YCI 2017 – Detailed Information

The Strings Attached Orchestra (SAO) is a Toronto based adult community orchestra.  We are a registered charitable organization overseen by a board of directors made up of playing members of the orchestra. Members are all amateurs under the baton of a hired professional conductor. The primary missions of the SAO are:

  • Performing live music at a high quality standard for communities that would not normally experience it, such as retirement homes, hospitals, day care centres, libraries etc.
  • Advancement of performers’ skills and knowledge levels in all areas and genres of music.
  • Advancement of music both new and old for string ensembles.

The Strings Attached Orchestra hopes to encourage the writing of contemporary works for strings by young composers to foster their development and careers and to spread knowledge of their work and talent broadly across Canadian society. The “Young Composer Initiative” has been established to give young Canadian composers, up to and including the age of 16 as of June 4th 2017, the opportunity to have their music played by members of a string orchestra in a public concert. The contest is open to all Canadian Residents only.

Each entrant must make every compositional decision and actually  write the notes of any work submitted but their teachers may serve as mentors and assist in the technological and logistical aspects of preparing and sending submissions. Teachers may not edit or arrange the works submitted. Entrants may submit only one entry to the SAO YCI 2017.

Works must be for an amateur ensemble, specifically of orchestral string instruments only. The ensemble may consist of as few as any three string instrument parts as normally found in a string orchestra of up to 5 parts (plus divisi parts if required) as in traditional string orchestra writing (i.e. Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, String Bass and percussion).

Works must be less than 5 minutes in length. It must never have been a winner of any competition and must never have been performed in a public concert before.

Works will be assessed by a panel consisting of the following:

  • The SAO Music Director (Ricardo Giorgi)
  • The SAO President (Ruth Levenstein)
  • One non-board member from the orchestra
  • Two additional outside panel members, whose main interest is in the area of strings education and/or music composition, may be appointed by the SAO board.

The Assessment Panel will determine the ranking of submissions based on their intrinsic artistic value, the playability of the work by an amateur ensemble, the skill and creativity exhibited by the composer and their suitability for performance for audiences typical of those the SAO performs for. Past SAO programmes can be found at www.stringsattachedorchestra.com/hear-us-play/performance-videos/.

One submission will be declared the winner and awarded a performance at the 2016-17 season end Final Concert of the SAO on June 4th, 2017. Two runners-up will be declared. The first place winner will receive a prize of $150, the 2nd place winner will receive a prize of $75 and the 3rd place winner will receive a prize of $25, courtesy of Geo. Heinl & Co. If circumstances warrant and allow for it, the first runner-up submission may also be performed at an SAO concert. Of the entries not being cited as the winner or one of the runners-up, any number of finalists may be cited as “Honourable Mentions” and offered performances.

Entries must be submitted as a score and parts in pdf format in proper page order. In addition, an audio file of the composition in .mp3, .wav, .wma, .aiff, .aifc or other standard audio format will be required as part of the submission. Audio files generated by midi files or software are acceptable but must be renderings of the actual submission.

All parts of the entry documents must be fully completed and submitted to the Strings Attached Orchestra by 12 noon on March 19, 2017 along with the score and parts in pdf files and an audio file of the work.

Incomplete submissions:  Any incomplete submission received before March 19th may result in the entrant being notified that the submission is not complete and should be completed and resubmitted to the YCI 2017 if there is sufficient time for the SAO to do so. The SAO makes no guarantee in any form that entrants will be notified of incomplete entries in time for re-submission. Any submission received by March 19th, 2017, which is not complete, may unfortunately be disqualified without notice.

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YCI 2017 Complete Contest Rules and Regulations