David L. Pierson Concerto Competition

COVID-19 Update (4/1/20): The Young Musicians’ Concerto Competition has been rescheduled to June 27, 2020 at the Mathile Theatre in the Schuster Center. The application deadline has been extended to June 8.

Saturday, June 27, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Mathile Theatre, Schuster Center, 1 W 2nd St, Dayton, OH 45402

The purpose of this competition is to identify outstanding talented young musicians in the Dayton metropolitan and surrounding areas, to encourage young musicians to pursue further study, and to stimulate competition among student musicians.


• Contestants must be in grades 10–12 during the 2020–2021 school year.
• Contestants must be a member of their high school’s band or orchestra (exceptions are made for piano and home-schooled students).
• First place David L. Pierson Concerto Competition winners may not enter again.
• Contestants may audition on any orchestra instruments.
• Contestants must be legal residents of the state of Ohio (exceptions are made for contestants who are members of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestras or students of Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra musicians).

Audition Process:

• All auditions will take place the morning of Saturday, June 27, 2020 with the final judging beginning around 12:00 noon. The judges will not hear any auditions prior to or after this date. No exceptions will be made.
• Each contestant will be notified of the exact time of his/her audition about five days before June 27, 2020.
• Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, will judge the finalists immediately following the preliminaries.
• The repertoire selection should be between 3 and 8 minutes in length. Contestants may make cuts if their selection is longer than 8 minutes.
• Contestants should bring an original copy of their musical selection with measure numbers marked. Photocopies are illegal and not permitted.


• The winner of this competition receives a $500 cash award and is the featured soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at a Young People’s Concert during the 2020–2021 season. Second- and third-place finalists receive a cash award.

More Information:

Application and fee must be postmarked no later than June 8, 2020
• Download the Revised 2020 Concerto Competition Application Form (you can also submit the old form).
• If you have any other questions, please contact Alex Ignatiou, Education Program Coordinator, [email protected].