For 29 years, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra has been encouraging and recognizing the outstanding talents of Maine’s high school instrumentalists. This long history continues in the 30th Annual Maine High School Concerto Competition. The first-prize winner for the Annas-Cupp Award will be featured in a concerto performance with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

The competition is open to any string, woodwind, brass, percussion, harp and piano student in grades 9 through 12 at the time of the application due date. Entrants must not have graduated and must be enrolled in high school or high school program (e.g. home school). Entrants must not have taken the GED. Dual enrollment students are eligible.

Entrants must be Maine residents, but may attend high school outside the state of Maine. If questions arise, proof of age, enrollment and residency may be necessary. Winners of the Annas-Cupp Award in any preceding year are ineligible to compete.

All applicants must submit a CD of the student performing a five-minute excerpt from one movement of a concerto in the standard orchestral repertoire. The selected movement can be up to 12 minutes in length, uncut. Any exceptions to the length rule and approval for any cuts or transcriptions must be requested in writing and approved by the competition committee prior to CD submission. Specific questions as to the eligibility of a work should be directed to the competition committee before application is submitted.

All CDs must include the accompaniment (including pianists), which may be a piano reduction of the score — no pre-recorded accompaniments, e.g. Music Minus One. Applicants are advised to listen to their CDs before they send it in, as quality is important. Placing the microphone closer to the soloist is advised, and pianists should make sure they have adequate microphone separation between soloist and accompanist.

A copy of the music with each measure numbered also must be submitted, along with a completed application form with the $15 entry fee; checks should be payable to the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. All applications must be postmarked prior to midnight, Jan. 7.

For more information and to download an application, visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to