Young Performers Competition

Competition Date:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Official Rules and Regulations – Revised for 2021

The goal of the St. Cloud Symphony’s Young Performers Competition is to provide talented young musicians in central Minnesota with an opportunity to compete for scholarships and receive written feedback from a panel of distinguished judges. Unfortunately, we have had to omit the usual Honors Recital for winners and the Grand Prize performance with the SCSO from the 2021 competition due to the COVID pandemic. We hope that it will be safe to gather for live performances in 2022, and we can restore these awards for the 2022 Young Performers Competition.


Each winner will receive a $400 scholarship to be applied to tuition or the further study of music.


1. The competition is open to student musicians who are enrolled in an educational institution or studying music with a professional teacher, and who have not previously performed as soloist with the SCSO).

2. Contestants will compete in one of two divisions:

School Age Division – Grades 7-12

College Age Division – Undergraduate

3. School Age Division students must reside in one of the following counties: Benton, Sherburne, Wright, Meeker, Kandiyohi, Pope, Stevens, Douglas, Todd, Morrison, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Isanti, or Stearns. College Age Division contestants must be enrolled in an institution located within those counties, or have a permanent address therein.

4. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

                  School Age Division: Piano

                  School Age Division: Brass, Woodwind, String, Percussion & Vocal

                  College Age Division: Piano

                  College Age Division: Brass, Woodwind, String, Percussion & Vocal

5. Eligible repertoire includes concerto movements that do not exceed 15 minutes in length


1. All applications and fees must be received by April 14, 2021. Applications must include a $25 application fee, which is non-refundable. The competition will be held in the Ruth Gant Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University and will be open to the public. Winner(s) will be announced the day after the competition.

2. Each contestant will present a concerto movement. All movements submitted as an entry (including cadenzas) must be prepared in their entirety, although the actual competition auditions will be limited to 8 minutes. Necessary cuts should be made carefully so that the judges have the opportunity to evaluate the most important segments. If the entry represents two movements, both movements must be represented in the audition.

3. All contestants (including pianists) must perform the audition with an accompanist, at their own expense. Two pianos will be provided at the audition site.

4. Contestants must provide the panel of judges with 3 copies of the music score of the prepared concerto movement. Memorization is strongly recommended but not required.


A panel of professional musicians will evaluate competition performances, provide written comments, and select scholarship winners in each category.

If you have questions, need more information, or if financial concerns make the application fee a problem, please contact Lucia Magney at 320-252-7276 or

To apply, you may fill out this online form, or download the 2021 young performers competition application and a copy of the 2021 competition rules.

Previous Winners: 

2020 SCSO Young Performers Competition
(Sponsored by Beste & Associates)

Anthony Berndt was our 2020 Grand Prize Winner! The April 25, 2020 SCSO concert was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic and Anthony was unable to appear with the orchestra.

Anthony Berndt is a Junior at Sartell High School. He has played the piano since the age of four, and he has had two inspirational teachers to guide him in his studies. He studied with Joyce Wood for seven years and has been studying with Jeanine Barrett for the past five years. He enjoys cross-country running, Nordic skiing, and track. Anthony also enjoys backpacking and being outdoors. He hopes to continue piano lessons throughout high school and college.

The following students were also awarded scholarships as part of the St. Cloud Symphony Young Performers Competition, 2020!

Headshot: George Doyle, Finalist.

George Doyle is currently a senior political science and theology student at Saint John’s University, studying trumpet under Dr. Justin Zanchuk. He is a member of the CSB/SJU Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir, and one of the jazz combos, while also being an active church musician. Following graduation this spring, he plans to attend Notre Dame’s Echo Graduate Service Program in pursuit of a Master of Arts in Theology.

Kate Landsteiner, Piano

Kate Landsteiner is 16 years old and a sophomore at Paynesville Area High School. Her parents are Lee and Denise Landsteiner. Kate started taking piano lessons at age seven and has been studying under Jeanine Barrett for the past six years. She has participated in the Junior Young Artist and MMTA piano contest. She performs with the Paynesville Symphonic Band as well as the High School Jazz Band.

Jack Meyer

Jacob Meyer is a senior at Willmar Senior High. Since the age of six, he has played the piano under the direction of Ron Hagemeyer, Gayle Marcus, and currently, Georgia Hanson of Montevideo. In the upcoming months, he will be featured with the Willmar Symphonic Orchestra and Southwest Minnesota Orchestra. This summer Jacob will conduct and play in the pit orchestra for the Barn Theatre’s production of Shrek The Musical. His future plans involve attending Concordia College Moorhead to study biology and music.

2019 Winners:

Anthony Berndt, Piano
​Kate Landsteiner, piano
Yash Hindka, piano
​Grand Prize – Elaine Lo, piano

The goal of the St. Cloud Symphony’s Young Performers Competition is to provide talented young musicians in central Minnesota with an opportunity to compete for scholarship awards, receive written feedback from a panel of distinguished judges, and perform for family and friends on the Honors Concert. The Grand Prize winner will perform as soloist with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.