Frequently Asked Questions About the Byrd Competition

  • When will the next William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition take place?
  • The competition is held at the Flint Institute of Music, 1025 East Kearsley Street, Flint, Michigan on the first Saturday of March each year.
  • Are the auditions and finals open to the public?
  • Yes, the auditions and the finals are open to the public at no cost. The auditions for the 30 selected contestants begin at 8:00 AM and continue to about 5:00 PM. Auditions are scheduled every 15 minutes with a few breaks during the day. Each contestant receives a full 10 minutes of performing time during the auditions. The finals begin at 7:00 PM, and the five finalists should be prepared to perform the complete music score.
  • Is there any special repertoire for the competition?
  • The only requirement is that the music you select must be written for your instrument (or voice) and orchestra. Piano accompaniment is acceptable on your submitted CD and is required during the competition. The music you select must contain a minimum of 10 minutes of performing time for your instrument.
  • Do I need to know the complete music score?
  • Yes. For example, if you choose to perform a concerto, you must know all of the movements. The judges will ask you to play various parts of the music during your audition. Finalists may be asked by the judges to perform the complete work in the evening.
  • May I cut the tutti?
  • Yes, especially during the audition. If you should be selected to be a finalist, you may cut any large section of tutti, but you may want to leave enough in the music to provide some time for you to rest.
  • How large is the auditorium where the auditions and finals take place?
  • The MacArthur Recital Hall, where the competition takes place, has 271 seats.
  • How are audition times assigned?
  • Each contestant is assigned a letter (or letters) according to when we receive the application information. The 30 contestants selected for the semi-final round by the preliminary judge are assigned a number and audition time by lottery. We do make some minor adjustments for contestants who have selected the same music, perform on the same instrument (when this applies), try to alternate as much as possible by gender, and make afternoon times available for contestants who live nearby and drive to Flint for the day.
  • Are practice rooms and warm-up rooms available?
  • Yes. The building will be open from 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM on the Friday before the competition. Contestants may come to the registration desk to be assigned a practice room and can use the room as long as needed. Warm-up rooms will be available during the competition.
  • When is the Byrd web site updated each year?
  • The web site is updated by the end of September for the next competition.