Youth Concerto Competition

An invitation to Arizona’s finest young musicians

The Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition invites talented young music students to prepare and perform one movement of a concerto. The competition is designed to recognize and support the outstanding young musicians in our community, polish performance skills and build real-life experience.

Competitors will vie for awards of up to $1,000, SASO season tickets and the possibility of performing as a soloist with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.

This year’s competition features two divisions: a regular division for students ages 15 to 18, and a junior division for students age 14 and under.

If you are or know of a music student who might be interested, take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Apply by December 27, 2023. The competition will be held on January 6 & 7, 2024 on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.

Eligible Instruments

All orchestral instruments, including piano, harp, and saxophone.

Student Eligibility

Regular division: any public, private or home school student from age 15 to 18 (as of January 1, 2024) who has not yet graduated from high school is eligible to compete.

Junior division: students age 14 and under who are at advanced enough musical level to perform a concerto movement.

Entry Procedure

Please fill in and submit our online application before the deadline of December 27, 2023.

2024 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition Application

Must be submitted by December 27, 2023

"*" indicates required fields

Applicant Information

Student Name*
Please enter a number from 5 to 18.
Please enter a number from 0 to 12.
School grade. (If Kindergarten or below, enter “0”)

Instrumental Teacher's Information

Full Name


Accompanist Name

Other Information

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Repertoire Requirements

  • Student should prepare one movement from standard concerto repertoire. All works should be for solo instrument and orchestra.
  • Please limit audition length to 10 minutes.
  • Music performed should be memorized.
  • Three copies of the music are to be provided to the judges.
  • Student must provide their own accompanist.


Regular Division:

GOLD: $1,000 & two SASO season tickets

SILVER: $500 & two SASO season tickets

BRONZE: $250 & two SASO season tickets

Junior Division:

GOLD: $350 & two SASO season tickets

SILVER: $250 & two SASO season tickets

BRONZE: $150 & two SASO season tickets

Performance Award

At the judges’ discretion, one or more of the winners may be invited to perform as a soloist with SASO during the 2022-23 season.

Congratulations to the previous winners of the Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition!


Senior Division
  • First Prize: Jonathan Okseniuk, violin
  • Second prize: Rachel Gardner, violin
  • Second Prize (equal): Campbell Stewart, marimba
Junior Division
  • First Prize: Not awarded
  • Second Prize: Ayla Moreno, violin
  • Third Prize: Samantha Orrell, piano


Senior Division
  • First Prize: Nina Yu, piano (performed Gershwin’s Concerto in F, Mvt. 3 with SASO, March 12 and 13, 2022)
  • Second prize: Jisue Choi, piano
  • Third Prize: Laura Roland, cello
Junior Division
  • First Prize: Rachel Gardner, violin
  • Second Prize: Sophie Kim, cello
  • Third Prize: Sarah Roland, cello


Senior Division
  • First Prize: Graham Fawson, piano (performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Mvt. 1 with SASO, February 15 & 16)
  • Second Prize: Bethany Radtke, cello
  • Third Prize: Andrew Nix, violin
Junior Division
  • First Prize: Joshua Thai, violin (performed Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Mvt. 3 with SASO, February 5 and 6, 2022)
  • Second Prize: Jacqueline Rodenbeck, violin
  • Third Prize: Campbell Stewart, xylophone


Senior Division (ages 15 to 18)
  • 1st Prize: Kai Skaggs, violin (invited to perform with SASO in March 2019)
  • 2nd Prize: Minu Kim, piano
  • 3rd Prize: Andrew Nix, violin
Junior Division (ages 14 and under)
  • 1st Prize: Ayla Moreno, piano
  • 2nd Prize: Jacqueline Rodenbeck, violin
  • 3rd Prize: Naomi Turner, cello

This year’s applicant pool was exceptionally strong, and the judges were impressed with the overall level of virtuosity displayed. Kudos to all of this year’s applicants for their hard work and remarkable talent!


  • First Prize: Claire Thai, harp
  • Second Prize: Jacqueline Rodenbeck, violin
  • Third Prize: Jessica Zhang, piano

Many thanks to all the participants for their hard work and outstanding performances in the competition.

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