“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, in conjunction with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, is pleased to announce its Concerto Competition for High School Musicians is now open. All application materials are due Nov. 15, 2023. The winner will appear as a guest soloist with the Marine Chamber Orchestra during the 2024 concert season and receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Second and third-place winners will receive $1,000 and $500 scholarships respectively.
This competition is open to high school musicians (grades 9-12) enrolled during the 2023-2024 academic year. String, piano and harp players are eligible to apply. (Woodwind, brass and percussion players will be eligible in the 2025 competition.)
NOTE: After applications close for the 2024 competition, the next opportunity for string, piano and harp players to apply will be for the 2026 competition (applications due Nov. 2025).
Previous competition winners and immediate family members of current/former U.S. Marine Band members are not eligible. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.
The application has two components:
- Performance Recording:
- Applicants must select ONE work from the repertoire list and submit an unedited recording of their performance accompanied by piano, band or orchestra.
- Recordings must be submitted in the form of a YouTube video. The application form cannot be completed without a link to the video.
When posting to YouTube, applicants may also designate the video as "unlisted," meaning it is viewable only by people who have the direct link. If desired, the applicant can choose not to be visible in the video.
2. Online Application Form: Fill out and submit all required information on the online application form.
Based on the application materials, finalists will be selected and invited to Washington, D.C., to compete in a final round performance that is open to the public. All finalists will be notified by Jan. 1, 2024. The finals will be held in early 2024 (date TBD), in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live at www.youtube.com/usmarineband. Finalists will perform the same selection submitted with their application materials for an audience and panel of judges consisting of the Marine Band Director, Marine Band Assistant Directors and a guest adjudicator.
The Marine Band will provide a piano accompanist for applicants who advance to the final round, but finalists may bring their own accompanist if desired.
Finalists will have the opportunity to be coached by a member of "The President's Own" during their rehearsal time.
The competition winner will be invited to perform his or her solo selection in concert with the Marine Chamber Orchestra in the spring of 2024 (date TBD), in the Washington, D.C. area, and will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Second and third-place winners will receive $1,000 and $500 scholarships respectively.
For all rounds of the competition, memorization of the music is not required.
Applicants selected for the final round of the competition in Washington, D.C. are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.
Travel and lodging will be provided for the competition winner and one guardian for the solo performance with the Marine Chamber Orchestra.
- Nov. 15, 2023: All application materials are due.
- Jan. 1, 2024: Finalists are notified on or before this date.
- Early 2024 (date TBD): Selected finalists rehearse with accompanist and have a coaching session with a member of "The President's Own."
- Early 2024 (date TBD): The final round performance is held at 2:00 p.m. in John Philip Sousa Band Hall at Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C. and live streamed at www.youtube.com/usmarineband. The competition winner is announced and scholarships are presented.
- Spring 2024 (date TBD): The competition winner returns to Washington, D.C., to perform his or her solo selection in concert with the Marine Chamber Orchestra. The winner will have ample rehearsal time with the ensemble as well as a sound check in the performance space. Travel and lodging for this performance will be provided for the winner and one guardian.