The initiative aims to increase job placements for Black and Latinx musicians in American orchestras
Created by Weston Sprott and Titus Underwood in partnership with Sphinx Organization, the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) Excerpt Competition will provide Black and Latinx orchestral musicians opportunities to audition before a panel for cash prizes. The competition repertoire list can be found here.
The judging panel involves those representing numerous orchestras who select musicians for auditions, pre-advancement at auditions, and/or placement on substitute player lists. For SOPA, they will select winners for cash prizes of up to $3,500.
Round one candidates will submit an audition recording by November 13, 2022, between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM ET, and will compete against others playing the same instrument. Each instrument category will award prizes in the first round of performances. The most outstanding candidate from each category will win $250.
Qualified candidates will advance to round two’s live auditions behind a screen on January 25, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. Those going into the second round will compete for the first and second prizes in their instrument categories.
Second round first place involves a $3,500 cash prize and second place is worth $1,000. Both prizes will be awarded to the winners and runner-ups of the Woodwinds, Strings and Harp, and Brass and Percussion categories, respectively.
Preferred applicant requirements include those who are U.S. citizen or legal resident, have completed or are within two years of completing undergraduate studies, are in the midst of advancement pursuits for permanent orchestral employment opportunities, are currently employed in an orchestra, or are independent contractors with an orchestra. The competition is aimed toward those that are actively taking auditions through the 2022-23 season.
Applications will close on October 20, 2022, at 11:59 PM EDT. To apply, click here. For more information, click here.
Testimonials from SOPA excerpt competition candidates can be viewed below.