Blount Slawson Young Artist Competition

Registration for the 2020 Blount Slawson Young Artist Competition is open.

Since 1981, the Symphony League has mounted a concerto competition for pre-college instrumentalists with the winner appearing as a guest artist with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. Through the years, the competition grew from a local event with a dozen children vying for a few hundred dollars in prizes to on which is national in scope at which 70-80 young musicians compete for nearly $17,000 in prizes.

This enormous growth has been fueled by the enthusiasm of the Symphony League volunteers, the Blount Foundation and the Guice Slawson family. Partnerships with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and National Public Radio’s award winning “From The Top” have strengthened the competition’s stature and helped establish its national footprint.

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 31-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.