Young Artists Competition

The Young Artists Competition

February 11, 2024 —Winners’ Recital at 2:30 p.m. at Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, free and open to the public!

Co-presented by The WSO Academy of Music and Seton Hill University.

Showcase your music; perform live and win cash prizes! Each year the Young Artists Competition is open to all instrumental students up to and including seniors in high school who live or take lessons in Westmoreland or Fayette County. You can mail in your application or use the online form.



January 12, 2024—Application and audio recording due in the WSO office. Late entries will not be accepted. If sending by mail, send the application early.

February 4, 2024— Finals begin at 12 p.m.

February 11, 2024 —Winners’ Recital at 2:30 p.m.

The Westmoreland Symphony’s Young Artist Competition has been in existence since the 1980s. In 2002, its format was changed from a concerto competition to a solo competition.  It is now open to students who reside or take their private music lessons in Westmoreland or Fayette County.

The Young Artists Competition promotes excellence through competition in the field of music performance. The competition is open to classical instrumentalists who are residents of either Westmoreland or Fayette County or take private music lessons in either of those two counties and have not yet graduated from high school. Participants compete for performance opportunities as determined by a three-judge panel. Cash prizes will be awarded as determined by the judges.


  • Applicants must perform two or more contrasting pieces representing different periods of classical repertoire, highlighting both lyricism and facility.
  • Performing from memory is required for pianists and encouraged for others.
  • For music with accompaniment, contestants must use an accompanist for recorded and live auditions. If chosen to perform on the winners’ recital, one should use the same accompanist.
  • Audition audio files (no videos) must include the entire program that the applicant plans to perform in the live audition.
  • Finalists must provide three copies of their music (one for each judge), with measure numbers listed at the beginning of each line. This includes full scores for instrumentalists.


Level I (up to 10 minutes performance time)
Up to Grade 9
Piano – Instrumental

Level II (up to 15 minutes performance time)
Grades 10-12
Piano – Instrumental

Contestants may only win the top prize once per level (i.e., a 1st prize winner at Level I may not enter at Level I again unless he/she applies on another instrument).

Entry Fee/Prizes

$15 – preliminary recorded audition

$15 – live audition if the contestant is accepted for the final round

Cash prizes and performance in the Winners’ Recital are determined by a panel of professional musicians.

  •     Level I – 1st place $150; 2nd place $100, 3rd place $75
  •     Level II – 1st place $250; 2nd place $200, 3rd place $150

Prizes may or may not be given in each of the four categories, at judges’ discretion.


2024 Winners

Winners Recital was held Sunday, February 12, 2023

On Sunday, February 4, 2024, the finalists competed for cash prizes and a chance to perform on the Winners’ Recital.

Level I – up to Grade 9


1st place – Ilana Aranovich, violin (Franklin Regional HS freshman; teacher – Kristina Yoder)

2nd place – Elsa Bandli, flute (Franklin Regional HS freshman; teacher – Dan Parasky)

3rd place – Kaitlyn Lippman flute (Franklin Regional HS freshman; teacher – Dan Parasky)

Honorable Mention – Ava Zannikos, flute (Franklin Regional MS 8th grader; teacher – Dan Parasky)


1st place – Peyton Kunkle (Greensburg Salem 8th grader; teacher – Charlotte Robertson)

2nd place – Wayne Lee (Franklin Regional Intermediate School 5th grader; teacher – Tatanya Gelman)

3rd place – Levi Pecorari (homeschooled 6th grader; teacher – John Kulik)

Honorable Mention – Julian Parker (Franklin Regional MS 6th grader; teacher – Hyun Ju Curtin)

Honorable Mention – Barani Oo (Franklin Regional Elementary 3rd grader; teacher – John Kulik)


Level II – Grades 10-12


1st place – AJ Schmidt, piccolo (Franklin Regional HS sophomore; teacher – Dan Parasky)

2nd place – Rhys Vander Kelen, flute (homeschooled sophomore; teacher – Dan Parasky)

3rd place – Juliana Matteo, harp (Penn-Trafford HS senior; teacher – Gretchen VanHoesen)

Honorable Mention – Nia Hanington, flute (Franklin Regional HS sophomore; teacher – Dan Parasky)

Honorable Mention – Martin Meyer, violin (PA Leadership Charter School junior; teacher – Lisa Thackrah)


1st place – William Duvall (PA Cyber Charter School sophomore; teacher – René Seamone)

2023-2024 Season

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