Black Lives Matter

As we make music, we also build community.  Today, our community joins in mourning for George Floyd and too many other brothers and sisters who suffer unfairly from systemic racism.  Their lives matter.  Black lives matter.

It is because we love our country that we emphatically reassert what really makes it great: our collective aspiration for liberty and justice.  But we have fallen far short.  The legacies of slavery and violence rooted in racism did not disappear in 1865 or 1965 – or 2020.  

The struggle continues, in ways that scream out for action.  In the past, the MSO has welcomed diverse members, performed works by African-American composers and encouraged young minority musicians.   We will learn to do more to engage actively in that essential struggle.  

As an orchestra, we assemble for melody and harmony.  But far from exempting us from racial strife, this moment calls especially to us – as citizens and artists – to give voice to the long march for equity.  We will listen hard and work to answer that call.

2020 Youth Concerto Competition Winners

Congratulations to the three winners of the 2020 Youth Concerto Competition!

  • Nicole Fang – Antonin Dvorak – Cello Concerto in B minor, I. Allegro
  • Ivy Laing – Jacques Ibert – Concerto for Flute and Piano, I. Allegro
  • Michael Wang – Claude Debussy – Premiere Rhapsodie on Clarinet
  • Honorable Mention
    •  Hyungjoo Han – Jacques Ibert – Flute Concerto, III. Allegro Scherzando

Since launching the youth concerto competition in 2016, the MSO has showcased multiple winning soloists, providing an opportunity for musicians in middle and high school to perform with us at our annual concert. Because this year’s concert has been canceled, the MSO plans to feature our winning soloists throughout the 2020-2021 season.

2020 Youth Concerto Competition

The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra is now inviting entries to our Fifth Annual Youth Concerto Competition!

Since launching its youth concerto competition in 2016, the MSO has showcased ten winning soloists, providing an opportunity to perform with us at our annual June concert. Entries are now being accepted for our fifth annual concerto competition and must be submitted by Sunday, March 15, 2020​. This year’s winners will perform on Sunday, June 21, 2020.


​The competition is open to middle and high school musicians (grades 6-12) on any orchestral instrument including percussion, with the exception of piano.


Entrants select the piece and/or movement(s) they would like to perform, and are strongly encouraged to do so in consultation with their private teacher or band/orchestra director. Selections should be no longer than approximately 10 minutes in length and must have standard orchestral accompaniments readily available for purchase or rent at a fee that will not exceed $500.00.

Pieces performed by concerto winners in the last two years may not be selected; these include:

  • Cécile Chaminade, Concertino for Flute
  • Mozart, Clarinet Concerto in A Major
  • Shostakovich, Concerto No. 1 for Violoncello and Orchestra
  • Wieniawski, Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor
  • Mozart, Oboe Concerto in C Major
  • Arutiunian, Trumpet Concerto

The MSO reserves the right to disqualify entries that do not meet these standards. Other inquiries regarding repertoire may be sent to [email protected].

Video Audition

Record a video of you performing your selected piece. Upload your video file to YouTube as an unlisted video and complete the entry form to submit the link no later than Sunday, March 15, 2020​.

  • Your video will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will listen, not watch. So don’t worry about how the video looks — only about how your performance sounds!
  • You can use any video recording device you have access to — even a cell phone — but make sure the device is close enough to you to record high-quality audio.
  • The judges will review the submissions anonymously, so your name and voice should NOT be part of the video you submit. Our competition administrators will know it’s yours via the form.
  • The easiest way to share your final video is by uploading it to YouTube. Step-by-step instructions are available at: You will need to create an account.
  • Before you start uploading, change the YouTube privacy setting for your video to “Unlisted.” This will ensure that your video is only viewable to someone who has the link. It will not be searchable. (The MSO will only share this link with our judges.)
  • If you prefer, you can also send us a shareable link to listen to your video file via Google Drive, Dropbox, or another file-sharing service. Just make sure the settings allow anyone with the link to view it!


Competition winners will be invited to rehearse and ​perform their selected piece with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra​ before a live concert audience at the downtown Silver Spring Civic Building on Sunday, June 21, 2020. Each winner will also ​receive a $100 award​ from the MSO’s Scott Wood Scholarship Fund.

Winners should plan to join the MSO for at least three evening rehearsals prior to the concert to prepare their pieces with the orchestra. (Regular rehearsals are typically on Mondays; the dress rehearsal will be on Thursday, June 18.)

Entry Fee

To help cover the costs of administering the competition and concert, the competition includes a $25 entry fee. However, we will waive this fee for any student for whom it poses a barrier to entry. We welcome and encourage entrants of diverse backgrounds.

Announcement of Results

We plan to announce the winners of the competition by April 6, 2020. Due to the current circumstances with the epidemic, the selection of winners has been delayed, and we instead plan to announce the winners of the competition by April 20.


​Please email with any additional questions. We recommend subscribing to the MSO email list to get any news and updates about the competition.

Entry Form

When you are ready with your video audition, submit the form below no later than 11:59pm on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Limit of one video submission per student.

Vehicle Donation Program

We have a new way that you can make a big difference in supporting music in your community – donate your used vehicle to the MSO!

Support live orchestral music in our community while earning a tax deduction. Every donation provides funds for collaborations with featured soloists, music & facility rentals, and our annual youth concerto concerts.

It’s easy, fast and free.

At no charge, we’ll arrange to pick up your car, truck, boat, motorcycle or RV – even non-running vehicles – anywhere in the United States. Then you’ll get an IRS-approved receipt for your donation.

To donate your vehicle: call toll-free 866-829-2918 or visit