2023 Youth Concerto Competition

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the return of the 2023 Echo Kowalzek Youth Concerto Competition! Following the challenges of the past two years, it is exciting to invite young musicians in Central Minnesota back to the HSO stage. Auditions will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls. Up to two winners will perform with the HSO for its spring concerts:
Saturday, April 1, 2023 | 7:30 pm Charles D. Martin Auditorium, Little Falls
Sunday, April 2, 2023 | 2:30 pm Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, Brainerd

Students residing in the HSO’s Central Minnesota service area may audition on piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, or voice, and must prepare a work from the standard concerto literature with orchestral accompaniment. Instrumentalists are asked to prepare one movement of a concerto or the equivalent. Vocalists should prepare two contrasting songs or arias.  In addition to performing in concert with the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, winners will receive a recording of their performance and a $500 award.

We encourage all eligible young musicians to take advantage of this biannual audition and performance opportunity. The HSO’s Echo Kowalzek Youth Concerto Competition is an exciting and rewarding tradition for young musicians, the orchestra, and our audience.

The application form and rules for this competition are below. Otherwise, if you have any questions about this program, feel free to contact the Heartland Symphony Orchestra office. Call 1-800-826-1997 or email HeartlandSymphony@gmail.com.

Heartland Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Auditions

Rules and Regulations

  1. Our goal for this program is to highlight outstanding young talent from our area. Therefore, the auditions are limited to students residing or attending school in our service area (Brainerd, Little Falls, and the surrounding rural areas of central Minnesota). All applications are subject to review by the HSO Youth Audition Committee.
  2. The auditions will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls. It is open to vocal, instrumental, and piano students.
  3. Youth through age 18 may enter.
  4. The music is to be chosen at the discretion of the pupil’s instructor. It must, however, be a work from the standard literature with orchestral accompaniment, limited to the instrumentation of the Heartland Symphony. If in doubt, please ask if a piece is appropriate by emailing HeartlandSymphony@gmail.com. Instrumentalists should prepare one movement from a concerto, and singers should prepare two contrasting songs or arias.
  5. The same student cannot perform the same literature more than one year.
  6. Memorization is strongly advised at auditions, especially for pianists and vocalists, to show one’s best performance. Memorization will be considered in selection of winners.
  7. Proper performance attire is expected and may influence selection of winners.
  8. Entrants must supply two copies of their music for the judges; at least one must be an original.
  9. All entrants are to provide their own prepared accompanist for the audition.
  10. Winners are not permitted to enter the auditions for the next year’s contest.
  11. Up to two winners will be chosen at the judges’ discretion.
  12. The winners will perform with the Heartland Symphony at its Spring 2023 Concerts:
    April 1 in Little Falls and April 2 in Brainerd.

Heartland Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Audition Application

Deadline for entry is January 15, 2023

Please fill out the online application below, or print and fill out the Youth Concerto Audition Rules and Application PDF and mail to:
Heartland Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 241
Little Falls, MN 56345

*Required Fields

    *Student Name




    *Student E-mail

    *Student Phone






    *Parent E-mail

    *Parent Phone


    *Years of Study

    *Title of Composition

    *Name of Composer

    *Teacher's Name

    *Teacher's Email

    *Teacher's Phone

    *Teacher's Address




    *Name of Accompanist

    We will email you with final information about auditions, including your audition time.