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The Carol Jackson Concerto Competition

Live on January 28, 2024 at The Windmill Library Performing Arts Center

The Young Artists Orchestra will host its 7th Annual Carol Jackson Concerto Competition on January 29, 2024 in the Performing Arts Center of the Windmill Library. Recently renamed after the late Carol Jackson, the competition is open to all students in Southern Nevada regardless of YAO affiliation. Young musicians up to the age of 22 are invited to apply for a chance to win cash prizes and the opportunity to perform with the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra Symphony. Up to $1,000 will be awarded. All competition participants will also receive a professional video of their performance courtesy of TRP Productions. Competitors will compete in front of an audience and will be judged by (3) or (4) judges. The judges will present the awards at the end of the competition. Applications must be accompanied by a video to be used as a screening for the preliminary round. Up to 15 competitors will be invited to compete in the live competition.

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 14, 2024 at 11:59pm PST
Preliminary Round: (5) minute video to be used as a preliminary round (submitted with application)
Live Competition: Sunday, January 28, 2024, 1:00 PM
Application Fee: $75.00 (YAO Students) / $95 (Non-YAO Students)

Competition Rules are located below

Application Form
Jackson Competition
*Students 17 and under
Please provide the full name of composer, full name of performance work, and any movement title & name (if applicable).
Please provide a link to your preliminary video. YouTube links are preferred. Please be sure to have video as unlisted or public.
Application Fee: $75 for YAO Students / $95 for Non-YAO Students
Credit Card *
Billing Address
Billing Address
Preliminary Round

Students must attach a link to a video to be used as a preliminary round/screening round. The video does not have to be the entire work, but should be at least 5 minutes in length. The video can be of the whole work, or just part of the work. Videos do not have to be professional in nature. Cell phone videos are welcome. Please note that pianists are not required for the preliminary video. Students may use music for the preliminary round. Music must be memorized for the live competition.

If you have any questions about the preliminary round or any other aspect of the competition, then please email us at YAOrchestra@gmail.com

Concerto Competition Rules
  • Competitors must memorize their concerto and/or solo work.
    Musicians do not have to be part of the Young Artists Orchestra program to enter the competition.
  • Competitors must be under the age of 22 on the day of the competition. There is no minimum age.
  • Musicians may compete with a string, wind, and percussive instrument. Piano students will not be eligible for the competition. Guitar players and singers are welcome to apply. Please email us if you have eligibility questions.
  • Each competitor will have up to 10 minutes to perform their movement of a concerto or solo piece. If the competitor goes over 10 minutes, then the judges will have the final say on when to stop the soloist. Musicians will not be penalized if they are stopped. Please note that a solo piece that is not a concerto must have an orchestral accompaniment. Please send us an email if you have eligibility questions.
  • Competitors may perform more than one movement, but will still have to abide by the 10 minute rule stated in rule (1).
  • All decisions are final. Judges will decide on a first, second, and third place winner, and the audience will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite who will win the audience prize. The first place winner may have the opportunity to perform their concerto with the YAO Symphony.
  • The judges and audience can decide on the same winner(s). Neither party will be aware of their choices.
  • The first prize winner of the competition may be invited to play the concerto or other solo work with the orchestra. This is not a guarantee, and is based on instrumentation, rental availability, and/or difficulty vs preparation time, to name a few. Students will receive an invitation from the YAO music director if the opportunity arises.
  • Competitors are responsible for bringing their own accompanist to the competition. The YAO will not provide an accompanist. Accompanists will not be needed for the preliminary round.
  • Competitors who have won the competition must wait a year until they can compete again.
  • Application forms and fees must be entered by all the deadlines. Students who have missing information and/or sign-up fees will not be allowed to compete.
  • Application forms must be accompanied by a (5) minute video to be used for screening/preliminary round.
  • Competitors agree to let YAO use photographs, video, and audio for promotional purposes.
  • Up to 15 competitors will be invited to compete in the live competition event.


2019 Competition Photos

2024 Winners
1st – Sachi Blevins (flute) – Student of Minji Park Wu and Dr. John McMurtery
2nd – Brennan Fischl (clarinet) – Student of Rayne Ellison
3rd – Elmindreda Andrus (viola) – Student of Victoria Andrus
HM – Joshua Von Bruenchenhein (violin) – Student of Carlene San-Filippo

2023 Winners
1st – Abigail Knox (violin) – Student of Yuri Cho
2nd – Phillippee Kosyagin (violin) – Student of Mary Straub
3rd – Alexander Vakov (oboe) – Student of Steve Caplan
3rd – Aaron Lee (violin) – Student of De Annn Letourneau
HM – Ethan Tajalle (viola) – Student of Sharon Street-Caldwell

2022 Winners
1st – Elizabeth Hebing (flute) – Student of Carmella Cao
2nd – Phillippee Kosyagin (violin) – Student of Mary Straub
3rd – Alyssa Saito (violin) – Student of Shakeh Ghoukasian
HM – Harrison Park (cello) – Student of Jeewoong Kim

