ECB Concerto Competition



The Medalist Concert Band is pleased to announce its sponsorship of an annual performance competition for high school band students. Named for a long-time music educator and the original conductor of the Medalist Concert Band, the Earl C. Benson Concerto Competition is now in its ninth year.

The purposes of the competition are to identify talented wind and percussion musicians and to encourage high school students to pursue further musical study. In doing so, the competition supports one of the key tenets of the Medalist Concert Bandʼs mission statement: to provide young musicians with a model of music as a lifelong hobby.


The Earl C. Benson Concerto Competition is open to students who are enrolled in schools in the Twin Cities metropolitan and surrounding area, as well as selected outstate areas. Students must be in grades 10–12 during the 2017–2018 school year; they cannot already have graduated from high school. A $25 nonrefundable application fee is required and must accompany the completed application and DVD recording. The application deadline is Friday, November 17, 2017 (see mailing address and other details on the Application Form).

The other application requirements are as follows:

  1. The competition is open to players of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments (no piano).
  2. Each applicant must submit a DVD recording of his or her performance of a selection from the list of approved repertoire provided by the Medalist Concert Band or get approval from the music director of the band, Jerry Luckhardt, to perform an alternative selection. (See the list of Concerti Repertoire for details about this approval process.) Based on applicants’ recorded performances, a group of finalists will be selected and invited to audition live.
  3. Each finalist must provide his or her own live piano accompanist. A finalist may not audition without an accompanist or with a recorded accompanist.
  4. Each finalist must provide a score of his or her selection for the jury at the time of the audition.
  5. Each finalist must be ready to audition at his or her assigned time and prepared for an audition of approximately 15 minutes. Each finalist should be prepared to answer questions from the panel of judges and to perform any requested passage from his or her entire audition piece.
  6. All applicants and finalists will be judged according to the highest musical standards by a panel of recognized musicians, including Jerry Luckhardt, Medalistʼs music director. All applicants and finalists must accept the decisions of the judges as final.

The winner of the Earl C. Benson Concerto Competition will receive a $1,000 cash award and be the featured soloist with the Medalist Concert Band at its 2017–2018 finale concert on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., at the Schneider Theater in the Bloomington Center for the Arts (1800 West Old Shakopee Road).

In addition, the winner of the competition must be able to meet these conditions:

  1. For the May 20 performance, the winner will play a piece selected by the Medalist Bandʼs music director well in advance of the performance (approximately three months).
  2. The winner will attend three rehearsals with the Medalist Band before the performance, as well as a dress rehearsal the day of the concert (see dates below).

Key Dates

  • Student application/fee/DVD due (see address on Application Form): Friday, November 17, 2017
  • Finalists selected and audition times announced: Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Finalists’ auditions held (at Center for the Arts in Bloomington): Saturday, February 10, 2018
  • Winner notified: Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Winner rehearses with Medalist Concert Band (at Jefferson High School in Bloomington): Three Mondays, April 30, May 7, and May 14 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Winner performs with Medalist Concert Band (at Center for the Arts in Bloomington): Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. (Dress-rehearsal/Sound check at 3:00 p.m.)

E-mail the band’s music director, Professor Jerry Luckhardt with any questions.


2010 | Carley Olson, clarinet | Watertown HS
2011 | Timothy Morris, euphonium | Hopkins HS

2012 | Hallie Houser, flute | Eastview HS

2013 | Brandon Caplin, percussion | Apple Valley HS

2013 | Kaitlyn Mann, clarinet | Rosemount HS

2014 | Olivia Nichols, alto saxophone | Eastview HS

2015 | Brenna Sherman, flute | Rochester Lourdes HS

2016 | Anders Peterson, clarinet | Northfield HS
2017 | Lauren Swee, trombone | Waconia HS

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