A Celebration of Student Performers and Composers

Student Showcase is an annual competition sponsored by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance providing selected students with an opportunity to perform as soloists with one of the University’s large instrumental ensembles in the Spring semester.


  • All PLU students who are currently registered for private instruction (MUSI 202-219 or 402-419) and studying with one of the PLU studio faculty in the area of competition performance, are eligible to apply. 
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled at PLU at sophomore level or above and in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must guarantee their availability on the audition day in November, the concert day in March, and to participate in up to four rehearsals prior to that performance.
  • Previous Student Soloists Competition winners are not eligible.


  • The selection must be at least 8 minutes in length and no longer than 15 minutes. This restriction may mean that instrumentalists need to choose movement(s) rather than all of a concerto, or singers need to choose a selection of arias rather than just one.
  • All works must be approved in writing (see Entry Form) by the applicant’s private instructor and the appropriate conductor, prior to the entry deadline. The conductor will base their judgment on the suitability of the accompaniment for the ensemble. Students are advised to contact ensemble directors before starting their preparation process.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide a full orchestra score for perusal prior to approval. 
  • Applicants must play the entire program that they intend to play in the concert on their audition day.
  • While memorizing the repertoire is not required during the audition and concert, candidates and winners are highly suggested to perform their solo works from memory.


  • Discuss the possibility of an audition with your studio teacher. It’s a good idea to have this discussion in the spring semester prior to the audition, or even earlier to identify appropriate literature.
  • Auditioning to be a Student Soloist requires the permission and approval of both the studio faculty and the Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra or Conductor of the University Wind Ensemble, evidenced by signing the Entry Form.
  • Obtain a Student Showcase Entry Form either from the Music Office or by downloading it from the link below.
  • Obtain all the required signatures by the deadline specified.
  • Turn the document in at the Music Office.
  • Schedule your audition time in the Music Office.
  • Secure an accompanist.

Audition Entry and Dates

  • Registration Deadline: Wednesday, October 25th, 2023 by 2pm
  • Audition Entry Form: Student Showcase Entry Form and Rules (PDF) 
  • Audition Date: Thursday, November 9th, 2023, 8am-1:30pm
  • Audition Location: Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center

Audition Rules

  • Detailed audition times will be posted two days prior to the Final.
  • All applicants must play with live accompaniment and are responsible to procure their own accompanist. Studio faculty may help candidates find a suitable accompanist.
  • Applicants must appear in formal concert attire and be prepared to announce their name, their accompanist’s name, the composer and title of the work they will perform.
  • At the time of competition, each entrant must provide three copies of the score (piano reductions allowed), one for each of the three judges.
  • Auditions will be open to the general public and students.

The Distinguished Jury

  • A panel of judges consisting of three non-affiliates of PLU will rate the contestants on all aspects of their audition performance, including choice of repertoire, musical interpretation, technical facility, and stage appearance. Judges will be chosen from a pool of individuals suggested by the faculty early in the Fall Semester. 
  • The Director of the Orchestra will serve as the competition chairperson.
  • Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the competition by the chairperson of the competition.
  • The decisions of the judges are final in the rating and selection of winners.
  • Adjudication comments will be available from the chairperson or the Music Office on the following day.

Student Showcase Performance

  • Winners of the Student Showcase auditions will be featured with the PLU Symphony Orchestra at the Lagerquist Hall on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024. Winners performing works accompanied by the University Wind Ensembles will be scheduled for performance at a UWE concert during the spring semester following the audition.
  • The Student Showcase concert in March will also feature the premiere of a new work by a PLU student composer. The composers are selected by the Composition faculty.
  • Winners should ensure they will be available for the performance on March 12th, 2024, before auditioning. If a winner is not available for the performance day, the performance will not be rescheduled.

Contact Asieh Mahyar, Director of Orchestras, at asieh.mahyar@plu.edu for any question regarding the repertoire to be accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra or if you have specific questions about the auditions.

Contact Ron Gerhardstein, Director of University Wind Ensemble, at gerharrc@plu.edu with any questions about the pieces to be accompanied by the University Wind Ensemble accompaniment.

Previous Winners (2022-2023 Academic Year)

Benjamin Birmingham – Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, op. 91 by Reinhold Glière

Rae Hyra  – Four Songs from Les nuits d’été (Summer Nights), op. 7 by Hector Berlioz

Naomi Southard – Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, op. 61 by Camille Saint-Saëns

Carina Collier, composer – Songs of the Sea