Concerto Competition 2019-2020 Winners

Congratulations to this year's 2019-2020 SPPTA Concerto Competition winners!

Concerto Competition Winners:

 1st Place – Orion Kim (photo above), student of Dr. Joseph Zins, with Saint-Saëns Concerto #2 in g minor, Op. 22, 1st movement

Updated December, 2019

Orion Kim is a thirteen-year old pianist from Saint Paul, MN. He studies with nationally
distinguished artist/teacher, Dr. Joseph Zins, of Crocus Hills Studios. Enrolled in the
Studio’s high intensity Performance Studies for the Gifted and Talented Pre-College
Student, he is a member of the Premier Class. He comes from a very musical family;
both of his parents are professional performing musicians with whom he regularly plays
piano trios, and his sister is also a member of the Premier Class as a student of Dr.
.JoAnne Link.

Orion has performed with numerous orchestras in the Twin Cities area including the
Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, the Dakota Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Golden
Valley Orchestra, and the University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra. Most recently,
Orion took first place in the 2019 Saint Paul Piano Teachers Concerto Competition, and
will perform Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2 in G minor with the Mississippi Valley
Orchestra in February 2020. Orion has also taken top honors in the 2019 Dakota Valley
Concerto Competition, the 2018 Golden Valley Young Artists Competition, and the 2018
Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum Mozart Concerto Competition. At the 2018
University of Minnesota International Piano Camp, Orion was chosen to rehearse and
perform the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto in d minor, K. 466, with chamber
orchestra under the direction of Maestro Mark Russell Smith, and performed Haydn’s
Gypsy Trio with college age string player
Orion’s other great passion besides the piano is soccer, and he plays competitively for the
Saint Paul Blackhawks Club, whose team won the 2019 Minnesota State Championship

2nd Place – Danica Scofield, student of Dr. Megan Wallace, with Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto in B-flat, Op. 19, 1st movement

3rd Place – Beatrice Grant, student of Dr. Joseph Zins, with Mendelssohn’s 1st Piano Concerto in g minor, Op. 25, 1st movement 

Congratulations to all the musicians who participated in this amazing event and also to these finalists who advanced and played wonderfully! 

Concerto Competition Finalists:

William Gannon, student of Dr. Paul Wirth and Dr. Chris Weldon, with Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto in c minor, Op. 37, 3rd movement

Athena Roscoe, student of Dr. Paul Wirth and Dr. Chris Weldon, Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, Op. 23, 2nd & 3rd movements

T.J. Stang, student of Dr. Paul Wirth and Dr. Chris Weldon, with Kabalevsky’s 3rd Piano Concerto in D Major, Op. 50, 1st movement

Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 9th, 2020 when we will hear Orion Kim 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!


Concerto Calendar of Events

December 7th, 2019

Competition Preliminaries: Saturday, December 7th, 2019 from NOON-5:00pm 

Competition Finals: Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at 7:30 pm-9:30 pm. Store doors open at 7:15 pm 

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


February 9th, 2020

Come hear the Concerto Competition winner 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 about the SPPTA Concerto Competition. Listen to this message from Beverly Olson, the Concerto Competition Chair.


Competition: Dec. 7th, 2019 :: Performance: February 9th, 2020

The SPPTA Concerto Competition provides students with an opportunity to prepare a piano concerto movement, perform it with accompaniment, and receive feedback from the judges for continued musical growth.  Contestants also 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

The guidelines and registration form, as well as a list of suggested concerto repertoire are available at the SPPTA website ( under the “Programs for Students” tab, Concerto Competition.

Registration will be accepted between September 1st and October 15th, 2019.  The registration fee is $50 per student for SPPTA Members, $75 per student for non-members, and is waived for MusicLink students, when the teacher’s MusicLink ID is noted on the registration form.

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

Competition Preliminaries:  Saturday, December 7th, 2019 from approximately Noon-5:00pm 

Competition Finals:  Saturday, December 7th, 2019 from 7:30pm-9:30pm.  Doors will open at 7:15pm.

Winner to play in Concert with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra 

3:00pm, Sunday, February 9th, 2020 at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul

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.

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 for SPPTA members; $75 per student of non-members.  Checks must be written by the teacher and payable to SPPTA.  This fee is waived for MusicLink students when the teacher’s MusicLink 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 has been their primary teacher for at least 8 months.  That teacher must complete and sign the registration form and take care of all the details.  While a student who has won the competition may continue to participate in subsequent years to receive the judges’ critiques, he/she cannot be awarded 1st place again.

4. Repertoire.   Teachers may choose any concerto.  Some suggestions are provided online at the SPPTA website,  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 judges 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 student’s performance time at the preliminary auditions may not exceed ten (10) minutes and should be one (1) movement, except as noted on the suggested concerto list.  The teacher should make and clearly mark all appropriate cuts in the tutti to allow the student to play as much of the movement as possible, allowing time for the entire cadenza to 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 final auditions as was played for the preliminaries.

6. Finalists’ Concert.    At the judges’ 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.  Printed public domain pieces are acceptable.  Make sure 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.    Both preliminary and final auditions are open to the public, and all participants are encouraged to attend the finalists’ evening auditions.

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

15. Communication with the Judges.    No student, parent, or teacher may communicate with the judges at any time.  If you have any questions or concerns about the event, please speak with the concerto competition coordinator.  No one is allowed to discuss performance details with the judges, and the decision of the judges is final.

16. Memorization. While memorization is not required to participate in the preliminary round and receive the judges' critiques, only those individuals performing their concerto memorized will be considered as possible finalists. 

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

This year’s Concerto Competition will be held on Saturday, December 7th, 2019.  Both the preliminary and final auditions will be at the Brooklyn Center Schmitt Music Auditorium at 2400 Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. 

 Thank you for your participation - we will accommodate scheduling requests whenever possible.  Please read the attached rules carefully and completely.  

Register and pay online at, 

or via mail Registrations accepted September 1st – October 15th, 2019.     

Mail registration forms to: 

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

2019 SPPTA Concerto Competition Rules and Registration

Click on a file to download.