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This competition is open to pre-college musicians age 19 and under and not enrolled in college. Contestants must be residents of Minnesota or neighboring states North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin or Iowa. Ensembles may contain 3 to 8 musicians playing classical chamber music repertoire.  String or wind ensembles, ensembles containing a mixture of both, and same-instrument ensembles are all welcome. One piano is allowed.

The competition also offers a non-classical category called CREATIVE. There must be at least three applications submitted per year for this category to be offered. See Guidelines and  Forms for more information.

There are two rounds: Video round and Final round/recital. Cash prizes totaling nearly $4,000 will be awarded. The top group in the Senior classical category, chosen in the Final round, will perform in the Ordway Concert Hall on Friday May 22, and they will be honored at a reception following the SPCO concert that evening.

All applications should be submitted to getacceptd.com/spco beginning on January 6, 2020. Absolute deadline for receiving applications is February 10, 2020.