2022-2023 SEASON

The Columbia Orchestra will not hold a Young Artist Competition in 2023.

Sponsored in part by
Gailes' Violin Shop

Columbia Orchestra’s 2020 Young Artist Competition Results

Senior String Division

  • First Place — Miyabi Henriksen, Violin
  • Alternate — Jing Fan, Violin
  • Honorable Mention — Sean Kim, Cello
  • Honorable Mention — Noelle Naito, Violin
  • Honorable Mention — Anne-Marie Wnek, Violin

Senior Wind Division

  • First Place — Amy Hwang, Flute
  • Alternate — Asha Kline, Bassoon
  • Honorable Mention — Ania Grodsky, Flute
  • Honorable Mention — Jay Kline, Clarinet

Junior String Division

  • First Place — Ryan Li, Violin
  • Alternate — Dia Nawathe, Violin
  • Honorable Mention — Olivia Cai, Violin
  • Honorable Mention — Jacqi Fan, Violin
  • Honorable Mention — Elizabeth Wnek, Violin

Junior Wind Division

  • First Place — Gianna Baker, Flute
  • Alternate — Taylor Bowen-Longino, Horn

Congratulations to all!

Young Artist Competition

The Columbia Orchestra is pleased to announce its Young Artist Competition for 2019–2020. This event is open to all students of string, wind, and percussion instruments through 12th grade who currently reside, attend school, or receive music instruction in Howard County. Previous first place winners are not eligible to re-enter the same division. Please help us run the best possible event by reading and following all current policies.


The 2019–2020 Columbia Orchestra Young Artist Competition will have two divisions:

  • JUNIOR—through 8th grade
  • SENIOR—9th through 12th grade

Both divisions now have two separate categories: STRING (violin, viola, cello, and bass) and WINDS AND PERCUSSION (woodwind, brass, and percussion). There is no piano category in either division. Only one application per individual is permitted; multiple applications on different instruments will not be accepted.


Friday, November 22, 2019: Postmark deadline for entry forms
Thursday, December 26, 2019: Individual audition times will be posted on http://columbiaorchestra.org/young_artist_competition/
Saturday, January 4, 2020 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM: Senior Division Auditions (no exceptions)
Sunday, January 5, 2020 1:45 PM to 8:00 PM: Junior Division Auditions (no exceptions)
Saturday, January 11, 2020 9:00 PM to 6:00 PM: Senior Division Auditions Snow Date
Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:45 PM to 8:00 PM: Junior Division Auditions Snow Date
Wednesday, January 15, 2020: Winners will be posted online
Saturday, March 14, 2020 7:30 PM: Columbia Orchestra concert featuring winner(s)
Sunday, March 15, 2020 3:00 PM: Columbia Orchestra concert featuring winner(s)
Saturday, May 16, 2020 7:30 PM: Columbia Orchestra concert featuring winner(s)


All entrants will be scheduled to audition on Saturday, January 4, or Sunday, January 5, 2020, at Glenelg United Methodist Church, 13900 Burntwoods Rd, Glenelg, MD 21737. Snow dates are Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January 12, 2020.

A tuned grand piano will be provided for accompanists.

Three professional judges will select a Junior Division String winner, a Junior Division Wind/Percussion winner, a Senior Division String winner, and a Senior Division Wind/Percussion winner. Judges may elect not to choose a winner in any or all categories.

Audition judges will write critiques, name Winners and Alternates, and award Honorable Mentions. Winners of the competition will be selected on January 4 and 5, 2020, and will perform with the Columbia Orchestra on Saturday, March 14, 2020 OR Sunday, March 15, 2020 OR Saturday, May 16, 2020 at the discretion of the Music Director. Winners will be announced at the completion of auditions at the church and posted online by January 15, 2020; only winners will be notified by phone. The decision of the judges is final and not subject to protest. All participants will receive two complimentary tickets to a Columbia Orchestra concert featuring one or more of the winners. Participants are responsible for requesting tickets and are subject to seat availability. The winners will each receive a nominal cash prize from the Shirley Mullinix Scholarship Fund and a complimentary portrait package valued at $300 from James Ferry Photography to be used for concert publicity.


The teacher/parent assumes responsibility for communicating all information concerning the competition to his/her student/child, and will ensure that entry forms are accurately and completely filled out and mailed by the postmarked deadline. Entry forms must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 22, 2019. Late and/or incomplete entries will not be accepted. Please check the Orchestra’s website at http://columbiaorchestra.org/young_artist_competition/ after December 26, 2019, for individual audition times. Teachers/parents must supply copies of all information received to their students/children and accompanists. Audition times will not be changed after they are posted online.

