Sinfonia Concerto Competition

The Concerto Competition will be canceled for 2020 and will return in 2021 due to COVID-19

Linc Smelser directs the CSA Sinfonia youth orchestra, a full orchestra that has performed varied and exciting repertoire in NIU's Boutell Memorial Concert Hall every year since 1999 and the Sinfonia Concerto Competition began in 2001.

  • This competition is open to students who are 18 years of age or younger and live within 75 miles of DeKalb.
  • Competitors don't need to be members of the Sinfonia ensemble.
  • Music to be performed must be one movement of a standard solo concerto or an appropriate one-movement composition.

The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the May concert. Winners may not compete again on the same instrument.

The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the May concert. Winners may not compete again on the same instrument.

Previous Winners

Nicholas BoettcherThe 2019 winner was Nicholas Boettcher. Nicholas studies double bass with Andy Anderson. He studies music with Sooka Wang. Previously, he studied cello with Sally Gross. Nicholas was named a National YoungArts Foundation Winner for 2020, was a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition, and soloed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra in March 2020. He won first place at the DuPage Symphony Orchestra's Young Artists Auditions, the Illinois American String Teachers Association Competition, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition. Nicholas is a three-time first place winner of the CYSO's Orchestral Excerpt Competition, and he also won first place in the Elsie Sterrenberg String Scholarship Competition, the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Music Club Scholarship Competition, and the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition, performing at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall. In 8th grade, Nicholas created The No Repeats Project, a 501(c)(3) organization, in which young musicians work with teens who are incarcerated. He received a School District 203 Mission Makers award for this program, and also received the 2020 President's Volunteer Service Award. Nicholas serves as a principal bassist of the CYSO and its Classical Orchestra Repertory Ensemble, and the Naperville North High School Orchestra, and he plays with its Jazz Ensemble. He has toured central Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia with the CYSO. Nicholas has attended the International Bassist Society's Convention, Curtis Summerfest, Orford Musique Acadamie, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. He has plans to attend the Double Bass Workshop at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute, the Atlantic Music Festival, and Domaine Forget. In addition to music, Nicholas also enjoys a good steak!

  • 2018: Manou Magdalena Chakravorty
  • 2017: Margaret O'Malley
  • 2016: Thompson Wang
  • 2015: Steven Song
  • 2014: Katherine Gallagher
  • 2013: Karisa Chiu
  • 2012: Serena Harnack
  • 2011: Genevieve Smelser
  • 2010: Rachel Stenzel
  • 2009: Hannah Bingham
  • 2008: Katie Schulz
  • 2007: David Petersons
  • 2006: Autumn Chodorowski
  • 2005: Katelyn Kozinski
  • 2004: Jaime Sachay
  • 2003: Hellen Weberpal
  • 2002: Jonathan Richards
  • 2001: Shawn Moore
  • 2000: Andrew Parsons

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman
815-753-1450
ksherman2@niu.edu

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Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely for the fall semester. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.

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