Press Releases


October 30, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Classical MPR announced today the third annual Minnesota Varsity: a program that showcases Minnesota's best young classical musicians. New this year, Classical MPR has partnered with the American Composers Forum (ACF) on a composition category designed to highlight the state's young composers. The program will accept submissions October 22, 2012 - January 9, 2013.

To participate in Minnesota Varsity, music students ages 14-18 (grades 9-12) from across the state are invited to submit a recording of themselves performing. The recording does not have to be professional quality and can be as simple as a smartphone recording. Classical and music theater vocalists, instrumental soloists and small ensembles are all welcome to submit recordings. Performances can be solo, or with a group, and can be up to 10 minutes in length.

For the composition category, student composers (also ages 14-18 and grades 9-12) are invited to submit an original score for flute, oboe, and clarinet, between 3 and 7 minutes in length.

"Everyone at Classical MPR is excited about discovering new musicians through our third annual Minnesota Varsity," said Daniel Gilliam, Classical MPR program director. "We've seen our Varsity alumni be featured on NPR's From the Top, win major competitions and study at some of the best music schools in the country. This year, we'll get a chance to see what young composers are doing, too."

Minnesota Public Radio judges will choose 15 instrumental and vocal entrants for the Featured Round. Featured Round Artists will be invited to MPR's Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio in St. Paul for a professional recording session. These performances will be heard on Classical MPR, on air and online during the month of March.

Up to five composer entrants will be chosen by an ACF panel of judges for the Featured Round. Featured Round Composers will be invited to a workshop day with charter ACF member and composer Carol Barnett and will have their works performed by Mill City Winds and receive assistance in polishing their compositions and presenting them to an audience.

In March, four of the Featured Round Artists will be selected as Showcase Artists by a panel of celebrity judges and one by an online Audience Vote. Mill City Winds and the American Composers Forum will choose two Showcase Composers.

The Showcase Artists will then perform on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on April 28, 2013 in a live radio broadcast. The Showcase Composers' works will be premiered at the Fitzgerald Theater as part of the live broadcast.

Submissions to Minnesota Varsity: All rules and information will be posted online at starting today. Submissions will be accepted October 22, 2012-January 9, 2013.

Featured Artists Broadcast on Classical MPR: The professional MPR recordings of the selected Featured Artists will be broadcast throughout March 2013 on all Classical MPR stations, including 99.5 KSJN in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Varsity Showcase Artists concert: Sunday, April 28, 4 p.m. at MPR's The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul During the event, audience members and radio listeners will have the chance to participate in the "Encore Vote". The winner will perform the encore at the end of the show. Tickets: Admission is free and open to the public.

TUNE IN: Classical MPR can be heard in the Twin Cities on KSJN 99.5 FM. A complete list of Classical MPR stations can be accessed online at


About Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR) operates a 43-station radio network serving virtually all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. Reaching one million listeners each week, Minnesota Public Radio produces programming for radio, Internet and face-to-face audiences, and is home to the largest and most experienced radio newsroom in the Upper Midwest. Programs produced by Minnesota Public Radio's parent company, American Public Media™, reach over 17 million listeners on more than 800 radio stations nationwide each week. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be found at Source: Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only.

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