About the Competition

Since 1996, the CFBA has sponsored the Young Artist Competition to encourage the development of outstanding high school musicians who plan to pursue a musical career. The winner of the annual competition will feature as guest soloist at the City of Fairfax Band May concert and receive a financial award of $2,000 to support the young musician’s future musical endeavors.

Important 2022 – 2023 Competition Dates:

  • February 24, 2023: Application Form and Recording Due
  • March 19, 2023: Finalists Recital
  • May 13, 2023: Performance with the City of Fairfax Band


Following are the rules and requirements for the competition. Please read carefully and comply with instructions to ensure eligibility.


The competition is open to Northern Virginia residents in their junior or senior year of high school. Students must:

  1. Be active with their high school band or orchestra program or home-schooled students who are active and regular participants in a community or youth performing ensemble
  2. Play a standard band woodwind, brass or percussion instrument
  3. Have a prepared selection which is readily available in a band accompaniment form (see below)
  4. Be available and be willing to commit, if selected as a finalist, to the competition auditions at 7:00 pm, on Sunday, March 19, 2023.
  5. Be available and be willing to commit, if selected, to a performance date of Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 7:30 pm.

Prior year award winners are ineligible for the current year’s competition


The literature performed must be representative of the student’s ability on his or her instrument and must be available in a band accompaniment form. “Available” is defined as:

  1. In print and readily available for retail purchase or rental, or
  2. Currently available in the City of Fairfax Band library, or
  3. Obtainable from the student’s school band library, or
  4. Otherwise provided by the student

A pre-approved list of eligible repertoire is available at However, students may perform any work that meets the above criteria. If a work is not on the approved list, the student must have his or her band director or private teacher certify the existence and availability of the accompaniment. Failure to certify such availability will result in disqualification. Student questions regarding repertoire should be directed to the band office at (571) 336-2322.

Please note: existence of the accompaniment in a U.S. military band arrangement is NOT acceptable, unless the student obtains prior clearance from the military band to obtain the arrangement. Under current law, the City of Fairfax Band is not able to secure permission from the government for “special” military band arrangements.

Rules and Application

To apply:

  1. Prepare a good quality audio recording of your performance of the piece you are using as your submission, using any standard audio format such as .mp3, .wav, FLAC, etc.. Note this should be audio only as videos in the first application round will not be accepted. See notes and suggestions below on how to get the best recorded representation of your performance. Also note an accompanist on your recording is not required; however, should you be selected for the final round audition, you must provide your own accompanist for the live final round.
  2. Complete the online application via Google Forms.
  3. Upload your recording of your submission piece. Your recording should be named as FirstName_LastName.format, for example Sam_Jones.mp3.

The deadline for receipt of the online application and recording is February 24, 2023.

Judging and Award

  1. The first round of the competition is by recording. Recordings are personally reviewed by the Music Director and finalists selected from the recorded submissions.
  2. Finalists will be notified in early March and invited to participate in the final round by live performance.
  3. Finals will be held the evening of Sunday, March 19, 2023 at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, FairfaxAn accompanist is required for the final round. Due to the short time between notification of finalist status and the date of the finals, applicants are advised to have the date clear and an accompanist lined up well in advance in anticipation of performing in the final round. Timing of the competition does not permit re-scheduling of finals or holding special auditions to accommodate individual conflicts with this date. The finals are presented in a recital format. The recital is free and open to the general public.
  4. A panel of judges is selected from within the membership of the organization. The judges evaluate all finalists in the live performance round and confer to select the competition winner. The winner is announced the evening of the competition in a post-performance reception. The decision of the judges is final.
  5. In the event no qualified applicants are identified, the City of Fairfax Band Association reserves the right to make a “no award” determination for any given year.
  6. The competition winner receives a $2,000 cash award and will be featured in performance with the City of Fairfax Band at 7:30pm on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Katherine Johnson Middle SchoolThe performance is a requirement of receipt of the award. Applicants certify, by initial application, their availability for this performance.

Tips on Making a Good Recording

  • Submitting a good quality audio recording is important in the success of your application. The first round selection process is based solely on this recording, and it should represent your playing at the highest quality possible.
  • Your submitted recording should be a “single take,” unedited recording.
  • Use a quiet location with good natural acoustics. This may be your band room, worship center, an accessible recital hall or auditorium, etc. Small practice rooms are usually not a good choice. The key is that it be a room you naturally “sound good” in and free from extraneous noise.
  • Consider hiring a professional engineer to record your submission for highest quality.
  • Cell phone recordings, while not ideal, are acceptable. If you decide to go this route, you will need to experiment with phone placement for the best possible recording quality. Remember, we will not accept videos; but it is possible, if easiest, to record a video and then use online tools to “strip” just the audio tracks off the video. (One of those places where “Google is  your friend,” if you don’t already know how to do this or have friends to help.)

Application Form and Audition Recording Upload Links

Use this Google Form Link to apply

Use this Dropbox Link to upload your audition recording

Competition Flyer

For more information, please download and read our flyer:

2022-23 YAC Flyer


Please download and read the requirements for competition repertoire: