Symphonic and Concert Orchestra members are eligible to compete for the privilege of performing as a concerto soloist with the GPYO Symphonic Orchestra at the Spring Concert at Richardson Auditorium. The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition is open only to active GPYO members.
Symphonic Orchestra members may choose to compete on their orchestral instruments or piano. Concert Orchestra members may compete on piano only.
The competition will be judged by a panel of three professional musicians.
GPYO members who would like to compete in the Concerto Competition, should fill out an application form by Monday, December 5, 2022.
There is no charge to compete in the Concerto Competition.
Repertoire should be approved in advance by the Music Director prior to turning in the application.
The selection(s) should be around 10 minutes in length. 5 minutes is the minimum, 15 minutes is the maximum. Students may combine two or more shorter concerto movements.
Memorization is optional.
A piano accompanist is required for competing in the GPYO Concerto Competition. Students are responsible for finding and scheduling their own accompanist.
2022-2023 Concerto Competition Entrance deadline: December 5, 2022 Audition Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023 2:00 - 6:00pm Location will be announced in Fall 2022
Performance: Symphonic Orchestra Spring Concert - June 11, 2023 Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University
2021-2022 Concerto Competition Winners
Elise Hwang, violin
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 III. Finale: Allegro energico
Max Bruch (1838 - 1920)
Elise Hwang has been studying violin since the age of 4. She started her studies with Urška Haule Feguš and the Westminster Conservatory of Music Suzuki Program. She has been studying with Nancy Wilson for the past five years. Elise has been in the GPYO for seven years, starting in the Concert Orchestra in the third grade. Her favorite memories of her time with us include performing at the Kimmel Center “and making many amazing friends.”
Elise notes, "I've always had Bruch on my violin bucket list and my teacher finally told me that I was at the level to play it. The third movement is very tricky with a lot of double stops and fast runs, which can make it very overwhelming to start learning: start slow in small sections and learn it piece by piece so that it doesn't overwhelm you."
Her other interests in addition to violin include piano and tennis. Her next performance goals for violin include preparing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
Nikhil Sampath, French horn
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major, K. 417 III. Rondo allegro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
NikhilSampath is enjoying his sixth and final season with the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra. He has been studying French horn for seven years with Leah Swanger. He remembers his last GPYO concert at Richardson Auditorium fondly. “Not only did the ensemble play with technical perfection, but I felt that we really captured the essence of each piece, and of music as a whole. The standing ovation from the audience following our last piece of that concert will stick with me forever.”
He began working on this Mozart concerto last year in the GPYO performance workshops and January 2021 Artists’ Showcase.
"When preparing to play it live for the first time, I focused on adding my own touch to the piece with the accompaniment to make it my own unique performance. I love the way the concerto as a whole captures a wide variety of styles and emotions. I particularly like the third movement, as it maintains a lively and joyous feel, while still exploring other musical qualities."
Nikhil will be graduating from Montgomery High School later this month. He will enter Cornell University in the fall; he intends to pursue an engineering degree.
2019-2020 Concerto Competition Winner: William Thompson
William Thompson, a senior at the Pennington School, has been playing cello since fourth grade.
Will chose to study the Saint-Saëns Concerto for Cello in A minor because he wanted to tackle a Romantic-era piece that would allow more freedom of expression than the repertoire from the Classical or Baroque eras. This is an interesting move for a self-avowed fan of Bach’s solo works and Beethoven’s symphonies! He was drawn to the challenge of working through the tempo changes of the Saint-Saëns, as well as its openness to his personal interpretation.
The only member of his family involved in music-making, Will’s achievements reflect both commitment and curiosity. In addition to cello, he plays bass guitar, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, and enjoys the process of mixing and mastering music. He credits teachers Lou Cordas and Mimi Morris-Kim with providing him with a solid foundation in music-reading skills and technique. He has studied with Elizabeth Loughran since eighth grade, and feels that working with her has helped refine all aspects of his playing.
The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra has been a source of motivation throughout Will's musical journey. He joined the GPYO family in 2013 as a member of the Preparatory Strings Orchestra under Dr. Arvin Gopal. Playing with the Prep Strings in the wonderful acoustics of the Kimmel Center left a lasting impression on him. The experience motivated him to dedicate energy to practicing, and Will moved up to the Concert Orchestra the following year. He has played in the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra’s Symphonic Orchestra throughout high school, serving as principal cello since tenth grade. This year, he is playing with our Blue Ensemble.
Will also spent two years playing with the Central Jersey Region Orchestra. He now enjoys playing a leadership role in the Pennington School Orchestra, and can be frequently seen playing at school events, and sometimes memorial services. He plans on continuing his musical pursuits throughout his college years and beyond, and is exploring ways that he can parlay his performing skills into a way to support himself during his student years.
Like many members of our musicians, Will has many interests outside of music. He pitches and fields for the Pennington School baseball team. He was awarded the Eagle Scout honor for a project building outdoor free libraries for a local organization that helps people in unstable financial situations. After graduation this spring, Will hopes to pursue studies in either nuclear or quantum physics, and is in the midst of the college application process. We look forward to learning what the future brings!
2018-2019 Concerto Competition Winner Michael Chau
2017-2018 Concerto Competition Winner: Anju Felix
2016-2017 Concerto Competition Winner: Anna Gugliotta
2015 – 2016 Concerto Competition Winner: Jessie Lee
2014 – 2015 Concerto Competition Winner Louis Petitjean