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Judith Elser Concerto Competition

** Note 1/15/18DEADLINE EXTENDED to March 1, 2018

This biennial concerto competition is open to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a Maine college or university. The winner will perform a concerto movement with the MSO in its next-season October concerts, and will receive a $1,000 prize.

Timeline for competitors:

  • Deadline for application:  March 1, 2018
  • Public auditions for up to 5 finalists:  May 16, 2018


Application details (downloadable PDF)


This concerto competition honors the memory of Judy Elser (1940-2015), a long-time music teacher who played cello in the MSO for many years,  served on the Board, and left a generous bequest to the orchestra when she died. We are grateful for all she gave to the orchestra, and know that she would be thrilled to witness the personal growth and success her gift has made possible for our young entrants and winners.

For information about required application materials and submission, please contact MSO at (207) 846-5378, or email


A bit about the MSO:

The Midcoast Symphony is a community orchestra founded in 1990. Started as a chamber orchestra, we now have over eighty members on our roster. We play four concert programs per year, performing at the Orion Center in Topsham and the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. Our audiences number around 500 in the Orion Center, and close to 200 in Lewiston. All members are volunteer players; we are teachers, doctors, homemakers, business people, retired people and a variety of other occupations, and we hail from the Midcoast, Lewiston-Auburn and Portland regions.  Many of us have advanced degrees in performance, but we also include players who started as adults, and those who have always played as an avocation. We do repertory ranging from Mozart and Haydn to recently written pieces, and we are excited to connect further with talented young players from our state.

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