Marie Stillwell Young Artists' Competition

Annually, the ASO hosts the Marie Stillwell Young Artists' Competition.  This competition, also known as the ASO's Young Artists' Competition, is designed to recognize talented young musicians by providing them with scholarship awards to further their musical education, as well as offer them the opportunity to perform in concert with the Alton Symphony Orchestra.  Contestants 12 years of age and younger are eligible for the Deborah Fox Guild award.

The ASO Young Artists' Competition is held at the Ringhausen Music Building (located next to the chapel) on the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College at the following address:

Lewis and Clark Community College

5800 Godfrey Road

Godfrey, IL  62035

For the 2019-2020 Season, the ASO's Young Artists' Competition will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2019 Deadlines for applications to the competition are Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (Central Standard Time).

Competition Awards
Awards will be issued for the following three categories:

  • First Place:  Cash award of $300.  Performance on February 23, 2020 with the Alton Symphony Orchestra.

  • First place runner-up:  Cash award of $200.

  • Deborah Fox Guild:  Award of $100.  Performance on December 7, 2019 with the Alton Symphony Orchestra.

Competition Rules

  • Contestants can be any age, up to the maximum age of 21 for instrumentalists, and 24 for vocalists.

  • Contestants are to be full time students with a private instructor.

  • Contestants must reside within a 125 mile radius of Alton, Illinois.

  • Each contestant shall perform the first or last movement of any standard concerto or concert piece that has orchestral accompaniment.  Vocalists may use standard operatic literature with orchestral accompaniment.

  • Contestants shall provide the adjudication panel with 3 hard copies of the music score.

  • Audition performance does not have to be memorized; however, First Place, and Guild Contest winners will be expected to perform from memory in the concert performance with the orchestra.

  • Contestants are expected to provide their own accompaniment for the auditions.  Pianists are to perform with a second piano (orchestral) accompaniment.

  • No previous first place winner may compete.  Runners-up and Guild Award winners are allowed to compete.

  • The 1st place and Guild Award winners of the Young Artists’ Competition will perform with the orchestra at the discretion of the Music Director, conditional upon the availability of the music selected.  ASO has a maximum budget of $250 for the rental or purchase of orchestration.  Your application fee will be returned if music selection is unavailable or if it is over the allowed expense.  

The competition winners will be notified the evening of the competition.  Upon request, winners will be required to email a high resolution digital photo and a soloist biography to  Winners must be available to rehearse at the convenience of the Music Director.  All rehearsals with the Alton Symphony Orchestra are Monday evenings from 7:30 P.M - 9:30 P.M. at Hatheway Cultural Center on the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois (see address above).


This program is sponsored in part by the Alton Community Service League, the Jacoby Foundation, Alton Foundation, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Applications have closed for the season.


Alton Symphony Orchestra

PO Box 1205

Alton, IL 62002


Portions of this season's programming are funded by generous gifts from the Alton Foundation, the Jacoby Foundation, Alton Community Service League, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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