Thirteenth Annual Contest Provides Solo Opportunity for Selected Young Musicians and Vocalists

PHOTO: Jared SilbernagelMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The SUNY Orange Community Orchestra will be accepting applications for the ensemble’s 13th annual Concerto/Aria Competition, which provides a solo opportunity for talented young local musicians and vocalists from within Orange County.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 5 and may be submitted to Dr. Hilarie Clark Moore, orchestra conductor.

Winners selected from this year’s applicant pool will perform with the orchestra during its annual winter concert scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 in Middletown’s historic Paramount Theatre. SUNY Orange students, as well as Orange County high school students, are invited to enter the contest. Snow date for the concert is 3 p.m., Sunday, March 1.

A panel comprised of music faculty from SUNY Orange, as well as professional musicians from the Hudson Valley, will judge auditions for the instrumentalists and vocalists in the College’s Orange Hall Theatre from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Snow date for auditions will be during the same time slot one week later on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Interested musicians may acquire applications and information from their high school band, orchestra or chorus teacher, by contacting the College’s Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787, or via email by writing to

Instrumentalists may perform a single movement from a concerto or multiple movements. Vocalists may prepare an aria or multiple arias. The length of the performance piece should be approximately 10-20 minutes. Music composed by the 1850s will be accepted as long as it has a published and available orchestral accompaniment. Literature composed after the 1850s will also be considered, but needs prior approval by Moore. Applicants are expected to provide their own accompanist.

Last year, Warwick Valley High School musicians Jared Silbernagel (French horn, shown above) and Nathan Sander (piano) were selected as winners. Silbernagel performed Wolfgang Mozart’s “Horn Concerto, No. 2 in E flat, K. 417” and Sander performed Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414.”

Other past winners of the contest include Sarah Tusch, Valentina Ponochovnaya, George Courtsunis, Radhika Shah, Lucie Jaronowski, Tim Takagi, Clare Herceg, Emily Moore, Rachel Conklin, James Rose, Stephen Gorgone, Justin Randolph, Kaitlyn Mesic, Erica Moore, Ashley Heilweil, Audrey Zybura, Eric Bjorkman, Michael Kolb and Julia Rupp.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940