“Celebration of the Arts” Music Competition

UPDATE 3-9-2020: Competition results posted here. Congratulations to all of our competitors!

Announcing the Nelly Berman School’s “Celebration of the Arts” Music Competition:

As part of our “Celebration of the Arts” Festival, the Nelly Berman School will be holding a music competition for our students to inspire them to strive for their highest potential as they work to master their instruments.

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Platinum, Gold and Silver prize winners will perform at our winners’ concerts at the 375-seat Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, West Chester University. Bronze prize winners will perform at a winners’ concert at the beautiful, stain-glassed Sanctuary at St. Luke United Methodist Church at 4:00pm on Saturday, March 7.

All proceeds from this festival will benefit the NBSCMI, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing scholarships to deserving and hard-working young musicians, as well as presenting concerts, workshops, masterclasses, and events to the greater Philadelphia area.

>> The application is available online. Please fill out the GoogleForm by Wednesday, January 29, 2020. <<

Competition Dates

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – application deadline – must be submitted online and registration paid

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – video submission deadline – must be uploaded to Youtube and emailed to office

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 10:30-12:00pm and 12:30-2:00pm – Silver and Gold winners’ recitals at West Chester University

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 3:30-6:00pm – Platinum winners perform at the “Celebration of the Arts” Gala Concert with students of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet


All students ages 6-18, in piano, harpsichord, strings, winds, brass, guitar, voice, duets (four-hand & two-piano), and chamber groups/ensembles who were nominated by their teachers to compete are eligible to enter this competition. Students may enter more than one instrumental division.

Application Procedure

Application deadline: The deadline for online applications is 11:59pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

Application fee: The application fee for each solo category is $55. The application fee for each member of a duet, chamber group or ensemble will be $35 each. If applicants want to participate in more than one instrumental division, the second division will be discounted to $40.

Application form: Applications must be submitted online. The application form should include acknowledgement that payment (check) was sent via mail or given to the office.

We also require submission via email of the following supporting materials:

· Short biography of contestant (in txt., doc., or docx. format)

· A legible scan of the score with pages in the correct order in PDF format

· If applicable, cuts must be clearly marked in the music

· The application fee is non-refundable even if the contestant withdraws from the competition.

Submission Procedure

Submission deadline: The deadline for video submission is 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Please email the YouTube link to the office at celebration-of-the-arts@nbsmusic.com.

The video must be continuously shot in one take, must be high-quality (360p or higher), and must be uploaded to YouTube with the viewing settings must be set to “public”.

The office can provide a reputable professional videographer who we and our teachers have worked with before; please contact the office for pricing.

>> Sign up for slots with our professional videographer on Sign-Up Genius. <<

Winners’ Concerts

Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, West Chester University:

Concert fee is $80; which includes (a) four (4) tickets (in addition to performer); and (b) awards

All additional tickets will cost $20/adult and $15 for students

The Sanctuary at St. Luke United Methodist Church:

Concert fee is $60; which includes (a) four (4) tickets (in addition to

performer); and (b) awards

All additional tickets will cost $15/adult and $10 for students

All winners must perform at the winners’ concert to receive cash prizes and awards. Winners must perform the same pieces that they auditioned with. If a chosen winner cannot perform, the succeeding winners may be advanced.

Concert fees are nonrefundable.

Prize Divisions

Students will be awarded either Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Three (3) cash prizes valuing $150, $100, and $75 will be awarded to our Grand Prix winners from the Platinum prize category. Grand Prix winners are the top three (3) overall performers in the entire competition, regardless of age or instrument.

We will also award students in each age and instrument category, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners receiving medals, and two (2) honorable mention winners receiving congratulatory ribbons. All competitors will receive congratulatory certificates.

One of the primary goals of our competition is education through allowing students to uncover their natural talents in music, learn new repertoire, to polish it to a high level, learn to manage time, practice productively, develop poise under pressure, and cultivate a unique creative voice.

Questions regarding any aspect of the competition should be addressed to celebration-of-the-arts@nbsmusic.com. Full competition guidelines are posted outside the Nelly Berman School office and on our website.

Thank you to Hazel Sun of Hazel Sun Photography for providing us with the featured image!