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Drake Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition

The Drake Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition is held each fall and is open to any Drake student who studies with applied faculty in the Department of Music. NOTE: The Concerto Competition has moved from a closed audition format to a public performance, which is free and open to the public. Up to three representatives from each of the Department of Music's applied areas will compete for the opportunity to perform with the Drake Symphony Orchestra on its final spring concert in May 2024. Winners will be selected by a jury panel of guest musicians from prominent regional universities and arts organizations.

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Sheslow Auditorium
  • The Concerto Competition is open to any Drake student that currently takes lessons with a Department of Music applied instructor.
  • Applicants must seek approval from their applied instructor before entering the competition.
  • Participants should perform an entire concerto, movement(s) of a concerto, or a shorter piece written for orchestra and solo instrument(s). The piece should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Vocalists may perform one opera, concert, or oratorio aria, or a piece written for orchestra and voice. The piece should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Judges may ask to hear only selected portions of the piece(s).
  • Participants may compete as an individual soloist or as part of a concerto for multiple instruments. Competing as both will not be allowed.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own accompanist for this competition.
  • All participants must submit a PDF copy of the piano score (not just the solo part!) of their piece to Dr. Héctor Agüero via email no later than Friday, October 27, 2023, at 5:00pm.
  • Memorization is optional.

Applied areas are divided as follows: (1) Strings; (2) Brass; (3) Woodwinds; (4) Voice; (5) Piano & Percussion

*Areas with more than three interested entries will individually determine their representatives through preliminary rounds and will submit their choices to Dr. Agüero no later than Thursday, October 26, 2023.

Applications should be submitted via the Google form link below:

Please direct any questions about the competition to Dr. Agüero (

Selected soloist(s) will be featured in the May 2024 Drake Symphony Orchestra concert in Sheslow Auditorium (dress rehearsals will be the previous Tuesday). Winner(s) must be available for both concert and dress rehearsal dates/times. Conductor reserves the right to suggest an alternate concerto or piece for the actual concert.

Honors Recital Competition

The Department of Music Honors Recital Competition auditions are held every fall semester. The date for auditions will be Saturday, October 21, 2023. The Honors Recital will be held on Friday, February 2, 2024 at 7:30pm in Sheslow Auditorium.

Audition Locations:

  • Percussionists - Monroe Recital Hall from 10:30am-11:30am
  • Instrumentalists/vocalists - Sheslow Auditorium from 12:00pm-4:00pm

Students may audition for the Honors Recital Competition on two different instruments in the same competition, but may only be accepted as a winner for one solo performance. However, students may be accepted as a winner as both a solo and ensemble performer. Previous winners of the Honors Recital Competition may compete in subsequent years.

Depending on the length of the selection(s), participants will be expected to perform one or two movements of a work. Total performance time should not exceed seven (7) minutes, as audition slots are ten (10) minutes long to allow time for stage changes and instrumental tuning. Both solo and chamber ensembles are encouraged to audition. There will be an audition sign-up sheet outside of FAC 426 for all competing students.

Available Department of Music faculty will serve as judges. The primary criterion for winning the Honors Recital Competition is a performance of outstanding quality. Selected soloists and chamber ensembles will be featured in the Department of Music Honors Recital in Sheslow Auditorium during the spring semester.

The deadline to register online and sign up for an audition time is Wednesday, October 18, 2023, by 12:00pm.

Please click here to register for the Honors Recital Competition. If you have any outstanding questions, please direct them to Dr. Leslie Marrs (

Honors Recital Competition

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