2024 Concerto Competition Information

Entry fee is $25. Requests for waiver due to financial hardship may be made to SCOPublicity@gmail.com.

Your music does not need to be in the public domain. SCO will cover the cost of the winners’ orchestral music accompaniment purchase/rental and copyright fees. We want to encourage players of all different orchestral instruments as well as voice to participate, and we hope this opens the door to more opportunity for all.

Winners will perform their piece with Scruffy City Orchestra on Friday Oct. 4, 2024 during the 2024 fall Cathedral Concert Series performance at The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville, TN and will also receive a framed certificate. Winners must be available for the concert and a certain number of rehearsals (see Winner Information and Requirements below).

The deadline for submission of all materials is midnight on Monday, April 8, 2024. Your entry will be evaluated for completeness and you will receive a response within the week. Judges will review all completed entries by April 13, 2024. Results will be e-mailed to all entrants within a week of completed judging. Only one entry is accepted per person.


Who can compete?

Solo vocalists and ALL orchestral instrumentalists (except piano) may participate. Musicians should apply in one of two age-related categories:

  • Youth: High School students grades 9-12
  • Young Adult: Post-high school adults ages 18- 25

Residence requirements: Because this is a video audition, applicants do not need to be residents of the East Tennessee area; however, winners must be available in person in Knoxville, TN to participate in the Friday evening fall concert as well as two Thursday evening rehearsals and the Thursday dress rehearsal the evening before before the concert. This concert date is on Friday Oct. 4, 2024.

If you are a previous winner, you must skip at least one year before entering in the same category as your win.

Music requirements

  • 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.
  • We do NOT require that you memorize your music.
  • Contestant must be accompanied by piano during the recording. Acquiring piano accompaniment is the sole responsibility of the applicant.
  • Accompanying orchestral parts for the winning entrant must be readily available to Scruffy City Orchestra to obtain.
    • We do not require that your music be in the public domain. SCO will cover the cost of the winners’ orchestral music purchase or rental and any copyright fees.

Winner information and requirements

  • Scruffy City Orchestra reserves the right to decide if there is no winner or multiple winners in any given category.
  • Winner(s) will receive a certificate and the opportunity to solo with Scruffy City Orchestra during their fall concert to be held on Friday Oct. 4, 2024.
  • Location of rehearsals and concert: The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 711 Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN (aka “Sacred Heart Cathedral”)
  • Winner(s) must be available to play with Scruffy City Orchestra during the 2024 fall concert on Friday Oct. 4, 2024 or they will be disqualified.
  • As is possible, winner(s) will arrange with conductor Ace Edewards to be available for two rehearsals plus the dress rehearsal with orchestra at 7 p.m. on the three Thursday evenings before the fall concert at the Cathedral. Some flexibility may be possible with rehearsals.

Audition video guidelines

We do NOT expect this to be a professional studio recording! A good recording from an iPhone or similar equipment will be fine.

Please have piano accompaniment during your audition recording (we do not need to see the piano – just hear it). We do not require that you memorize your music, but please do not let your stand block you on the video if you read the music. If already recorded, your audition video must be no more than 6 months old and must meet the music requirement guidelines.

No video or audio editing or enhancement is allowed on your audition recording.

Video Set-Up:

  • We recommend using a tripod.
  • Make sure we can see and hear you and your instrument properly.
    • We do not need to see your accompaniment (just hear it).
  • Horizontal/landscape orientation is preferred from no more than 10 feet away.
  • Record yourself “straight on”, not from a high or low angle.
  • Do not allow your music stand to block you if you use your music. The judges need to see you and your instrument.
  • Use an uncluttered environment.
  • Avoid light behind you.
  • Make sure microphones are clear of obstruction and are close enough (about 3-6 ft. away) to pick your sound up properly.
  • Use the highest fidelity for your audio recording.
  • Review what you’ve done on a computer to make sure your recording plays without any problems, is clear, and has the audio and visual in sync.
  • You may record your audition as many times as you want and upload your favorite version – but what you finally use must be done in one “take”.

Video Submission:

  • Submit your audition video as a YouTube link.
    • Upload your videos to YouTube as a public or unlisted video (do not list the video as private)
    • Enter the link on the Application Form.

“About Me” video guidelines

Please spend about a minute or less informally talking about yourself so we can get to know you. This can be a short separate video from your audition that you can record at any time, but it must be submitted with your other materials.

  • Submit your About Me video as a YouTube link.
    • Upload your videos to YouTube as a public or unlisted video (do not list the video as private)
    • Enter a link to your video on the Application Form.

Below are some ideas for introducing yourself to the judges in your About Me video, but please include anything you feel is important about YOU, musical or not.

  • Introduce yourself with your name and competition category (Youth or Young Adult).
  • How long have you been playing?
  • Why did you pick this instrument?
  • Do you play any other instruments?
  • What are your favorite kinds of pieces to play?
  • What other things do you like to do or are involved in?
  • Do you have any special or favorite information you’d like to share?

Apply, pay, and submit your videos

  • Remember, the deadline is midnight on Monday, April 8, 2024.
  • Fill out the 2024 Concerto Competition Application Form and pay your application fee by choosing the “Apply Here” button at the top of this page.
  • Include your audition and About Me video YouTube links on your Application Form.
    • Upload your videos to YouTube as public or unlisted videos (do not list the videos as private)
    • Enter the links in the appropriate place on the Application Form.


For questions about suitability of repertoire and rehearsal dates:
Contact SCO conductor Ace Edewards at AceEdewards@gmail.com in advance of your registration submission.

For questions about the competition or video details:
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/.