The Community School of the Arts at Northern Illinois University invites musicians eighteen years old and younger to audition in the annual CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition.  Audition applications must be received by October 15.  Auditions are scheduled in the Recital Hall of the NIU Music Building on November 12 beginning at 5 p.m.

One winner receives a $200 cash prize and performs the winning concerto with the youth orchestra as a special guest at the Sinfonia concert on May 1, 2019.  Linc Smelser directs the CSA Sinfonia youth orchestra, a full orchestra that has performed varied and exciting repertoire in NIU’s Boutell Memorial Concert Hall every year since 1999.

Margaret O'Malley

Winner of the 2017 CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition, Margaret O’Malley of Glen Ellyn, performed Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, 1st Mvt. by Camille Saint-Saens.

Musicians wishing to compete must live within a 75-miles radius of DeKalb.  Each musician will perform from memory one movement of a standard solo concerto or an appropriate one-movement composition.  Auditions are limited to eight minutes, and musicians are expected to bring their own accompanist.

Since the Sinfonia Concerto Competition began in 2001, the list of winners has grown to include:  Andrew Parsons, Shawn Moore, Jonathan Richards, Hellen Weberpal, Jaime Sachay, Katelyn Kozinski, Autumn Chodorowski, David Petersons, Katie Schulz, Rachel Stenzel, Genevieve Smelser, Hanna Bingham, Serena Harnack, Karisa Chiu, Katherine Gallagher, Steven Song, Thompson Wang and Margaret O’Malley.

The NIU Community School of the Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University.  More than 50 teachers conduct ensembles, classes and private lessons, providing opportunities for community members to learn about and enjoy music and art.  CSA teachers include NIU faculty and students, as well as artists and musicians from DeKalb, Sycamore and the surrounding community.

More information and applications forms are available at or by calling the CSA office at (815) 753-1450.