Vernice N. Church Challenge for Young Artists

Challenge Rules 

  1. Contestants must be residents of Albany, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Oneida, Oswego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren, or Washington Counties. 
  2. The competition is open to instrumentalists in grades 7 through 12. This includes students studying Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Keyboard, Percussion, Piano, and Harp.
  3. Contestants must submit a video, up to 10 minutes in length, to be considered for the Challenge Recital to be performed live in person in Hosmer Hall at Noon on Saturday, February 12, 2022. The work must be from the NYSSMA Manual, Level 5 or 6. It need not be performed memory.
  4. Contestants must submit a copy of the music with their video audition piece (solo part and piano reduction or score). Music shall be emailed to
  5. The decision of the judges is final. 
  6. The Challenge Recital will take place live in Hosmer Hall, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY. If plans change due to the pandemic, notice will be posted on this website. Masks may be required.
  7. All photos submitted and taken the day of the event are the property of The Orchestra of Northern New York, and may be used for publicity purposes without compensation.
  8. Video submissions must be post-marked by 5 pm, Friday, January 21, 2022. No late entries will be accepted. Each entry must include:

     A. Up to 10 minute video of selection from NYSSMA Manual, Level 5 or 6.

     B.  Completed Application, including Student and Teacher Certifications. Only complete applications will be considered. Click here for the application. 

     C. Non-refundable application fee of $50 made payable to: The Orchestra of Northern New York. (Partial scholarships for the application fee are available. Please contact Kathy Del Guidice, Executive Director, for details.)

     D. Electronic file of photo and 100-word bio (Both are required for the application to be considered complete.)

     E. A pdf of required music.

Email completed application and ALL required materials to:

OR mail them to:

ONNY Challenge for Young Artists 
P.O. Box 488 
Potsdam, NY 13676