Competition Guidelines

Pre-college students enter divisions categorized by level (beginner-late beginner, intermediate, etc.). Each student will play two pieces of music from memory for the judges. One piece will be from the list of selections composed by Dennis Alexander. The other piece will be from the classical repertoire, which will be selected by the student and private teacher. Certificates are given to all participants. Judges determine winners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, as well as the “best performance of a piece by Dennis Alexander.”

Monetary awards in the amount of $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place will be given at each level. All students will receive written comments from the judges, as well as a signed piece of sheet music from Dennis Alexander. Competition winners will be featured in a mini-recital performance held immediately after the winners announcement is made at the end of each category. Performances are to be held in the SBH Theater at Saint John’s University.

Competition Guidelines

  • Contestants may enter only one category.
  • Audition time will be emailed no later than one week prior to the competition.
  • No special requests will be allowed.
  • Contestants must check in no later than 15 minutes prior to their scheduled audition time.
  • Contestants who fail to check in or are late will be disqualified.
  • Previous contestants who have won 1st place cannot compete in the same Category again. They must compete in the next successive Category.
  • Students will be registered on a first come, first served basis.
Contestants will perform two contrasting pieces:
  • Dennis Alexander’s piece from the repertoire requirement.
  • Contrasting piece from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, or Contemporary periods.
  • All compositions must be performed from memory.
  • All music must be in original form with no names and marks on it. One copy of the music must be brought to the competition for the judges to view. No photocopies will be given to the judges.
  • Contestants who exceed time limitation will be stopped, but not disqualified.
  • All prize winners must perform in the winners mini-recital held in the SBH Theater at Saint John’s University immediately following the competition announcement, in order to receive their awards. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are required to perform a composition determined by the judges. Honorable mention winners will perform at the discretion of the judges.
  • All decisions of the judges are final.
  • Applications and payments must be received by March 22, 2021.
  • Application fees are non-refundable.
Maximum length allowed for performance/maximum enrollment:
  • Category I – maximum length allowed = 6 minutes
    maximum enrollment 25
  • Category II – maximum length allowed = 8 minutes
    maximum enrollment 20
  • Category III – maximum length allowed = 10 minutes
    maximum enrollment 15
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Amy Grinsteiner
Chair, Music Department


SJU Music 106