Young musicians invited to annual competition

CLASSICAL COMPETITION: The Guam Symphony Society is hosting its annual competition for young musicians this month. Director Stephen Bednarzyk, seen in this file photo leading the symphony in a Seaside Holiday Concert at the Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park Amphitheater, is coordinating the competition. Post file photo

The Guam Symphony Society invites young classical musicians, ages 6-21, to enter the annual Young Artists Competition later this month.

The competition is open to artists of voice, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for young musicians studying classical music to compare themselves against other musicians on island who are studying classical music," said symphony director and competition coordinator Stephen Bednarzyk.

"There are only a couple of venues you can do this at, the other venue being the Tumon Bay Music Festival; they have a solo and ensemble contest. And then we have our competition, too. So it's one of the few competitions where these students get a chance to kind of flex their musical muscles and see how they're progressing as young musicians."

Bednarzyk said there have been students who competed and went on to universities off island and now are music professors.

"Some of the kids who've been in the competition have been very successful in their music careers," he said.

This year's competition will be slightly different because of the pandemic.

"Last year we couldn't even get the competition off the ground because of this pandemic," he said. "Usually, the final round is open to the public. But this year, because of restrictions, we can't open it to the public. That's one of the issues we've been working with this year."

The competition will be held Jan. 26 and 27, at the University of Guam Fine Arts Theater. Interested competitors will have to submit all entry forms and other required material by 5 p.m. Jan. 21.

Competitors will perform before a closed panel of judges on Jan. 26. A second round will be held Jan. 27.

During the audition, artists must come prepared to perform one complete movement of a work or two contrasting arias. Accompanists are the responsibility of and must be provided by the artists.

Categories

Contestants are divided into the following categories:

• Elementary: Grades 3-6

• Junior: Grades 7-9

• Senior: Grades 10 and up

Top three winners for each category will be announced on Jan. 28.

Guidelines

The application guidelines are:

• Selected audition works must be from the standard repertoire performed in original key and/or language (unless changed by concert tradition) and performed from memory or fluently with score.

• Vocalists should prepare two arias of contrasting styles.

• Applicants should consult with a music teacher regarding the performance selection(s).

• Applicants must provide one copy of their selection(s) for the judges with the application.

• Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation with their application. One must be from their principal music teacher.

• An entry fee of $100 must be submitted with the application. Make checks payable to Guam Symphony Society.

Interested participants can email sbednarzyk@yahoo.com for more information.

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