2017 Winner Emily Chung
2017 Winner Emily Chung

Announcing the Hershey Symphony’s 18th Annual Young Artist Competition (YAC).   Its purpose is to encourage and foster the best young classical musicians (grades 7-11) from our local 8 county area (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York). The winner receives a $1,000 prize and performs a concerto movement with the Hershey Symphony during the following season.  The 2018 competition finals will occur March 27, 2018. Those selected for the finals perform at Zug Hall at Elizabethtown College in front of a panel of highly qualified judges. This makes for an evening of compelling music making which has to be seen to be fully appreciated. There is no admission charge for the audience to attend the finals. We are currently seeking sponsorship to keep this wonderful event going.  Previous YAC participants have gone on to successful careers in music.

Click here to download the 2018 YAC flyer.

Click here to download the 2018 YAC application

Eligibility: Students enrolled in grades 7 through 11 (sorry, no 12th graders) during the 2017-2018 school year who reside in the following eight counties in Pennsylvania: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York.  Those who have entered our competition in the past are encouraged to compete again (past winners are excluded).

Music Selection: One movement of any concerto for solo instrument (including operatic voice) that is written with orchestral accompaniment.  Competitors chosen for the finals are responsible for bringing their own piano accompanists.

First Prize: $1,000   (The William & Ruth Cagnoli Music Award)

2017 YAC Finalists & Judges
2017 YAC Finalists & Judges

Timeline: Submit clearly recorded CDs or e-mail an MP3 to the Hershey Symphony Orchestra with an application form by the deadline date of March 9, 2018. Those selected for the finals will play before a panel of highly qualified professionals on March 27, 2018 at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.  The prize winners will be announced that evening.  The first prize winner will perform with the Hershey Symphony Orchestra at the Hershey Theatre during the orchestra’s 2018-19 season which commences in the Fall 2018.  Dr. Sandra Dackow, HSO Music Director, will arrange rehearsals with the winner.

To Apply: Complete the Young Artist Competition Application and submit with CD and application fee to Hershey Symphony Orchestra at PO Box 93, Hershey, PA 17033. Email: yac@hersheysymphony.org.  Phone (717) 533-8449

An application fee of $35 is required with submission (check payable to Hershey Symphony Orchestra).

About our Prize Sponsor
The late William and Ruth Cagnoli of Hershey played a tremendous role in the lives of local musicians for more than three decades. Their business, Cagnoli Music , offered music lessons, books, instrument sales, repairs and more to musicians of all ages in Central Pennsylvania. The Cagnolis also owned and operated Marty’s Music in Lebanon for many years. A professional woodwind player in the region, William Cagnoli was also one of the early founders of The Hershey Symphony Orchestra and conducted the musicians on several occasions. Mr. Cagnoli also spent nearly 20 years at the Lebanon Veterans Hospital as a Registered Musical Therapist. Allan Cagnoli, their son, is honored to provide the one-thousand dollar award for the Hershey Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition winner, in memory of his parents, who deeply loved music, education, and their community.