Solo String Festival FAQ's

Key to Change is proud to present our second Solo String Festival where students will perform live for a virtual audience. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and our desire to keep our families as safe as possible, we will be doing things differently than in the past. Please read below for more specifics. If you have any further questions, please contact us at

Participants must live, attend school, and study their instrument in South King County. All students regardless of home address studying at Key to Change are also eligible to participate. Students studying with lesson instructors outside of South King County are not eligible to participate.

Yes, you may bring your hired own accompanist. Rehearsals will be held at Benaroya Hall on Friday from 12-7:30pm.

The rate is $45.00, which includes one 20 minute rehearsal to be scheduled on Friday, April 9 between 12-7:30pm.

Auburn, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Muckleshoot Reserve, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, Skyway, Tukwila, and White Center

For families with COVID-19 concerns or if they are unable to travel to the designated venue, Key to Change will allow their performance to be uploaded onto YouTube. Students must upload their performance by Monday, April 5th (11:59pm) to be considered.

Students will perform at Benaroya Hall in either the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium or the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. They must report one hour prior to their performance time and present their negative COVID test at the door.

Students will be notified one week prior to the festival what date and time they will be performing. Students must arrive 1 hour prior to their performance and will be escorted to a room to tune and warm up prior to their performance.

Students will perform in front of a camera that will be livestreamed to the three judges who will watch virtually from their home. They will provide remarks and scores directly to the student, which will also be live streamed to our audience.

Because of the safety measures put into place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, students are limited to one person to accompany them into the venue. Both student and guest must present a negative COVID test prior to entering the venue. Other family members and friends are encouraged to watch the performances virtually from the comfort and safety of their home.

One piece must be memorized if competing in the junior or senior competitive divisions. Music does not need to be memorized if entering the non-competitive division.

Competitors must present two contrasting pieces (example: one fast piece and one slow piece) in the competitive round. No scales are allowed. Any piece (orchestral, chamber music, etc.) or scales is allowed for the non-competitive division.

Any middle or high school student may participate for up to 5 minutes. Scales, etudes, short pieces, or orchestra music is permitted. Students may perform with music.

  • All students as well as the family members accompanying him or her into the venue are required to present a negative COVID test upon arrival. Here is a list of locations that offer free COVID testing. The test must be no more than three days old. Example: If you are performing on Saturday, April 10th you must have your COVID test done no earlier than Wednesday, April 7th.
  • The only people present at the venue at one time will be Key to Change staff members, the student performer, the piano accompanist, camera and production crew. There will be no live audience and only one person may accompany the student inside.

Yes. All students who live and study their instrument in South King County are eligible. 

If you previously won a top prize in the junior or senior division, you may not compete in that same division again. A student may not win in the same division twice.