Competitions & Scholarships

Concerto Competitions

WYSO Concerto Competitions were established to feature the talents of Youth Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra members. Competition winners perform their concerti with the Philharmonia or Youth Orchestras at the Bolz Family Spring Concerts, or even the Side by Side concert with Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Honorable mention recipients will be invited to perform at either the Youth Honors or Philharmonia Honors Recitals.

2019-20 Philharmonia Orchestra Concerto Application

2019-20 Philharmonia Orchestra Concerto Repertoire List

The 2019-20 Philharmonia Orchestra Concerto Competition will take place on February 1, 2020. The Concerto Competition application and fee are due on January 26, 2020.


Youth Orchestra

2019-20 Winners: Meera Bradley, violin; Antonio Wu, piano

2019-20 Honorable Mentions: Suraya Gade, harp; Sophie Griffith-Oh, horn; Ava Kenney, violin; Andrew Siehr, cello; Emma Song, violin; Heather Swartz, flute; Luke Whittingham, percussion; Steven Wilke, violin

2018-19 Winners: Ellen Zhou, violin; Brian Liebau, flute; Grace Kim, cello; Benjamin Davies Hudson, violin

2018-19 Honorable Mentions: Meera Bradley, violin; Anne Sophie Brilla, violin; Jessica Jiang, violin; Hannah Noughani, oboe; Grace O’Connell, trumpet; Alyssa Peterson, bass; Andrew Siehr, cello; Steven Wilke, violin; Quinn Wilson, viola

Philharmonia Orchestra

2018-19 Winner: Anaïs Griffith-Oh, marimba

2018-19 Honorable Mentions: Stephanie Brilla, violin; Finnegan Frakes, violin; Reem Itani, violin; Reena Kijowski, cello; Sydney Kostelac, flute; Lucian Ng, piano; Julia Zhang, violin


2018: Dexter Mott, violin; Maureen Sheehan, viola; Morty Lee, cello; Isabelle Krier, violin; Ava Kenney, violin; Ellen Zhou, violin

2017: Mary Deck, violin; Adam Goren, marimba; Noah Laabs, tuba; Monona Suzuki, violin; Meera Bradley, violin

2016: Aurora Greane, violin; Tatiana Tandias, cello; Thea Valmadrid, violin; Audrianna Wu, piano; Monona Suzuki, violin; Antonio Wu, piano

2015: Adam Yeazel, saxophone; Noah Mennenga, trumpet; Maynie Bradley, violin; Theodore Liu, piano; Tina Cheng, piano

2014: Charlie Collar, piano; Savannah Albrecht, violin; Ephraim Sutherland, marimba; Isabella Wu, piano; Davis Wu, piano; Isabelle Krier, violin

2013: Vivian Wilhelms, piano; Lauren McNeel, oboe; Mathew Lee, violin; Luke Valmadrid, violin; Audrianna Wu, piano

2012: Max Butler and Hattie Bestul, clarinet; David Cao, violin; Anthony Cudzinovic, violin; Isabella Wu, piano

2011: Paul Sekulski, violin; Maggie Schenk, flute; Megan Whip, violin; Christie Cheng, piano


The Murphy Family Interlochen Scholarship Auditions are open to Youth Orchestra members wishing to attend the Interlochen Music Camp. The family of Stephen Murphy has endowed this scholarship for over ten years providing an opportunity for many Youth Orchestra members to attend the camp on reduced tuition. Upon acceptance to the camp, the winner will receive a $1000 scholarship and a WYSO letter of recommendation to be used in the application for further scholarship support from Interlochen. Previous winners and graduating seniors are ineligible for the competition.

The Murphy Family Interlochen Scholarship audition is held in conjunction with the Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Congratulations to Ava Kenney, winner of the 2019 Murphy Interlochen Scholarship Award!

2018: Dexter Mott

2017: Anne Sophie Brilla

2016: none

2015: Aurora Greane

2014: Ben Cordell

2013: Lauren McNeel

2012: David Cao


The Thomas Buchhauser Honors Orchestra Scholarship Competition is open to WYSO members who successfully audition into the WSMA State Honors Orchestra and are committed to playing in WYSO during the following season. The winner will receive a $250 scholarship to attend the Honors Orchestra summer camp.

A judge will choose the scholarship recipient based on merit demonstrated during the audition. Auditionees should prepare a solo not longer than ten minutes.  Accompaniment is not required but is recommended.

Congratulations to 2018 winner Mary Hsu!

Thomas Buchhauser WYSO Tuition Scholarship

The Thomas Buchhauser WYSO Tuition Scholarship is open to Philharmonia Orchestra members who successfully audition into WYSO the subsequent year. The member who is awarded this scholarship must demonstrate the qualities of a WYSO member which are important to Mr. Buchhauser: excellent musicianship, superb attendance, participate in their school music program, and be a consistent participant in the Musical Notes fundraising campaign.

Thomas Buchhauser was a conductor for WYSO for 30 years and he remains a fierce force for music education in Wisconsin. In addition to his 30 seasons conducting for WYSO, Mr. Buchhauser taught at Madison Memorial High School and Jefferson Middle School from 1966-1999, played cello for Madison Symphony Orchestra for nearly 20 years, and served on the faculty of the National String Workshop for ten years.

If you’d like to contribute to this award please click here.

Previous Winners:

2018: Joseph Batterman

2017: Talon Edseth-Griffin

2016: Sam Seery

2015: Clare Johnson

2014: Isabelle Krier

2013: Brighin Kane-Grade

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