Instrumental Music Competition

The purpose of the competition is to determine the musician who best demonstrates his/her musical talent and love for music.  Prize money will be awarded at each level of completion: Rotary Club Contest, Rotary Area Contest, and at the District 5340 Final Contest where a Grand Prize of $2,500 will be awarded.  The applicant will be notified of the dates and the location of the competition two weeks prior to the competition.  The Rotary Club Contest (First Level) will be held in January 2018.


  1. Open to high school age students (14 to 18 years of age) residing in the District 5340 region. This region encompasses all high schools in the San Diego Unified School District.
  2. Limited to instrumentalists only. Any musical instrument is allowed.
  3. Contestant must be sponsored by a Rotary Club within District 5340
  4. All contestants under the age of 18 must have a parent's or gurdian's signature.
  5. Performance time will be between 3 and 8 minutes, with strict penalties for going over or under the allowed time
  6. Winner of any level (Club or Area) must be able to compete in the next level to be eligible for the prize money.
  7. Contestant is responsible for travel expenses.
  8. Contestant is responsible for any accompaniment, if needed.
  9. Must provide four (4) copies of music for the judges.
  10. All decisions of the judges are final, and are based on musical ability, musical empathy/technique, interpretation, and stage presence.


  • Musical Ability, Tone Quality/Intonation (25%) - Is the contestant familiar with the instrument being played and do they appear to have command of this particular instrumental?
  • Musical Empathy, Technique (25%) - Note accuracy, attacks, release, articulations, rhythmic accuracy and precision.
  • Interpretation (25%) - Includes concept of style, tempo, phasing and dynamics. Does the instrument respond to the contestant in a manner that makes it desirable to listen to and make the listener want to hear more.
  • Stage Presence (25%) - Does the contestant have command of the stage (area of performance), and is there  a sense of rapport with the audience, overall presentation, and showmanship?
Questions or would like to learn more? Contact your local Rotary Club for information or Bob Hartsfield, Chair of the Youth Instrumental Music Competition at