Young Artist Competition

The annual Young Artist Competition (YAC) is held annually to celebrate young talent in the Fredericksburg region. This juried competition for aspiring students of classical instruments, piano and voice provides them an opportunity to display their skill and be rewarded for it. One winner is selected from each category: Instrumental, Piano and Voice. Winners receive $500 scholarships and are invited to perform in a pre-concert program at our annual Chamber Music Festival, as well as future events sponsored by ArtsLIVE! The YAC Finals Concert welcomes the general public.

2024 Young Artist Competition Application

Due by January 5, 2024

Previous Winners || Previous Finalists


    • All entrants must be capable of performing an orchestral solo.
    • Students must be 18 years old or younger on the day of the Finals Competition and a resident of Planning District 16 (Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Stafford, King George, and Caroline Counties).
    • The entrant’s teacher shall confirm on the application that the entrant is at a suitable level to participate in the Competition.
    • Previous first-place winners shall not be allowed to participate in the same category.


    • Instrumental competition piece shall be a concerto or concert piece from standard repertoire.
    • Vocal competition pieces shall be from the classic vocal repertoire including opera and musical theatre.
    • Piano competition piece may not be accompanied by another piano.
    • Suitable repertoire is at Instrumental Grade 4 and above or is listed in the "National Federation of Music Clubs Festival Bulletin" at the Difficult through Musically Advanced level.
    • Compositions must last no longer than ten minutes. They do not need to be memorized.
    • Prior to auditions, compositions will be screened to ensure appropriate performance level. Non-qualifying entrants will be denied participation and their entry fee returned.
    • One copy of the performance piece shall be submitted with the application indicating exactly what will be performed. Three (2) additional copies of that music shall be submitted prior to the Preliminary Audition performance.
    • Students will perform the same composition at the Preliminary Audition and the Finals Competition.


    • Entrants will compete in one of 3 performance categories: Piano, Vocal, or Instrumental.
    • If no one qualifies to be a Finalist in a category, an award will not be given for that category.
    • When the composition includes accompaniment, the student must provide an accompanist at both the Preliminary Audition and the Finals Concert.
    • Appropriate attire is required at the Preliminary Audition (i.e., no tennis shoes, flip flops, short skirts, low necklines or blue jeans). At least semi-formal attire is required for the Finals Competition.
    • ArtsLIVE! reserves the right to cancel a competition category if there is not a sufficient number of qualified applicants.


    • The Preliminary Audition will last approximately six (6) minutes. Contestants may be stopped during the audition when six minutes has elapsed although the full piece will be performed at the Finals Competition.
    • Entrants will be judged on their musicianship, technical ability, and presentation displayed at the Preliminary Auditions and Finals Competition performances.
    • The judges will provide written critique of each contestant in the Preliminary Auditions. These will be sent to each entrant prior to the Finals Competition.

Free Lance-Star Article: Students compete to be the best "Young Artists"

Previous Winners

2020: First Place Pianist—Christian Henriksen
First Place Instrumentalist—Noelle Fiegl, violin
Second Place Instrumentalist—Matthew Reffner, cello
Third Place Instrumentalist—Sofie Lang, violin
2019: First Place Pianist—Abigail Henriksen
First Place Instrumentalist—Abigail Leidy, cello
First Place Instrumentalist—Corinna Sedelmayer, violin
Second Place Instrumentalist—Noelle Fiegl, violin
2018: First Place Pianist—Landin Thorsted
First Place Vocal—Jaden Brown, bass
First Place Instrumentalist—Kelsey Payne, violin
2017: First Place Piano—Philip Lambert
First Place Instrumental—Brianna Fiegl, violin
Second Place Instrumental—Brendan Shirk, oboe
Third Place Instrumental—Kelsey Payne, violin
2016: First Place Instrumentalist—Melissa Snell
First Place Vocalist—Trevor White
Second Place—Philip Lambert
Third Place—Connor Skelly
2015: First Place Instrumentalist—Riana Chan
First Place Vocalist—Sophie Horn
Second Place—Philip Lambert
Third Place—Brendan Shirk
2014: First Place Instrumentalist—Luke Payne, cello
First Place Vocalist—Zoe Woodaman, soprano
Second Place—Brendan Shirk, oboe
Third Place—Andrew Liang, violin
2013: First Place Instrumentalist—Amy Wood, piano
First Place Vocalist—Megan Walton, soprano
Second Place—Luke Payne, cello
Third Place—Analisa Wall, soprano
2012: First Place Instrumentalist—Andrew Liang, piano
First Place Vocalist—Jamie Hauber, soprano
Second Place—Chris Yang, piano
Third Place—Luke Gray, violin
2011: First Place Instrumentalist—Mark Turner, piano
First Place Vocalist—Cherie Wehle, soprano
Second Place—Bethany Thompson, violin
Third Place—Nicole Joshi, marimba
2010: First Place Instrumentalist—Jessica Stewart, flute
First Place Vocalist—Hope Strayer, soprano
Second Place—Nathan Black, cello
Third Place—Andrew Liang, piano
2009: First Place—Ryan Feng, pianist
Second Place—John Callahan, piano
Third Place—Christian Aldridge, violin
2008: First Place—Chuhern Hwang, piano
Second Place—Ryan Feng, piano
Third Place—Christian Aldridge
2007: First Place—AnnaMarie Ignarro, clarinet
Second Place—Dan Knowlton, marimba
Third Place—Chuhern Hwang, piano
2006: First Place—Kana Zink, piano
Second Place—Zachary Sanders, violin
Third Place—Michael Konieczny, piano
2005: First Place—Ahmed-Mehdi Najm, flute
Second Place—Thomas Carr, piano
Third Place—Devon Newburn, piano
2004: First Place—Michael Konieczny, piano
Second Place—Andrew McEvoy, guitar
Third Place—Thomas Carr, piano

Previous Finalists

2020 YAC Finalists (L to R): Anna Thompson, violin; Rana Ansari, piano; Daniel Snell, viola; Christian Henriksen, piano; Noelle Fiegl, violin; Sofie Lang, violin, Joseph D'Antonio, piano, and Matthew Reffner, cello

2019 YAC finalists (L to R): Lydia Foster, Abigail Leidy, Abigail Henriksen, Miku Emily Coleman, Noelle Fiegl, and Corinna Sedelmayer, missing Jasi Hollingsworth