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The 2018 SPCO Chamber Music Competition for pre-college students living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North or South Dakota and playing in ensembles of 3-8 musicians, is now in its seventh year. Sponsored by the Friends of the SPCO, it will be held in Sundin Hall on the Hamline University Campus, 1531 Hewitt Ave. St. Paul, MN. There are three rounds to this competition: Video Round, Semifinal Round and Finals Recital. 

For the Video round all entering groups submit videos of their performances and receive written feedback from select judges. Three judges may choose up to sixteen wind and string ensembles in the Classical category to advance to the Semifinal round. Separate judges will critique videos in the Creative (non-classical) category and declare a winner.

The Semifinal round for Classical category ensembles will be held on Saturday, March 10 in Sundin Hall and is open to levels Levels A and B (designed for younger students). Judges will  choose a minimum of four wind and string ensembles from Level A to advance to the Finals. They also will choose a winner from Level B.

The Finals Recital on Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m. in Sundin Hall will feature the finalists in Winds and in Strings from Level A competing for cash prizes  and an overall Grand prize, which includes a performance at the Ordway Center preceding a Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concert on Saturday, May 19. The Finals Recital also will showcase the winning ensembles from Level B and from the Creative category. The event, which includes an awards ceremony and a reception, is free and open to the public.

The contestants who participate in this competition often say how much fun they have when performing in small groups with their peers. It is our hope that this competition will encourage their enthusiasm for chamber music and lead them to a lifetime of playing and enjoyment.