Concerto Competition Winners 2018

Concerto Competition 2018-2019 Winners

Congratulations to this year’s SPPTA Concerto Competition winners!

1st Place Jacqueline Pham, student of Dr. Paul Wirth, with Saint-Saëns Concerto #2, 1st movement 

2nd Place Beatrice Grant, student of Dr. Joseph Zins, with Liszt Piano Concerto #1 

3rd PlaceOrion Kim, student of Dr. Joseph Zins, with Mozart’s Concerto in D minor, K466, 2nd & 3rd movements   

Congratulations to the other musicians who also advanced to the finals round and played wonderfully!   

Matthew Qu, student of Dr. Irina Elkina, with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #3, 1st movement 

Elaine Lo, student of Dr. Paul Wirth, with Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, 1st movement 

Jasmine Jiang, student of Dr. JoAnne Link, with Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto #1, 2nd & 3rd movements  


Concerto Calendar of Events

January 8th, 2019

Attend the January 8th SPPTA meeting to hear some of the finalists perform their concerto movements as guest musicians. 

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Come will hear Jacqueline Pham perform in concert with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra at 3pm at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul. We hope you’ll be able to attend, and will invite others to join you. This event never disappoints.

Find out more


Find out about the SPPTA Concerto Competition. Listen to this message from Beverly Olson, the Concerto Competition Chair.


Competition: Dec. 1st, 2018 :: Performance: May 5th, 2019

The SPPTA Concerto Competition provides students of SPPTA members an opportunity to prepare a piano concerto movement, perform it with accompaniment, and receive feedback from the judges for the student’s continued musical growth. In addition, contestants compete for cash prizes and the ability to perform their prepared concerto movement in concert with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra.

Awards from the Scholarship Fund: 

1st Place - $250 and Concert Soloist

2nd Place - $150 

3rd Place - $100 

*NEW* Register Online: Click blue button below and follow the instructions.

 Registration Fee: $50 per student will be accepted between September 1st and October 15th, 2018. This fee is waived for MusicLink students, when the teacher’s ID is noted on the registration. 

Location: Brooklyn Center Schmitt Music, 2400 Freeway Blvd., Brooklyn Center, 55430 

Competition Preliminaries: Saturday, December 1st, 2018 from 10:00am-5:00pm 

Competition Finals: Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at 7:30 pm-9:30 pm. Store doors open at 7:15 pm 

Winner in Concert with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra 3:00 pm., Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, MN 

Finalists’ Performance Opportunity: Students placing 2nd – 6th in the finals are invited to perform their concerto movement with their accompanist at the SPPTA meeting on Tues., January 8th, 2019, 10:15 am-11:30am, Location TBA.

Contributions to the program: Contributions and Memorials can be made to the Honors and Awards Fund. All gifts are tax deductible. Please make checks payable to SPPTA. Online contributions can be made below, see the Honors and Awards Fund donation button. 

Concerto Competition Rules and Regulations: 

1. Registration limits. The SPPTA Concerto Competition accommodates up to thirty-two students. Any registrations received beyond this amount will be placed in a lottery to establish alternates in the case of cancellations. Teachers with more than one student in the lottery will have the opportunity to rank them. Registration forms must be postmarked by October 15th to be accepted. 

2. Fee. $50 per student. Checks must be written by the teacher and payable to SPPTA. Online payment option using the button below. This fee is waived for MusicLink students when the teacher’s ID is noted on the registration form. Refunds are given only if students are unable to participate due to program capacity. 

3. Eligibility. This competition is open to any student through grade 12, whose teacher is a current SPPTA member. That teacher must complete and sign the registration form and take care of all details. While a student who has won the competition can continue to participate to receive the judges’ critiques in subsequent years, he/she cannot be awarded 1st place again. 

4. Repertoire. Teachers may choose any concerto. A suggested concerto list is provided below, click here. A full movement must be prepared. Please note that each time a student participates in the competition, a different movement or concerto must be performed. Concerto selections cannot be changed after the registration deadline. The judge can stop and start students at appropriate places in the music, keeping within the time frame, so that the cadenza and other important parts of the movement are heard. 

5. Time Limits. A studentʼs performance time at the preliminary auditions may not exceed ten (10) minutes and should be one (1) movement except as noted on the suggested list. The teacher should make and clearly mark appropriate cuts in the tutti to allow the student to play as much of the movement as possible. The entire cadenza will be heard. Finalists may expand their playing time to no more than twelve (12) minutes including tutti. Each student must play the same movement for the Finals as was played for the Preliminaries. 

6. Finalists’ Concert. At the judgesʼ discretion, a maximum of six (6) students will be chosen to play in the final auditions. A winner may or may not be chosen. 

7. First Place Winner. The first place winner must be available to rehearse and perform with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. Once a student has won, he/she may not be awarded 1st place again in subsequent years, even if he/she was unable to perform with the orchestra when selected. 

8. Accompanist. A student must provide his/her own accompanist. 

9. Music for Judge. Each student must provide clean, non-photocopied music for the judge. Make sure all pencil marks are erased, and measures are neatly numbered. Mark all cuts clearly (sticky notes, paper clips, etc.) to ensure the judges can easily follow the performance. 

10. Cadenzas. Cadenzas may be photocopied with all measures numbered. 

11. Contestant Minimum. In case of low registration numbers, the program may not be offered. 

12. Audition Format. All auditions must be done in person, on the date of the competition. No other form of performance submission will be accepted. 

13. Open to the Public. Auditions are open to the public and all participants are encouraged to attend the finalists’ evening auditions at Brooklyn Center Schmitt Music Auditoirum. 

14. Videotaping. No videotaping of any kind is allowed at the competition. 

15. Communication with Judges. Students, parents, and teachers may not communicate with the judges at any time. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with the concerto competition coordinator. No one is allowed to discuss performance details with the judges. The decision of the judges is final. 

16. Disqualification. Please review these guidelines well, and discuss them with your students, as infractions of these rules will result in disqualification. 

2018  SPPTA Concerto Competition Registration Form  - download below

This year’s Concerto Competition will be held Saturday, December 1st, 2018. 

Both the preliminary and final auditions will be held at the Brooklyn Center Schmitt Music Auditorium at 2400 Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. 

Please read the rules and regulations carefully and completely, as infractions will result in disqualification from the competition. Thank you for your participation – we will accommodate scheduling requests whenever possible. Applications will be accepted between the postmarked dates of Sept. 1st and Oct. 15th, 2018.

Mail registration forms to: (or submit online below)  

Beverly Olson, Attn: Concerto Competition

1017 Glen Paul Court, Shoreview, MN 55126 

She can be reached at: and (651) 341-0353 if you have questions.


Honors and Awards fund

Contributions and Memorials can be made to the Honors and Awards Fund to help us provide Concerto Competition to piano students. All gifts are tax deductible. Your generous gift is appreciated.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

2018 SPPTA Concerto Competition Rules and Registration

Click on a file to download.