Each year the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra hosts the Skip Gates Concerto Competition for its members only. Winners are selected for both the Youth Symphony and the Classical Orchestra, and the first-place winner from each group performs with their ensemble at the spring concert.

Eligibility

  • Contestants must be current members of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony or the Classical Orchestra.
  • All members are encouraged to audition.

Repertoire

  • The audition piece will be the concerto performed if the contestant wins.
  • The concerto must be performed on the student’s orchestral instrument, and it must have an orchestral accompaniment.
  • Total playing time for the full piece is limited to 9 minutes. Contestants may choose the movement or portion of the concerto that best highlights their strengths.

Youth Symphony members: Select one movement of a concerto of your choice.

Classical Orchestra members: Your concerto must be a baroque or classical piece (a movement from a concerto or a standalone piece) with a total playing time of no more than 9 minutes.

Below are some pieces for which we know we have accompaniment. If you want to perform something other than the below concertos, please check with Mr. Varineau first.

Violin

  • Vivaldi: Concerto in A Minor, movement 1, 2, or 3
  • Vivaldi: Concerto in G Minor, movement 1,2, or 3
  • Bach: Double Concerto in B Minor, movement 1 (this requires two soloists)

Viola

  • Vivaldi: Concerto in D Minor, movement 1 or 3
  • Telemann: Concerto in G Major, any movement
  • Telemann: Double Concerto in G (this requires two soloists)

Cello

  • Vivaldi: Double Concerto in G Minor, any movement (this requires two soloists)
  • Vivaldi: Sonata No. 5, any movement (Mr. Varineau will provide string orchestra accompaniment)

Bass: Check with Mr. Varineau

Accompaniment

  • Contestants must be accompanied at the audition.
  • Contestants must provide their own accompanist.

Audition Process

  • Apply online at the members-only site (must log in with a student account)
  • Application deadline: Monday, February 8, 2021 (no late applications accepted)
  • NO Application fee this year
  • Virtual Audition date submission deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021
  • Contestants are not required to play from memory.
  • No copies are needed for the judges.
  • Written critiques will not be provided.

Awards

  1. First Place:
    • Youth Symphony members: $1,000 plus the opportunity to perform as the soloist with the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony (typically at the DeVos Performance Hall) at the spring concert. (if compatible with CVC guidelines)
    • Classical Orchestra members: $500 plus the opportunity to perform as the soloist with the Classical Orchestra (typically at the DeVos Performance Hall) at the spring concert. (if compatible with CVC guidelines)
  2. Second Place: a monetary prize plus the opportunity to perform if the winner is unavailable.

More Information

Call the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony office at 616-842-6566 or email the competition coordinator at competitions@grys.org.