Concerto Competition

ESYO’s Annual Lois Lyman Concerto Competition

(Youth Orchestra members only)

Approval Form Deadline: October 27, 2017

Application Deadline: November 10, 2017 

Guidelines for Applicants

  • Competition Date: The competition will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018 (snow date Sunday, January 14) at The College of Saint Rose.  The winner will perform with the Youth Orchestra as part of the April 29, 2018 concert.
  • Application Deadline: November 10, 2017, and it will be strictly enforced. NO applications will be accepted after the deadline, and any applications that were submitted in time but were incomplete (for example, lacking the name of your accompanist) must be completed by the deadline or they will be removed from consideration.
  • Eligibility / Choice of competition music:
    • The competition is open only to members of the Youth Orchestra in good standing. Previous ESYO Lois Lyman Concerto Competition Winners are not eligible to re-apply for consideration during the season following their concerto performance.
    • Applications will be accepted for all orchestral instruments including harp, percussion, and piano. Applicants may audition on only one instrument in any given year, and it need not necessarily be the instrument played in the Youth Orchestra.
    • Applicants may choose any concerto or other published work for solo (soloists) with orchestral accompaniment.
      • Your choice must be pre-approved by the Music Director using the Repertoire Approval Form before you submit the full application.
        • The Concerto Competition Repertoire Approval Form must be submitted to the ESYO office by October 27, 2017.  You will be notified by email when approval has been granted.
        • Permission is partly dependent upon the availability of parts and score.
        • The length of the concerto must not exceed 30 minutes, unless pre-approved by the Music Director.  
  • Preparation and Competition Audition:
    • Applicants must prepare the entire concerto, but the judges will determine what portions of your selected piece will be played during the competition audition. The length of the audition will be approximately ten minutes.
    • For both the audition and the performance, applicants are required to play from memory, unless, as per standard performance practice, this requirement has been waived by the Music Director. All applicants will be permitted to have music available at the audition in order to facilitate finding particular sections in the concerto as requested by the judges.
    • Applicants must provide the judges with a clean copy of the music.
    • Applicants must provide their own accompanist and must supply the required information about the accompanist by November 10, the deadline for submitting the application.
    • Warm-up rooms will be available on the day of the competition. Harpists, percussionists, and pianists will warm up in the audition space because of audition set-up issues and, for pianists, the use of unfamiliar instruments.
    • With the exception of the judges, the accompanist, page-turners for the accompanist (if needed), and the individual applicant at his/her scheduled time, no one is allowed in the audition space during the competition.
  • Competition Results:
    • Judges will select the winner and runner-up.
      •  ESYO reserves the right to declare no winner based upon the decision of the judges.
    • The winner will play the entire concerto (performed for the competition) with the Youth Orchestra at its concert in November.
    • The runner-up may be invited to perform a movement (or movements) of his/her piece with the Repertory Orchestra. This decision will be made by the Repertory Orchestra Conductor and the Music Director.
    • The adjudication forms will be sent to each student after the competition.
    • Applicants will be notified by email or telephone of the judges’ decision within 48 hours of the competition.

Note: If you wish to enter the competition, we strongly recommend that you obtain approval for the piece and make arrangements with an accompanist as soon as possible. if you have any questions about your application and/or participation in the competition, please contact Sue Lascoe, Operations Manager, at the ESYO office at (518) 382-7581 or at


Musicians may apply once they have been accepted into an ESYO group for its 2017-18 season.


Concerto Competition Repertoire Approval Form, due October 27, 2017

Concerto Competition Application, due November 10, 2017


Click here to see previous Concerto Competition winners