the Young Musicians Festival experience

If this year will be your first Young Musicians Festival, we hope the following brief photo essay will give you a sense of what to expect from the experience.

Festivals vary from year to year in small ways, but the overall flow is pretty consistent. The photos accompanying this article were taken during the 2013 Festival, which was held at Milton Academy.

Check In

registration staff at Young Musicians Festival
registration table at Young Musicians Festival

On the day of the Festival, you will first meet volunteers at the Registration Table, who will check your name off on the schedule, give you some paperwork to fill out, and direct you to the warm up rooms and where your audition will take place. The paperwork is simple. It involves filling in your name and the pieces you are performing on the two sheets you will soon hand to the adjudicators at your audition.

If you have questions at any point, all the Festival volunteers have name tags. Don’t be shy — seek one of us out!


string audiotion at Young Musicians Festival
piano audition at Young Musicians Festival

Audition schedules are posted outside each audition room. You (and any family members) are welcome to enter the room between auditions and listen to friends perform. When you perform, you can expect there to be at minimum two adjudicators in the audition room in addition to you and your accompanist. However, be prepared for there to be other performers and their parents as well. They are all there to support you!

When it is your turn to perform, please begin by providing the adjudicators with your evaluation forms (the ones you filled out at the Registration Desk) plus a copy of your music for them to refer to as you perform.

Master Class

winds master class at Young Musicians Festival
strings masterclass at Young Musicians Festival
piano master class at Young Musicians Festival

After your audition, you are welcome to stay and listen to others. You may also leave the room and return later for the Master Class. You aren’t required to attend the Master Class, but you should do everything you can to be there because it’s a fantastic opportunity. The adjudicators are all musicians and teachers. During the Master Class the Adjudicators mostly talk in broad strokes about general trends which they observed during the auditions. You may be asked to come up and demonstrate some point they are making, but you will not be grilled or embarrassed individually!

Awards Ceremony

awards ceremony at Young Musicians Festival
awards ceremony at Young Musicians Festival
participants at 2013 Young Musicians Festival

The Festival day concludes with an Awards Ceremony. (The Awards Ceremony time will have been posted when you registered.) If your audition was early in the day, feel free to leave and come back. The Awards Ceremony lasts for about 30-40 minutes.

Every student who participates receives individual recognition at the Awards Ceremony. At the Ceremony, every student is called individually by name, one at a time, to be recognized by all. Each participant receives a copy of the Adjudicator’s marks and comments. Each participant is also awarded a medal: Bronze, Silver or Gold. If you aren’t able to return for the Awards Ceremony, please make contact with Ms. Salmonsen to get your comment forms and medal.

Gold Medal Concert

Young Musicians Festival Gold Medal Concert performance

Those participants who receive a Gold Medal for their audition performance are invited and encouraged to perform again the following afternoon at the Gold Medal Concert which has been held in the sanctuary of East Congregational Church for several years. This concert is free. It is open to any of your friends and family who wish to attend. Typically there are two Gold Medal Concerts on the same afternoon. If you attend the Awards Ceremony and receive a Gold Medal, you will have an opportunity to choose which time is more convenient for you and your family. If your performance is awarded a Gold Medal but you are not able to attend the Awards Ceremony, the Festival Committee will decide which Gold Medal Concert you will perform in, and you will be notified by email.

Young Musicians Festival Gold Medal Concert performance

The Young Musicians Festival attracts a self–selecting group of amazing, committed and accomplished student musicians. The Gold Medal Concert consequently showcases an impressive set of the amazing participants. The Gold Medal Concert performers span a range of ages, instruments and musical levels. The Gold Medal Concert is very different from a recital you may have participated in with your music teacher, mainly because of the variety but also because of the proficiency of the performers.

Because of the range of ages, we appreciate that younger musicians have an opportunity to observe older role models at the Gold Medal Concert. We find it is exhilarating to hear an accomplished middle school piano player and a high school cellist in the same program. It is not unusual to learn later that the tuba player and the violist are best friends! You may wish to read the Gold Medal Concert page on our web site for additional details.

Thanks for reading. The Board loves the Festival and the Gold Medal Concerts. We hope this brief glimpse has given you an insight as to why we love this Festival.