It is your responsibility to request a time on the application to avoid conflicts with orchestra or band rehearsals. If you have a conflict, please note on your application the time you request and a reason for the conflict. Times requested must coincide with the set hours of the competition.


In the event of inclement weather, all participants will be notified via email as soon as a decision is made. The inclement weather dates for the competition are Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January 12, 2019.


Entrant’s total performance of no more than 15 minutes may include:

  • a) one movement of any standard concerto without any cuts
  • b) a single-movement work, or
  • c) one, two, or three movements from a suite, divertimento, or concertino (not a concerto)

Theme & Variations must be played in their entirety and will be ineligible if over the time limit. There is no required repertoire list; teachers should provide guidance in selecting level-appropriate literature for the student. Some non-standard pieces may not be appropriate for our concert repertoire. Any questions concerning repertoire should be directed to Annette Szawan, Chairperson, at youngartists@columbiaorchestra.org .

A teacher may enter a maximum of three students playing the same repertoire. No changes in repertoire will be allowed after the application is submitted. Entry forms cannot be resubmitted with replacement repertoire.

All repertoire is accepted subject to the availability of orchestra accompaniment parts. Teachers/parents must check the availability of orchestra parts for all repertoire and indicate this on the entry form. (This information is available through most music stores.) Some accompaniments are only available through foreign publishers or on rental, and may cost $500 or more. The Columbia Orchestra shall not incur any cost above $350 to acquire the orchestral accompaniment. Should the applicant choose to perform repertoire that exceeds this limit, he/she shall be responsible for any additional expenses incurred. Parents and teachers must acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of this policy on the registration form.

Published music must be presented to the judges at the competition. Memorization is optional. Photocopies of copyrighted music will not be accepted. The original, published music that students submit for the judges is in addition to the published music used by the student and/or accompanist.


Each contestant will be responsible for providing his/her own accompanist for the auditions. Teachers and parents may accompany their own child/student.

When possible, accompanists with more than one contestant will be scheduled as close as possible within the same division. If an accompanist’s name is not on the entry form, adjacent performances cannot be scheduled.

Teachers/parents are responsible for notifying accompanists of the audition schedule posted on the Columbia Orchestra website at http://columbiaorchestra.org/young_artist_competition/.


During the auditions, a parent/teacher may only videotape his/her child/student. Videotaping of other contestants is not permitted. Parents may videotape the Columbia Orchestra concert featuring the competition winners from a specified location in the performance venue. Anyone videotaping at the auditions or concert must abide by Columbia Orchestra policies and not interfere with the auditions or presentation of the concert. The concert will also be professionally recorded (audio only), with a compact disc copy provided to the winners.


An application Form in PDF format may be downloaded here.

A separate copy of the enclosed entry form must be completed for each applicant and must be signed by the student, parent/guardian, and teacher. Incomplete entry forms will not be accepted. Applications may not be submitted by fax or E-mail.

A nonrefundable entry fee of $45.00 must be included for each application. Checks or money orders must be made payable to The Columbia Orchestra, and may be submitted by either parents or teachers. (This fee does not include the services of an accompanist.)

The entry form and application fee must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 22, 2019. The Columbia Orchestra Young Artist Competition offers a unique opportunity for students. In order to produce this event, the cooperation and compliance with all stated policies is required by the students, parents, and teachers.


Please direct all inquiries and mail all entries to the following:

Columbia Orchestra Young Artist Competition
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043-3308

Phone: 410-465-8777, extension 3
E-mail: youngartists@columbiaorchestra.org


The following names are provided as a courtesy and do not represent a recommendation or endorsement by the Columbia Orchestra.

  • Deborah Allen (410) 381-0133
  • Dan Hoffner (410) 465-0104
  • David Holmes (410) 730-7083
  • Lois Hunter (410) 461-4094
  • Lum Fun Lee (410) 461-6207, (443) 420-1054 (work)
  • Sue Pumplin (410) 730-6306
  • Susan Ricker (410) 744-1184
  • Celeste Rusconi (410) 531-9445
  • Phyllis Stanley (410) 992-9373
  • Kathy Vadala (301) 422-0362

Read about last year's competition here.


Howard County Center for the Arts
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 410.465.8777
Email: info@columbiaorchestra.org

for members