High School Music Competition 2022-2023


Students from Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota who are in their sophomore, junior, or senior years of high school are eligible to apply.


  • Piano
  • Voice
  • Wind Instruments & Percussion


There is no entry fee.


Each category will award the following prizes:
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $300
Third Prize: $200

NDSU Scholarship Opportunities: Eligible students may qualify for significant scholarships as music majors in the NDSU Challey School of Music.


The High School music competition will be held in three rounds. The first round is open to all applicants who meet the Tuesday, November 1, 2022 application deadline. The second and third rounds are the semi-finals and finals rounds which will be held in the morning and afternoon of Friday, November 18, 2022 on the NDSU campus, respectively.

3 Rounds
Round 1: Open to all applicants — Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
Round 2: Semi-Finals — Morning of Friday, November 18, 2022, on campus.
Round 3: Finals — Afternoon of Friday, November 18, 2022, on campus.



All applicants:

  • Applicants submit one video performance at the time of the Application Deadline for the Round 1.
  • Semi-finalists and Finalists must present a second work for Rounds 2 and 3 in addition to the work they submitted for Round 1. The judges may elect to hear both pieces or only one.
Piano: Selections should be for solo piano between 5 and 15 minutes total.
Voice: Selections should be for voice and piano accompaniment. The selections should not exceed 10 minutes total.
Wind and Percussion Instruments: Selections/movements can be accompanied or unaccompanied and should be between 5 and 15 minutes total.


  • For each selection, make a separate unedited video from a single camera. The video frame must fully show the performer.
  • The performer must announce their name and the title of the selection before beginning the performance or use digital titles indicating their name and the title of their selection.
    • When you upload your video files to YouTube make sure to select "Unlisted" under the Visibility Settings. Do not select "Private" because the judges will not be able to view your recording(s). Instructions on how to upload a video to YouTube can be found here.
  • Live accompaniment is preferred for Round 1 submissions. However, in some circumstances, pre-recorded, synthetic, or performances without accompaniment are allowed. Please contact Dr. Kelly Burns about concerns or questions you may have.
  • Competitors in the voice and instrumental categories may bring their own piano accompanist or they may use a collaborative pianist provided by NDSU Challey School of Music at no extra cost. No pre-recorded accompaniments will be allowed in Rounds 2 or 3. A 15-minute rehearsal with the NDSU pianists prior to Round 2 will be available.
  • Applicants must abide by all applicable copyright laws.
  • The preliminary round will be judged by NDSU faculty. Semifinals and Finals will be judged by external judges.
  • At the discretion of the judges, some or all prizes may be not awarded in every category.
  • The decision of the judges is final.


Students must fill out a separate application for each category they wish to enter by clicking on the appropriate buttons below.

Piano      Voice       Wind and Percussion Instruments


For general information about the competition, contact Dr. Kelly Burns at