Blount Slawson Young Artist Competition

The Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition is a prestigious annual competition open to students of strings, winds, brass, percussion who are in seventh through twelfth grades. This nationally recognized event is sponsored by the Montgomery Symphony League.

January 25-26, 2020 • Huntingdon College • Montgomery, Alabama

Apply Online: 2020 APPLICATION
Application deadline: December 6, 2019

The 2020 Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition is open to strings/winds/brass/percussion in the seventh through the twelfth grades residing in and attending school in the United States and are current U.S citizens. Previous first place winners are not eligible to compete. The winner must be available for rehearsals on Sunday, April 26th and the scheduled April 27th, 2020 performance with the MSO.

The online application must be completed and applicable fees submitted by December 6th. Applications that lack payment of applicable fees will be considered incomplete.

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 may be needed for complete concertos in a single movement that are longer than 10 minutes. For permission, please email, wait for response and then submit online application.
*Please note, the competition schedule has limited time slots for judges to listen to competitors, in some instances, an entire work may not be listened to by judges due to the number of competitors. Competitors can play for 10 minutes, then they will be stopped.

Competition Format:
The competition will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 25 – January 26, 2020 at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. Entrants will be notified by mail two 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.


  • First Prize: Performance with the Montgomery Symphony at the Davis Theater on April 27, 2020. $10,000 consisting of a Cash Award of $2,500 and a separate Educational Award of $7,500 with designation towards the study of music.
  • 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.

All entrants must perform with live accompaniment. Accompanists are the responsibility of each entrant. A very limited number of assigned accompanists are available and practice time is limited before the competition. Specific accompanists may not be requested by name and will be assigned by the discretion of the MSO administrative office. The fee for an assigned accompanist is $150 for the preliminary round and $75 should be paid directly to the accompanist for the final round. The $150 non-refundable preliminary round accompanist check must be mailed by December 6th, 2019 to process the need for an accompanist. We do not take credit cards. Checks for accompanist fee should be mailed to the

Montgomery Symphony Orchestra
Attn: Blount-Slawson Competition
P.O. Box 1864
Montgomery, Alabama 36102

All entrants using an assigned accompanist will have a 30-minute rehearsal on Friday, January 25th, and a brief warm-up on Saturday. Those with early Friday afternoon rehearsals may need to travel to Montgomery on Thursday, January 24th.

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 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.

Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Live Auditions and Scholarship Opportunity:
Boston University Tanglewood Institute is recognized internationally as a premier summer training program for aspiring young musicians and is the only program of its kind associated with one of the world’s great symphony orchestras. Under the guidance of distinguished professionals, and in the presence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), students are immersed in an atmosphere of extraordinary music making fueled by high artistic standards, rigorous programming, and a rich legacy of learning and performance. The moment you step onto the grounds, you join a community that empowers students to be artists. No one who spends a summer at Tanglewood leaves untouched by the experience.
BUTI representatives will be present to answer questions about 2019 BUTI summer program offerings and hold live auditions in Montgomery, AL at Huntingdon College on January 26, 2019 in conjunction with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra Blount-Slawson Competition as a part of the BUTI 2017 Audition Tour. Furthermore, your competition audition can count as your BUTI audition! See details directly below.
If you are competing in the Blount-Slawson Competition on January 27 and would like to have your competition audition count as your BUTI audition, visit the link below for your instrument group and follow the special instructions outlined on that page when you fill out your BUTI application:

  • Strings/Piano Instructions
  • Winds/Brass/Percussion/Harp Instructions

Please note that all Blount-Slawson competitors interested in being considered for BUTI program must submit the BUTI 2019 Admissions Application. Please also mark the appropriate box in the Blount-Slawson application to indicate that you would like your Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition audition to count as your BUTI audition.
If you are NOT competing in the Blount-Slawson Competition and would like to audition live for BUTI, please follow the instructions outlined in the BUTI 2019 Admissions Application to sign up for a live audition in Montgomery, AL. Auditions will be held for non-competitors from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 27 at Huntingdon College. You may also elect to upload a recorded audition to your BUTI admissions application.

BU Tanglewood Institute Alabama Scholarship
The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra will award a full tuition scholarship to a young Alabama musician who is accepted and attends up to six weeks of BUTI 2019 summer programming. Students must complete the Scholarship Form as a part of the BUTI 2019 Admissions Application to be considered for the award.
Please contact the BUTI Office at or 617.353.3386 with any questions about the BUTI 2020 Admissions Application and Summer 2020 Programs, details of the Alabama Scholarship Award, and how to take advantage of the BUTI/Blount-Slawson Competition 2-for-1 audition special.

Please read this entire page for information regarding the competition. Specific questions may be directed to