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Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Competition

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians Competition, previously scheduled for March 14, has been postponed.

Oregon Symphony in Salem sponsors a prestigious instrumental music competition for talented youth in the mid-Willamette Valley. The Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Competition encourages serious young musicians to hone their performance skills by participating in a juried competition. The awards, currently the largest cash prizes for music students in Oregon, are funded through an endowment made possible by the family of Vernon L. Wiscarson, a Salem music educator, local business owner, and longtime arts supporter.

The competition, established in 1980, is held on the campus of Western Oregon University each March and is free to the public. Adjudicators come from the Oregon Symphony and universities in the area. First place winners receive a cash prize of $600, second place winners $300, third place winners $200, and honorable mention winners $100. Winners may also receive invitations to Symphony rehearsals and opportunities to perform. Past winners have gone on to study at prestigious institutions of higher learning and even to win the Oregon Symphony in Salem’s Music Educator of the Year Award.

We invite anyone to join us to hear talented young musicians perform compositions written for soloist and orchestra. Seventeen students from Salem, Corvallis, and Albany ranging from grade 6–12 will play in this adjudicated competition. Instruments represented are flute, bassoon, violin, cello, and piano. The event is free and open to the public, and takes place at Smith Hall, Western Oregon University, Monmouth. Email wiscarsoncompetition@orsymphony.org for more information.


2019 Winners

1st place: Ryan Babe, cello
West Salem High School (far left)
2nd Place: Avery Hsieh, violin
Corvallis High School (far right)
3rd Place: Iris Fu, flute
Crescent Valley High School (not pictured)

Honorable mentions: Israel Perez, flute (middle right); Benjamin Frueh, violin (middle left); and Julie Chen, flute (not pictured)

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