE and readily available to Scruffy City Orchestra for purchase, rental or (preferably) through free download (e.g., IMSLP). NOTE: Cost limit on purchase or rental by Scruffy City Orchestra is $100.


  • Winners will receive a certificate and the opportunity to solo with Scruffy City Orchestra in their upcoming fall concert at The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 711 Northshore Drive, Knoxville as part of the Cathedral Concert Series.
  • Requirements:
    • As is possible, winner(s) should be available for rehearsal with the orchestra on the three Thursdays at 7 p.m. before the fall concert (this includes two rehearsals plus the dress rehearsal ).
    • Winner(s) must be available to play with Scruffy City Orchestra in the November, 2023 fall concert (either Nov. 3 or 17 TBD)
    • Scruffy City Orchestra reserves the right to decide there will be no winner in any given category.


Equipment: There will be a room with an electric piano available for warm-ups. (A regular piano will be available for the audition.) Please make sure to bring a music stand and any other equipment or lighting you will normally need.


For questions about suitability of repertoire, please contact SCO conductor Ace Edewards at AceEdewards@gmail.com in advance of your registration.

For questions about the competition, please contact Melissa McCoy, SCO Concerto Competition Chairperson, at SCOPublicity@gmail.com.

For more information about the Cathedral Concert Series or to view past performances, visit https://www.shcathedral.org/cathedral-concert-series/.

*Acquiring piano accompaniment is the sole responsibility of the applicant. If you do not have an accompanist or your accompanist cannot attend during your audition, please contact competition chairperson Melissa McCoy at SCOPublicity@gmail.com for a list of potential accompanists. It is each applicant’s responsibility to arrange for accompaniment from this point.