Competition: Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition
Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition  |  2014 Cello Fellowship
Former Blount-Slawson Competition Winners  BUTI Young Artists - Vocal  |  BUTI Scholarship 

2015 Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition
January 24-25, 2015
Huntingdon College l Montgomery, Alabama

A program of the Montgomery Symphony League

Sponsored by
The Blount Foundation
and The Guice Slawson Family

*Please note the new changes for this year's competition. 

Blount-Slawson Application Form

The 2015 Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition is open to pianists only in the seventh through the twelfth grades residing in and attending school in the United States. Students of strings, winds, brass, percussion and piano are eligible to enter in the 2016 competition. Previous first place winners are not eligible to compete. The winner must be available for rehearsals and publicity as required.

Acceptable literature for the competition includes any one movement from any work in the standard concerto repertoire. Works associated with the student repertoire may be selected if they are original works. Transcriptions or arrangements are not acceptable unless transcribed by the original composer. Memorization is preferred but not required. All works must have orchestral parts available. Special permission is needed for complete concertos in a single movement. Please call the Symphony office (334-240-4004) to request permission.

NEW:  Audition Process
Anyone applying for the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Concerto Competition must submit an Application Form and an audition CD.  The audition CD should be the piece to be performed during the Blount-Slawson Competition and does not have to be accompanied.  Materials should be postmarked no later than December 9th, 2014.  Applicants will be informed of acceptance into the Blount-Slawson Competition no later than December 18, 2014.

Competition Format*
The competition will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 24 - January 25, 2015 at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. Entrants will be notified by mail two-three weeks prior to the competition of their approximate performance time.

The top entrants from Saturday's preliminary round of competition will compete on Sunday at 1:00 PM in a final round of competition which will be open to the public. The judges’ decision will be announced at the end of the competition.

All entrants must perform with live accompaniment. Accompanists are the responsibility of each entrant. Entrants are strongly encouraged to bring their own accompanists, however, a limited number of assigned accompanists are available. The fee for an assigned accompanist is $150 for the preliminary round and $50 for the final round. The $150 non-refundable preliminary round accompanist fee must be enclosed with the application form or the application will not be accepted.

All entrants using an assigned accompanist will have a 40-minute rehearsal on Friday, January 23rd, and a brief warm-up on Saturday. Those with early Friday afternoon rehearsals may need to travel to Montgomery on Thursday, January 22nd.

Scheduling Conflicts
Entrants must note on the application form any expected conflicts in scheduling their rehearsal or audition time. Once the rehearsal and audition times are set, it is nearly impossible to re-arrange them because of the number of competitors, venues, arranged accompanists, etc. Please make an effort to let us know on the application form if your schedule is not completely free.

Travel and Accommodations
A block of rooms have been set aside at Home Towne Suites Montgomery (334-396-5505) at special rates. For $59.24 (Queen Suite with sleeper sofa) and for $70.64 (2 separate bedroom suite with sleeper sofa). Let them know you are with the Montgomery Symphony Group so you will receive the discounted rate!

A listing of other hotel and motel accommodations and local rental car companies will be mailed to all competitors. Because Montgomery’s public transit is very limited and taxi cabs are not always available in a timely fashion, competitors’ parents are urged to rent a car or to carpool with another entrant. There are no hotels within walking distance of the competition.

Unescorted Competitors
Competitors must be escorted by an adult. The competition is unable to provide accommodations, transportation, or chaperone services.

First Prize: Performance with the Montgomery Symphony at the Davis Theater on April 24, 2015; $10,000 consisting of a Cash Award of $2,500 and an Educational Award of $7,500; an appearance on the nationally broadcasted From The Top Radio Show hosted by Christopher O’Riley.
Second Prize: Cash award of $3,000
Third Prize: Cash award of $2,000
Fourth Prize: Cash award of $1,000

*The Montgomery Symphony League reserves the right to amend the structure of the competition and prizes based on the number of registered competitors and the judges’ recommendations.

Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Auditions
Representatives from the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) will again be present at this year’s competition. BUTI is the high school division of the internationally famous Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, MA, which draws young performers from around the world each summer.

If you would like to audition for BUTI while you are at the Blount-Slawson Competition, please mark the appropriate box on the application form. For detailed information about the audition requirements, click here.  For more information on BUTI, you may call 617-353-3386 or visit their website at  

Tanglewood Scholarships
The Montgomery Symphony will award a $6,770 scholarship to the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) to a young Alabama musician for the 2015 Summer session. For more details, click here

Frequently Asked Questions
Q Is there an entry fee for the competition?
No entry fee is charged.

