About the Competition

One of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s missions is to motivate, encourage and enhance the musical careers of outstanding young musicians. All audition applications must be submitted digitally through the online application portal. All applications are due Monday, December 20, 2021.

During the honors recital, held Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at 3PM, one winner will be chosen from the Junior Division and the Senior Division. The winners will perform their concerto live with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra during our March subscription concerts titled “The Unfinished.”

Piano, voice, and instrumental students ages 12-25 throughout the U.S. are encouraged to compete. Please read ALL of the information carefully before applying, and email pamela@reillyartscenter.com if you have any questions.

  • Finalists will perform, with their accompanist, during the Finals/Honors Recital on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 3PM at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala, Florida. The Finals will be performed in front of a live audience and professionally recorded.
  • Finalists from each division will receive a cash award of $150.
  • Winners in each category (Jr. and Sr. divisions) will perform their concerto live with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra at our subscription concert “The Unfinished” on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 7:30PM and Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 3:00PM.
  • Winners will an additional cash award of $1,000.

The Young Artist Competition is presented through funding by:







Application Rules and Instructions

  • All auditions must be submitted digitally by Monday, December 20, 2021.
  • Any selected piece must have readily available orchestral parts and be available for the March performances with the OSO. Any questions regarding repertoire should be emailed to Matthew Wardell – matt@reillyartscenter.com – the OSO’s Music Director and Conductor.
  • There is a $25 non-refundable application/audition fee – this fee must be paid before your application is considered completed! After you submit your application this link will be sent to you.
  • Audition performance time is limited to 10 mins – accompanist cuts are encouraged to reduce audition time. If your video is longer than 10 mins, the judges will stop the video at the 10 min mark.
  • Concert performance duration should not exceed 20 minutes, and will be restricted to a single movement in most circumstances.
  • Finalists will perform at the Young Artist Competition honors recital on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at 3PM at the Reilly Arts Center. 
  • Applicants are responsible for their own expenses (i.e. travel to the finals recital).
  • During the honors recital, applicants must provide an accompanist and at least two copies of the piano score for the judges at the finals recital.
  • Previous winners are ineligible for competition, but all other previous competitors (including finalists) are encouraged to audition.
  • Winners must be available to perform their concerto live with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra at the subscription concert “The Unfinished” on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 3:00 PM and attend rehearsal on Friday, March 18, 2022 at 7:00 PM and Dress Rehearsal on Saturday March 19, 2022 at 11:00 AM.

All applicants must submit their application online:
See the online application here.

All applicants must pay a $25 non-refundable application fee.  Fee must be paid for your application to be complete!
Pay your application online by clicking here.

30th Annual Young Artist Competition Winners

Matthew McDowell, viola – Senior Division Winner

Matthew performed “Concerto for Viola and Orchestra II. Andante comodo” by William Walton during our 30th Annual Young Artist Competition. His exquisite technique blew the judges away and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store for this talented musician.

About Matthew
Twenty-three year old Matthew McDowell began his musical endeavors at the age of four on violin. His past teachers have included well known pedagogues such as Dr. Juan Rameriz and Sergiu Schwartz. An avid orchestral musician, Matthew was previously the concertmaster of many orchestras for multiple years running including the Buckhead Youth Symphony, the Fayette Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Spivey Hall Honors Chamber Orchestra. He also had the opportunity to be principle second violin in the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra. At these orchestras he had the privilege to play under esteemed conductors Dr. Richard Bell, Dr. Juan Rameriz, and Dr. Marilyn Seelman. Currently a double major on Violin and Viola at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, Matthew has had the benefit of participating in masterclasses by world renown artists the likes of Carol Rodland, Dr. Susan Dubois, Csaba Erdelyi, and Dr. Marilyn Seelman. Matthew has been a finalist on viola at many competitions including the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition, Lagrange Young Artist Competition, Delta Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, as well as the Schwob Concerto Competition at Columbus State University. In February of 2020, Matthew won first prize in the Virtuoso category of the Georgia Philharmonic’s Samuel Fordis Young Artists Concerto Competition and performed Bloch’s Suite for Viola and Orchestra (1919). He recently won the Georgia round of MTNA, and has also won the senior division of the 20th Annual Ocala Symphony Young Artist Competition. Matthew studies violin with Professor Boris Abramov and viola with Dr. Katrin Meidell.


Angelina Ning, piano – Junior Division Winner

Angelina performed “Prokofiev Concerto No. 3 – I.” by Sergei Prokofiev during our 30th Annual Young Artist Competition. Her passion and awe-inspiring talent was appreciated by not only the judges but the audience as well, and we know she will continue to do great things in this industry.

About Angelina
Angelina Ning, 16, is a junior at American Heritage School and currently studies with Professor Kevin Kenner and Professor Tian Ying of University of Miami. In the past, she has studied with Dr. Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers. Her past awards include top prizes at the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, East Carolina University Young Artists Competition, Peter Perret Youth Talent Search Concerto Competition, MTNA Southern division competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, Thousand Islands International Piano Competition, and the Steinway Piano Competition in Miami. In June 2019, she was featured on NPR’s From the Top with host Simone Dinnerstein. Most recently, Angelina has received first prizes in the Ocala Young Artist Competition and the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. She has performed with the Alicante Symphony Orchestra, the Winston Salem Symphony Orchestra, the Alhambra Symphony Orchestra, and the FIU Symphony Orchestra. She has also participated in masterclasses with many esteemed musicians, including John Perry, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Jerome Lowenthal, Boris Slutsky, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Ilana Vered. She has attended the Southeastern Piano Festival, the Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival, the Texas State International Piano Festival, and Music Fest Perugia. Outside of music, Angelina enjoys reading and journaling and is also on her school’s scientific research team.