Young Artists Audition Rules

The Fort Dodge Area Symphony will present its 51st Annual Young Artists' Concert on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3:00pm. The auditions for young artists to perform on this concert will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 9:00 to 4:00pm. Please Note: The snow date for auditions is Saturday, January 26, 2019.


Auditions are open to any instrumental, piano or vocal soloists who are 23 years of age or younger. However, the applicant must be an Iowa resident or attend an Iowa school, college or university.

A previous winner may not audition until at least the third season after the original performance, regardless of classification.

The applicant is responsible for meeting the age and eligibility requirements and for the accurate completion of the application. An applicant that is post-graduate or outside the age requirements will not be considered.

Performers are selected to perform in concert with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony. The performer and his/her teacher select the piece to be auditioned and subsequently performed. In the audition process, the performer is judged on musicianship, technical ability, and stage presence. Winners must be available for the necessary rehearsals and for performance with the orchestra on the date shown.


Generally, the audition day is divided into two sessions: pre-college in the morning and college undergraduate in the afternoon. The work must be memorized and accompanied. The performer furnishes his/her own accompanist. A copy of the work to be performed shall be furnished for the conductor. (Photocopies are acceptable.)

For scheduling purposes, the candidate will state the length of the work on the entry form and specify the movement being performed. Concertos are limited to one movement. Performers with unusually brief compositions (most usually vocal solos) may audition and perform more than one work. In the event the composition has an extended orchestral introduction prior to the entrance of the soloist, the introduction may be abbreviated. Selections from musicals (show tunes) are not considered as performance pieces.

Your audition time will be given to you by the first week of January to provide you with adequate scheduling opportunities. If you have special needs due to other contests or auditions, please contact us. While we will not accept recorded auditions or auditions on a different date, we will make every effort to work with you so that you may participate.

The judges shall consist of the conductor and two other judges.


The number of soloists selected shall be determined by the judges. The two Precollege and College categories should be represented in the final selections. However, if the judges feel none are qualified, then no one will be chosen from that category. The Fort Dodge Area Symphony makes no guarantee that the selection of candidates will be evenly distributed. The Symphony reserves the right not to choose any soloists if none qualify. Winners perform in concert with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony and also receive a music scholarship award from the Eva Paterson Scholarship Fund. There are no place levels (i.e. 1st, 2nd, etc.). However, Honorable Mentions may be awarded.


A non-refundable entry fee of $15 must accompany the application. Please make check payable to the Fort Dodge Area Symphony.

To provide the conductor the opportunity to initially review the selection of works chosen and the committee to schedule the audition times, paid applications must be received by postal mail by the Fort Dodge Area Symphony, Box 1291, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501 no later than Monday, December 17, 2018. Applications postmarked after December 11th will not be accepted.


The Fort Dodge Area Symphony reserves the right to limit the number of auditions if there is an unusually large group of applicants. Such a restriction shall be based on the chronological order in which the applications were received and the time available for auditions.