Minnesota Varsity is a showcase for top high-school musical talent in Minnesota and its environs. This is the first season that non-Minnesota residents, from areas bordering Minnesota and from Sun Valley, Idaho, are eligible to enter.
Music students (aged 14-18 or 9th-12th grade) from across Minnesota, as well as those who live or attend school outside Minnesota but strictly within the listening areas reached by MPR’s terrestrial radio signal (MPR News and Classical MPR networks and The Current) are invited to submit a recording of an instrumental or vocal performance of a classical or musical theater work, for evaluation by a panel of MPR judges. Performances can be solo, or with a group, and can be up to 10 minutes in length. Student composers in the same age group are invited to submit an original score for traditional piano trio: violin, cello, and piano, or for any solo or combination of those instruments, between 3 and 7 minutes in length.
Ten to fifteen instrumental and vocal entrants will be chosen by the MPR Judges for the Featured Round. Featured Round Artists will be invited to make a professional recording of their performances in MPR’s Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio in St. Paul. These performances will be heard on Classical MPR, on air and online. Up to five Featured Composers will be chosen by an American Composers Forum panel of judges. Featured Composers will be invited to a Workshop Day with charter ACF member and composer Carol Barnett as Mentor, to have their works performed by violinist Can Canbolat, cellist Rosalind Leavell, and pianist Francesca Tortorello and receive assistance in polishing their compositions and presenting them to an audience.
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. Past Showcase judges have included conductor Nicholas McGegan, Minnesota Orchestra’s Sara Hicks, Cantus’ Aaron Humble, baritone and actor Bradley Greenwald, and SPCO concertmaster Steven Copes. Two Showcase Composers will be selected by musicians Can Canbolat, Rosalind Leavell, Francesca Tortorello, Mentor Carol Barnett, and American Composers Forum. The Showcase Artists will perform on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater on Sunday, May 4th in a live radio broadcast. The Showcase Composers’ works will be premiered at the Fitzgerald Theater as part of the live Showcase concert broadcast.
Classical MPR is pleased to welcome five Educational Sponsors to present a special scholarship offer to the Minnesota Varsity Featured Round Artists. Luther College, Concordia College, Saint John's University, and College of Saint Benedict will present $4,000 for four years, to each Featured Round musician to attend their school. We're grateful for the commitment these institutions of higher education make to our Minnesota Varsity musicians!
Where Are They Now? spotlights Minnesota Varsity Featured and Showcase Artists from 2011 and 2012! It's been fun catching up with them to ask what they're doing now and what they remember and value most about their Minnesota Varsity experience. We're pleased to share their inspiring stories with you, and we're proud of every student across the state who's entered Minnesota Varsity and shared their music-making with us and with their friends, families, and communities.
Three young Minnesotans head for international music stage Carnegie Hall has announced that 120 musicians from 33 states will make up the National Youth Orchestra on its eight-stop tour beginning in July. Among the musicians are Arjun Ganguly of St. Cloud, Minn., Emma Richman of Minneapolis and Anna Humphrey of Rogers, Minn.March 6, 2014
Minnesota Varsity: Where Are They Now? - Emma Richman Violinist Emma Richman from Minneapolis was a Minnesota Varsity 2013 Showcase Artist, performing with the Luna Quartet. She recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share what she's doing now.December 20, 2013
Minnesota Varsity: Where Are They Now? - Nora Doyle Nora Doyle from Minneapolis was a Minnesota Varsity 2011 Featured Artist as a soloist, and a 2013 Showcase Artist as part of an ensemble. She recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share what she's doing now.October 25, 2013
Minnesota Varsity: Where are they now? - Kristina Butler Kristina Butler from Burnsville, Minn., was a Minnesota Varsity 2013 Showcase Artist who participated as a singer. She recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share what she's doing now.October 18, 2013
Minnesota Varsity: Where are They Now? - Derek Hartman Derek Hartman was a Minnesota Varsity 2013 Showcase Artist who participated as a pianist in the Hartman-Warren-Doyle Trio. Derek recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share what he's doing now.October 11, 2013
Minnesota Varsity: Where Are They Now? - Aria Stiles We recently caught up with former Minnesota Varsity Featured and Showcase Artists, including violinist Aria Stiles: "Since Spring 2012, I have completely changed states, weather, and styles of music."January 6, 2013