Young Artists Competition

General Information

NOTE: The submission deadline has been extended to DECEMBER 18, 2023

Applicants will audition for a solo performance opportunity with Central Iowa Symphony (CIS). Selected performers will be featured on the 2024 CIS Young Artists Concert, to be held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at Ames City Auditorium.

Central Iowa Symphony (CIS) is using a new format for the 2024 Young Artist Competition. It will be a two-round competition with the first round a video recording which will be uploaded to YouTube. (See application for instructions on uploading your video). The deadline for video upload is November 25, 2023 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 18, 2023. A maximum of eight performers will be chosen from the videos for a live audition on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at the Simon Estes Music Building on the Iowa State University campus. A panel of adjudicators, including the CIS Music Director, will select performers who will contribute to an exceptional concert program featuring a balance of instruments, ages, historical periods, and musical styles on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 3 pm. The panel reserves the right to select no performers.

Eligibility Requirements

Instrumentalists (wind, brass, percussion, strings, and piano): must be an Iowa resident; not older than age 18; enrolled and attending an Iowa elementary, middle, high, or home school, as of the live audition date. College instrumentalists are not eligible to audition. Previous winners are not eligible to audition and may not audition on a different instrument.

Vocalists: College undergraduate or graduate students not older than age 22 as of the live audition date; enrolled in and attending an Iowa college or university as of the audition date. Pre-college vocalists must meet instrumental eligibility requirements as stated above.

Previous winners are not eligible to audition and may not audition on a different instrument.

It is expected that selected performers will make any necessary schedule adjustments to accommodate rehearsals as scheduled by the CIS Music Director. At minimum, this includes at least one Monday rehearsal in February (7:15- 9:30 pm), the dress rehearsal on Saturday, March 2 (9-11:30 am), and the concert on Sunday, March 3. Exact rehearsal times TBA.

Repertoire Requirements

Applicants will audition with the work they expect to perform at the CIS concert. All works must be in the standard repertoire for solo instrument or voice with orchestra, be between 5-12 minutes in length, and be performed from memory. Concertos are limited to one complete movement and must be performed with cadenzas as applicable. Vocalists may perform two contrasting works with a combined maximum performance time of 12 minutes. All auditions must be accompanied, and applicants must provide their own accompanists. All repertoire is subject to approval by the CIS Music Director.

Application Deadline, Fees, and Contact Information

Application forms are available at under the Young Artist Competition tab. Applications may be submitted by postal mail or email.

The application and video submission deadline is November 25, 2023 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 18, 2023. Completed application packets and video links must be emailed or postmarked no later than November 25, 2023 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 18, 2023.

Application fee: $25 (non-refundable). Please make checks payable to Central Iowa Symphony, or use the Thundertix link on the CIS Young Artists application form.

All necessary correspondence with applicants prior to audition day will occur via email, so please be sure to include a valid email address.

Mail your completed application packet and video link to:
Donita McCoy - [email protected]
CIS Young Artists Auditions
2415 Hamilton Drive
Ames, IA 50014

Questions about repertoire, rules, or eligibility? Need more information? Email audition coordinator Donita McCoy.