Norbert Mueller Concert Competition

January 9, 2021

The Holland Symphony Orchestra Norbert Mueller Memorial Concerto Competition will happen this year on Saturday, January 9, 2021.  The format may look different this year, depending on the COVID-19 situation.  We will announce the specifics of the competition in mid-November 2020.

Eligibility: Contestants must be currently enrolled students at one of these area high schools: Holland Public, Holland Christian, Holland Black River, West Ottawa, Zeeland, Hamilton, Saugatuck, or Grand Haven or any current member of Holland Symphony Youth Orchestras. Home-schooled students living in the above school districts are also eligible. A regular student of any current Holland Symphony Orchestra member (regardless of geographic area) is eligible. All instruments including piano are eligible. Ordinarily, the previous year’s winner is ineligible for the following year but may audition a second time after a one-year absence. If there is no performance for the winner of the 2021 competition, that person will be eligible to enter the 2022 competition.  Each entry will have a $25.00 application fee. 

Repertoire: The choice of music is up to the contestant but must have an orchestral accompaniment available to HSO and a rental fee of $250.00 or less. If in doubt, please check availability and/or cost of orchestral accompaniment by contacting the orchestra office at hso@hollandsymphony.org ahead of your picking a concerto. (If accompaniment rental is above $250, the remaining cost will be the responsibility of the contestant.) Any standard work for solo and orchestra or movement of a standard concerto is acceptable, and it must have a total playing time of between 5-15 minutes. The work must be performed by memory, and the contestants must provide their own accompanist for the audition. (Please note that both upper and lower time limits will be strictly observed. If longer than the time allotted, please make the necessary cuts to comply.) 

Awards: The winner will receive $500.00 and will perform with the Holland Symphony Orchestra, if possible, on a concert TBD in spring or summer, 2021. The winner will be asked to participate in an on-stage interview with the conductor and will need to sign a release for marketing materials. The second-place winner will receive $250.00 and the third place winner will receive $150.00. 

Application fee: $25

2020 Competition Winners:


Emma Hakken, violin; Eleni Persinger, violin; Mason Ouzts, clarinet

First Place Winner:


Mason Ouzts, clarinet

2020 Participants:


From left to right: Brandon Blake, Abby Hilsman, Emma Hakken, Eleni Persinger, Mason Ouzts, Grayson “Sander” Owens.