2021 Winners
1st – Lourdes Pinney (viola) – Student of Jennifer Hellewell
2nd – Shyler Macaggi (viola) – Student of Dmitri Kourka
3rd – Kyle Khembunjong (guitar) – Student of Ricardo Cobo
HM – Chloe Kim (viola) – Student of Yunior Lopez

2020 Winners
1st – Sarah Philips (flute) – Student of Cynthia Man
2nd – Elizabeth Hebing (flute) – Student of Carmella Cao
3rd – Jayden Kim (violin) – Student of Hyelin Jung
HM – Chloe Kim (viola) – Student of Yunior Lopez
HM – Lauren Oliver (piano) – Student of Michelle Lee
Audience Prize – Elizabeth Hebing (flute)

2019 Winners
1st – Young Choe (cello) – Student of Andy Smith
2nd – Lawrence Zhang (violin) – Student of Susan Kim
3rd – Gweneth Tacan (clarinet) – Student of Christopher Armeno
HM – Chloe Kim (viola) – Student of Yunior Lopez
HM – Shyler Macaggi (viola) – Student of Yunior Lopez
Audience Prize – Jeff Zhang (liuqin)

2018 Winners
1st – Daniel Kyong (violin) – Student of Yuri Cho
2nd – Tristan Macaggi (viola) – Student of Dmitri Kourka
3rd – Ha Choe (viola) – Student of Yunior Lopez
Audience Prize – Benel Higuchi (violin) – Student of Yunior Lopez

2017 Winners
1st – Jordan Farber (bassoon) – Student of Kevin Eberle
2nd – Jimmy Cisneros (bass) – No Teacher
3rd – Ryan Tingle (cello) – Student of Andy Smith
Audience Prize – Daniel Kyong (violin) – Student of Yuri Cho

2016 Winners
1st – Matthew Lazeroff (cello) – Student of Andy Smith

Audience Prize – Thomas Kyong (violin) – Student of Yuri Cho
Audience Prize – Giovanni Venezia (viola) – No Teacher

About Carol Jackson

Carol Lyn Jackson was an accomplished musician who moved to Las Vegas in 1978, after graduating from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance. She played with all of the symphonic organizations in the Las Vegas area and was the first Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic from its founding in 1998 through the 1999-2000 season. Carol also played for all of the major headline entertainers who visited Las Vegas and served as the Concertmaster for Diana Ross and Wayne Newton. Carol was an outstanding music educator with assignments throughout the Clark County School District. She began her teaching career in 1988 with orchestra classes at Fay Herron , Lois Craig, and C.C. Ronnow Elementary Schools; Burkholder, Brown, and Johnson Middle Schools; and Basic and Cimarron Memorial High Schools before finishing her last 12 years creating and maintaining the award-winning orchestra program at the Las Vegas Academy for International Studies and Performing Arts. She impacted the musical education of thousands of students with 90% of her graduating music students receiving scholarships to major universities, colleges, and conservatories. Carol tragically passed away on October 2, 2005, leaving behind her husband, Edward; daughter, Lauren; and son, Scott.

Her personal and ensemble awards included:

  • String Quartet Finalist in the International Coleman Chamber Music Festival Competition
  • Taught CCSD In-Service: “How to Teach String Positions and Vibrato in the Public School Orchestra”
  • Straight Superior Ratings at CCSD and Regional Music Festivals
  • Guest Speaker for the American String Teachers’ Association Workshop
  • Served on Standards Committee for Musical Instruments and Equipment
  • Burkholder Middle School Teacher of the Year
  • Las Vegas Academy Outstanding Music Teacher Award
  • A Grammy Signature Schools “Gold Award Recipient” from 1999 until her passing in 2005
  • Nevada State Mini Grant Recipient
  • Programs received financing from Music Performance Trust Funds of the American Federation of Musicians
  • S.O.N.G. Grant Recipient
  • Coordinator and Host for the ASTA String Quartet Festival
  • Students consistently selected for Command Performances at the Nevada All-State Convention
  • Best in Class Awards at regional music festivals: Music in the Parks, Heritage Festivals, and Ovation Festivals
  • Staff member and Orchestra Director for Nevada Ambassadors of Music, European Tour
  • President/Musician/Contractor for Ambience Music, Inc.
  • Violinist with the El Salvador National Symphony Orchestra in San Salvador, El Salvador
  • LVA Symphonic String Performance at the Nevada All-State Convention
  • LVA Symphony Strings performance at the 2003 Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, Illinois
  • LVA Symphony Strings performance at the 1998 Music Educator’s National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
  • LVA Symphony Strings performance at the 2005 American String Teachers National Convention in Reno, Nevada
  • At the time of her passing, Carol was scheduled to take the Symphony Strings to Salt Lake City, Utah for a performance at the 2006 Music Educator’s National Conference