Concerto/Aria/Composition Competition

Western Illinois University
Symphony Orchestra
2021-2022 Concerto/Aria/Composition Competition
Preliminary Round Due Date - October 22, 2021
Live Final Round - November 19, 2021


  1. Competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
  2. Instrumentalists and vocalists who wish to participate in the concerto/aria competition must be enrolled in private lessons AND ensemble(s) (with the exception of pianists).
  3. Instrumentalists and vocalists must be in good standing with their participation in ensembles.
  4. Competition winners from the previous year (2020-2021) are ineligible for a period of one year.
  5. All competition repertoire must be approved by the Director of Orchestral Activities prior to entry.
  6. Winners must be available to perform in the Concerto/Aria concert on March 3, 2022.


  • For the final round of the concerto/aria competition, there will be three judges from outside of the Western Illinois University community. No faculty at WIU will be involved with the judging of the final round.
  • The composition competition will be judged by the WIU composition faculty and the Orchestra Director.


  • All concerto/aria competition repertoire must be approved by the Director of Orchestral Activities prior to entry.
  • Composition scores must be submitted as a PDF and must be notated clearly using software (Sibelius, Finale, LilyPond, etc.)
  • The maximum time limit for any piece is 20 minutes.


  1. Instrumentalists and vocalists must submit a preliminary video recording through the Preliminary Round Form by 11:59PM on October 22.
  2. There is no preliminary round for composers. Composition entries are due by 11:59 PM on November 19 and they can be submitted here.
  3. Preliminary round results will be announced on October 25.
  4. Finalists must submit a Finalist Form by 11:59PM on November 12 and will need to upload their scores for the judges. Piano reductions are acceptable.
  5. Finalists will perform their repertoire on November 19 in COFAC Recital Hall. Specific times for the competition will be announced later.
  6. Instrumentalists and vocalists are required to perform all rounds with a collaborative pianist.
  7. Memorization is highly encouraged.

COVID-19 Situation

Normally, winners of the competition have their pieces performed in the spring semester. However, if large ensemble participation isn’t permissible due to CDC and University guidelines, the concerto/aria/composition competition concert may be held in alternative formats or cancelled/rescheduled for Fall 2021. Specific ensemble regulations for the spring semester will be announced in January 2021.

To download 2021-2022 Concerto/Aria/Composition Competition Guidelines in the PDF.