Community-based orchestra consisting of professional and highly skilled amateur players from the Hamilton and Burlington areas.

Young Artists’ Competition

Symphony on the Bay is excited to announce its 2016 competition for Young Artists. The annual competition is part of the Symphony’s ongoing efforts to connect with and provide opportunities for young musicians in our community. The winners of the Young Artists’ Competition are invited to perform with the orchestra during the upcoming season. The 2016 competition will select two outstanding competitors, one junior and one senior, to perform as soloists with the orchestra in a special concert presentation Rising Stars on April 2, 2017.

See the complete list of winners from 1991 to the present.

Young Artists’ Competition 2016


To provide an opportunity for young area musicians to perform as a soloist with orchestra.


Two winners, one junior and one senior, will perform as soloists with the orchestra during a special concert presentation in late March or early April, 2017. These two winners will also each win a $200 bursary.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The competition is open to orchestral instruments (woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings), harp, piano, and voice.
  • Senior instrumental contestants must be no older than 26 years of age as of August 31, 2016, and junior instrumental contestants no older than 15 as of August 31, 2016; senior vocal contestants no older than 29 and junior vocal contestants no older than 18 as of August 31, 2016. Contestants will be judged according to their age, and one junior and one senior winner will be chosen to perform with the orchestra.
  • Contestants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or have studied with a Canadian teacher in Canada for at least two years.
  • Contestants must reside or study or have resided in the regions of Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, or Southwestern Ontario.
  • Contestants must be recommended by their teachers.

Music Selection Requirements

The contestant must select one or more movements of a concerto, or a one-movement composition originally composed for their instrument or voice and orchestra. The orchestral accompaniment must be readily available in print (subject to approval by the symphony librarian) and the total performance time should not exceed 15 minutes in length.

Application Fee

There is a non-refundable application fee of $30.00.

Audition Procedure

Contestants must submit an application form and fee along with a recording of themselves playing the selected music with piano accompaniment. The recording may be submitted on CD or other digital media such as a USB drive or SD card, or may be provided as a link to online media. Recordings will not be identified when audited by the judges. The finalists and their accompanists will be invited to perform before a panel of judges on Saturday, October 29, 2016, in Burlington, Ontario. Physical media will only be returned if a stamped self-addressed envelope is included with the application.


Your completed application form and fee plus recording must be received at the address below by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 30, 2016.

Download the application form (PDF).

For More Information

Symphony on the Bay
1100 Burloak Drive, Suite 300
Burlington, Ontario
Canada L7L 6B2


Symphony on the Bay

Symphony on the Bay is a community-based symphony orchestra serving Hamilton, Burlington and surrounding areas. We began in 1973 as the McMaster Symphony Orchestra, left the university to become Symphony Hamilton in 1988, and rebranded as Symphony on the Bay in 2011 to reflect our role in the wider Hamilton-Burlington community. We made our new home in the magnificent Burlington Performing Arts Centre in 2011. Maestro Claudio Vena was appointed Conductor and Music Director in December 2015, succeeding Maestro James R. McKay who was our Conductor and Music Director for 19 years and now holds the title of Music Director Emeritus. Our orchestra, comprised of students, highly skilled amateurs and a core of professional players, is looking forward to this new chapter in the life of Symphony on the Bay. We hope you will be part of this new chapter!

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