Young Musicians Contest 2021

Deadline:  Sunday, February 14, 2021 


General information:

The contest is divided into four age groups: ages 8 and under, 9 to 11, 12 to 14, and 15 to 18 (in the last category, students must currently be in high school or the home schooling equivalent). This year, video entries for the Young Musicians Contest are due Sunday, February 14, 2021. Winners will be announced on or before Sunday, March 14, 2021. Winners will virtually present their audition pieces at the 2021 Virtual Flute Fair, scheduled for April 10-11, 2021. The Young Musicians Contest, first held in 2008, was designed to foster the development of young local flutists by exposing them to a healthy competitive environment and allowing them to receive constructive comments from professional flutists.

Each contestant will receive emailed comment sheets from all the judges, in addition to a physical certificate with a colored ribbon reflecting one of three levels of awards.

  • Blue Ribbon Awards: Audition piece is highly polished. Given to students who demonstrate a high level of skill, musicality, and preparation as well as good stage presence and an overall comfort with the instrument and performing.
  • Red Ribbon Awards: Audition piece is well prepared. Given to students who have abundant talent as musicians and should consider work in several areas to fully realize their potential.
  • Yellow Ribbon Awards: Audition piece is "in progress." Given to students who have substantial potential as musicians and should consider the judges' comments for further study.

We suggest that contestants play the pieces that show their strengths so that the comments they receive will be helpful to improve their flute playing. Memorization is not required, and it is completely up to the contestant whether to memorize or not. Contestants may enter in multiple years to participate in different age categories with more challenging pieces as their musicianship and flute skills grow. However, previous winners are not eligible to compete again in the same age category.


  • For students who study with a private flute teacher, their teacher must be a 2020-2021 NYFC member. If a teacher is not a member, he or she must join or renew before the applicant submits the contest application. Contestants and teachers do not have to be based in the NYC area. 
  • Complete an application and pay the entrance fee ($35 on or before the February 1, 2021 early-bird deadline, or $45 by the February 14, 2021 regular deadline). If you need help with the application fee, please contact Dr. Sonett-Assor at to apply for assistance. 
  • Be willing to perform in the winners' recital at the 2021 Virtual NYFC Flute Fair

Repertoire and Recording Guidelines:

  • One piece written for either solo flute or flute and piano. Individual movements of multi-movement works are allowed but cuts or alterations are not. Pieces written with piano accompaniment must be performed without the accompaniment due to Covid safety precautions.
  • A PDF of detailed recording guidelines is posted here. All that is required to record is a smartphone or other device with video recording capabilities. If you do not have the equipment to record, please contact Dr. Sonett-Assor for help at 
  • Instructions for uploading a YouTube video can be found here; instructions for changing your YouTube video privacy settings to unlisted (recommended) can be found here.

Prizes: The winner in each age category will receive a winner's certificate and will perform in the winners' recital at the NYFC Virtual Flute Fair. Each winner will work with Dr. Sonett-Assor to create a video performance that includes piano accompaniment if needed. The NYFC will cover the full cost of the piano accompaniment.

Deadline: The early-bird application deadline is February 1, 2021 and the regular application deadline is Sunday, February 14, 2021. Previous winners are not eligible to compete in the same age category. For more information, please contact contest coordinator Caroline Sonett-Assor.

To Apply 

Proof of age: a copy of your birth certificate, passport, Real ID, or driver’s license is required as proof of eligible age.  Please upload a picture of your proof of age in the online application.

Online application: Your online application must be submitted no later than February 14, 2021. Payment is by PayPal. The application fee is $35 until February 1, 2021, or $45 by February 14, 2021. PLEASE INCLUDE THE STUDENT'S NAME IN THE "INSTRUCTIONS TO MERCHANT" BOX ON THE PAYPAL TRANSACTION. (If you have a problem submitting online, please let us know.)