2022 Instrumental Music Competition

For High School Age Musicians

$2,500  Scholarship Grand Prize

Rotary Club Contest in  February, 2019
Regional Contest in March, 2019
Final in April, 2019

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 applicants will be notified of dates and locations of the competition two weeks prior to the event. The Rotary Club Contest (First Level) will be held in February 2019. Clubs download the competition instructions HERE. Students download the competition application HERE.

2019 Instrumental Music Competition


  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. The decisions of the judges is final and are based on difficulty of the piece, command of the instrument, musical emotion, interpretation and stage presence.


  • Difficulty Level- 20%
    Difficulty of the piece. Is it easy, very technical, demanding a great deal of practice?. Is it memorized? If the piece is easy, even if played perfectly, the performer should not get as high of a mark as a very difficult piece that has some errors that took much more time to prepare.
  • Command of the Instrument- 20%
    How familiar is the performer with and in control of the instrument being played?. This includes tone quality, command of lower and higher registers, note accuracy, attacks, release, articulations, rhythmic accuracy, and intonation (with non-piano instruments)
  • Musical Emotion (20%)
    This includes tone, phrasing, dynamics and expression of emotion.
  • Interpretation (20%)
    This Includes recognition of the composer's original intent, style, tempo, phasing and dynamics. Leave room for a new version of interpretation without marking the contestant down if original and is interesting and entertaining too.
  • Stage Presence (20%)
    Does the contestant have command of the stage (area of performance)? Is there a sense of rapport with the audience, overall presentation, and some showmanship? This can be a positive but not necessarily required.
Questions or would like to learn more? Contact your local Rotary Club for information or Dana Albert, Chair of the Youth Instrumental Music Competition.