“Celebration of the Arts” Music Competition

Some of the participants from one of our Rising Stars student concerts – part of a biannual six-concert series.
  • 2021 COTA Competition results posted here.
  • 2020 COTA Competition results posted here.

“Celebration of the Arts during COVID” Music Competition – 2021

As part of our “Celebration of the Arts” Music Festival, the Nelly Berman School of Music holds an annual music competition for our students to inspire them to strive for their highest potential as they work to master their instruments.

Platinum prize winners will be featured in our virtual “Celebration of the Arts during COVID” Gala Concert, to be premiered at 6PM on Saturday, April 3, 2021, which will also include choreographed works performed by the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, artwork by the Main Line Art Center’s students and teachers, and music by the Nelly Berman School of Music students. Gold, Silver, and Bronze prize winners will perform at our virtual Winners’ Concerts at 12PM and 6PM on Saturday, April 10, 2021, which will also feature artwork.

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 Friday, February 5th, 2021. <<

Competition Dates

Friday, February 5, 2021 – application deadline – must be submitted online and registration paid

Friday, March 5, 2021 – video submission deadline – must be uploaded to Youtube and emailed to office

Saturday, April 3, 2021, 6:00pm – Virtual “Celebration of the Arts during COVID” Gala Concert featuring music performances by the Platinum winners, choreographed dances by local ballet students and artwork from the Main Line Art Center

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 12:00pm & 6:00pmVirtual Gold, Silver, Bronze Winners’ Concerts featuring artwork from the Main Line Art Center


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 8:00pm on Friday, February 5th.

Application fee: The application fee for each solo category is $65. 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 8:00pm on Friday, March 5th.

>> Click here to submit your video by Friday, March 5th! <<

Please submit via the submission form or email the video file to the office at office@nbsmusic.com.The video must be continuously shot in one take, must be high-quality (360p or higher), and must be submitted as a .mov or .mp4 file.

You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

Winners’ Concerts

All competitors will be placed in a virtual concert, which will premiere on Youtube, with links posted on our website, nbsmusic.com, and on our Facebook and other social media. All Nelly Berman School of Music families and teachers will receive the video link via email before each concert premiere.

  • The concert participation fee for all competitors will be $15, and includes a digital copy of the concert file. Save your child’s concert as a wonderful keepsake, to be shared with your children’s children one day!
  • If you would like a digital copy of your child’s individual performance, the office can send one to you for an additional $10.

Concert fees are nonrefundable.

Prize Divisions

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

Three (3) cash prizes 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.

All participants will receive emailed 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 office@nbsmusic.com.

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