7/28/2008


The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra Guild and the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College (formerly Okaloosa-Walton College) are proud to sponsor the 22nd Annual Concerto Competition open to students of orchestral instruments, keyboard, and voice who are 23 years of age or younger. Students compete for prize money and the opportunity to play with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in a live concert.

The contest is open to students who are legal residents of the following counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Gadsden, Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Columbia, Baker, Union, Duval, Nassau, Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Putnam, St. Johns, Bradford, and Clay.

The competition is divided into three divisions. The Junior Division is open to students in grades up to the 8th grade, the Senior Division is open to students in grades 9 through 12; and the College Division is open to college undergraduates who are 23 years or younger.

Application materials must be postmarked by September 20, 2008 to be considered. After the initial screening, applicants will be selected to participate in a live audition. All applicants will be notified by phone or email no later than October 4 regarding their participation in the live audition. Live auditions will be held on Saturday, October 18 in the Tyler Recital Hall of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at NWF State Colleges Niceville Campus. All applicants are required to provide their own accompanist for the competition. Winners will perform, at the Music Director's discretion, with the NFSO in concert on February 20, 2009. Awards and prize money will be presented to the winners at the concert. Awards are $500 for Junior Division winner, $1,000 for Senior Division winner, and $1,500 for College Division winner. The decision of the judges is final.

Applications and contest rules are available online at www.nfsymphony.org or at the Fine Arts Office. For more information about the Concerto Competition please call (850) 729-5382.

The region's premiere professional symphony, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra at NWF State College, is under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Jeffrey Rink. The orchestra has performed each season since 1987, providing cultural programs for thousands of area residents in its 22-year history and numerous educational endeavors such as the Concerto Competition.

This season the orchestra will present beloved masterpieces, international guest artists from Japan, a Pops concert with Grammy-nominated vocalist and screen star Della Reese, collaborative performances with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus and more. Season tickets and individual concert tickets are on sale now from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office in-person, by phone at 729-6000, or online at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.

The orchestra's "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on February 20, 2009 will feature certain winners of the Concerto Competition as part the program. "The Concerto Competition winners are always truly stunning and this event is one of the favorites of our long-time NFSO patrons," noted Maestro Rink.

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located on the Niceville campus of NWF State College at 100 College Boulevard and is easily accessible via Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 285 and Highway 85.

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