Can I compete in the preliminary round on Saturday at a certain time of the day?
A Yes. If you let us know on your application form that you will only be available, as an example, after noon and if you bring your own accompanist, we will schedule you accordingly.  If you have asked the competition to provide you with an accompanist, we will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling request.

Q Will there be a place for me to practice while I am in Montgomery?
A Generally speaking, the practice room demands of the competition fill many of the available practice rooms on Friday night and during the day on Saturday.

On Friday night, any practice rooms not already assigned to a competition accompanist can be used by competitors on a first come, first served basis. Please share. During the day on Saturday, each competitor will be assigned a practice room for the 40 minutes prior to his or her performance in the preliminary round. Anyone may use the remaining available practice rooms.

On Sunday, the finalists will have the first option on practice rooms. Otherwise, they are open to other competitors.

Q May I request a specific competition supplied pianist to accompany me?
A Yes and No. You may ask the competition to match you with someone but we cannot guarantee you that we can make that particular assignment. Our assignment process is geared to providing the best collaboration for all competitors who have requested that we provide them with an accompanist.  That said, we will do our best to pair you with the pianist you have requested.

Q Can I have my first rehearsal with my assigned pianist on Saturday as opposed to Friday?
A No.  Your assigned pianist will be busy playing for the other competitors assigned to him or her.

Q. What time will the competition conclude on Sunday?  I want to make my return airline reservation but don't know when to schedule my flight home?
A. The short answer is that we really won't know when the competition will end until the judges tell us they are ready to announce the prize winners.  We do not know the lengths of the movements the nine finalists will perform and we do not know how long the judges will deliberate.  However, based on past years, we expect everything to be over by 5:00 pm.  The college is approximately 20 minutes by car from the Montgomery Airport.

Competition Goals
The goals of the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition are threefold:

  • To promote a professional standard of performance among young musicians through the experience of a competitive forum

  • To afford young musicians the opportunity to be judged by artists of recognized standing

  • To select a talented young musician to perform with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra

The Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition and Concert are made possible by the generosity of The Blount Foundation and The Guice Slawson Family in cooperation with the Montgomery Symphony League and Huntingdon College.

The Blount Foundation
The Blount Foundation was the creation of the late Montgomery businessman and philanthropist Wynton M. (Red) Blount. As Founder and Chairman of Blount International Inc., Mr. Blount established the Foundation in the 1970s to support activities in the communities in which his company had a presence.

Foundation President D. Joseph McInnes continued to nurture the arts in Montgomery and created an environment where they thrived until the Foundation's closure in 2007.

The Blount Foundation’s 30-year partnership with the Montgomery Symphony League and its endowment of the competition has resulted in a nationally respected event for young musicians that will continue in perpetuity.

The Guice Slawson Family
The Montgomery Symphony League extends its thanks to Guice and Caroline Slawson for their generous support of this competition. Mr. Slawson is the President of Southeast Wood Treating, Ltd., with corporate offices in Montgomery, Alabama.

Mr. and Mrs. Slawson support a variety of educational, religious, and arts organizations in the community.

Huntingdon College
Huntingdon College has served as the host of the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition for over 20 years.  From the beginning of each competition's three day schedule, until the last note has been played, Blount-Slawson judges, competitors, their accompanists, and families fill the Smith Music Building to overflowing.  Ligon Chapel in Flowers Hall provides an exciting venue for the competition's final round.

Our thanks go to Dr. Cameron West, President of Huntingdon College, and the entire music faculty for their generosity of spirit in supporting the efforts of pre-college musicians and their willingness to provide such a fitting home for the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition.

Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Auditions

Representatives from the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) will again be present at this year’s competition. The Tanglewood Institute is the high school division of the internationally famous Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, MA, which draws young performers from around the world each summer.

All wind and brass players auditioning for BUTI are required to prepare and submit audition excerpts as part of their BUTI application.  A BUTI representative will be on-site on Saturday, January 25th, during the competition to record audition excerpts OR you are welcome to record your excerpts on CD and send to the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.  The application deadline for 2014 has not yet been announced.  Please contact the BUTI office to set-up a recording time or to learn more about this specific requirement by calling 617-353-3386.  You can also email BUTI at

Click here to access the on-line audition excerpts for your instrument:

String players and pianists do not need to provide audition excerpts.  Your audition for the competition is all that is required for your application to BUTI.

If you would like your Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition audition to also serve as a Tanglewood audition for the 2015 Summer Season, please mark the appropriate box on the application form. For more information on BUTI, you may call (617-353-3386) or visit their website at

Montgomery Symphony Orchestra: PO Box 1864, Montgomery, AL 36102
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