Solo String Festival

Key to Change is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for our students and community members. In accordance with recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health, our 2020 Solo String Festival is cancelled.

Key to Change is proud to present our Solo String Festival for middle and high school violin and viola students. This festival highlights the talents of music students who live, attend school, and study their instrument in South King County: Auburn, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Muckleshoot Reserve, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, Skyway, Tukwila, and White Center.

Students who participate in their respective school orchestra programs, local youth symphony orchestra programs, and/or take private lessons with a studio teacher in South King County are all eligible. Students in South King County who do not participate in any of the aforementioned are also eligible.

All participants will have access to rehearse up to 30 minutes with a piano accompanist provided by Key to Change up to two weeks before their performance (rehearsal time is scheduled based around accompanist’s availability and on a first-come, first-served basis). During the day, participants will also attend a short college fair and watch a performance by Seattle University string students.


Two first place winners from the Junior and Senior Divisions will be awarded a music scholarship in the amount of $500 and $1000, respectively, to the college, conservatory, or university of their choice. The first place winners will also perform live on the radio on Classical KING FM’s Northwest Focus Live program and be honored in a private reception at the radio station with the students’ family, Key to Change board and staff members, and invited guests. They will also receive press in the local news and perform at select events sponsored by Key to Change.

Second and third place winners will receive a set of strings, a one-hour private lesson, and be invited perform at select events sponsored by Key to Change.

All students will receive a Certificate of Recognition and may sign up for a free 30-minute tutorial lesson through Key to Change in preparation of their festival performance.


Senior Competitive Division

All high school students currently in grades 9-12 are eligible for the senior division. Students will have a total of up to 15 minutes to perform. Competitors must present at least two different musical works of contrasting time periods. Concertos, sonatas, short pieces, or etudes are permitted. No scales or orchestra music is permitted. At least one piece should be memorized and must be indicated on the application.

Junior Competitive Division

All middle school students currently in grades 6-8 are eligible for the junior division. Students will have a total of up to 10 minutes to perform at least two pieces.  At least one piece should be memorized and must be indicated on the application.

Non-Competitive Division

All participants (middle or high school) may perform up to 5 minutes. Scales, etudes, short pieces, or orchestra music is permitted. Students may perform with music.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Participants must live, attend school, and study their instrument in South King County. Students studying at Key to Change are eligible to participate. Students studying with lesson instructors outside of South King County are not eligible to participate.
  2. Participants must provide music for the piano accompanist.
  3. Participants may compete on one instrument only.
  4. Participants may compete in one Division only.
  5. Participants must provide three copies of their music.
  6. Participants must introduce their performance to the adjudicator and audience. Students should include the performer and accompanist names, name of school, title and composer of ensemble (and, if appropriate, the movements being performed), and briefly describe a significant aspect of style, form, technique, harmony, rhythm or melody in the piece.
  7. Participants will be cut off if the allotted time is exceeded.
  8. Participants will receive written feedback from the adjudicator.
  9. Participants must check in one hour prior to their performance. (A master schedule will be sent out one week before the festival begins).
  10. The adjudicator’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
  11. Winners are required to participate in the radio broadcast and select events scheduled by Key to Change. Failure to participate in such events will result in disqualification and loss of scholarship.


9:00am Non-Competitive Audition Round Starts

10:10am Junior Competitive Round Starts

11:35am Senior Competitive Round Starts

12:30pm Lunch

2:40pm Seattle University students perform

5:00pm Junior and Senior Competitive Division Finals

5:30pm Awards Ceremony


Applicants must complete and submit the registration form no later than Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (11:59pm). You must also complete the $15 application fee. Students who require financial assistance for the application fee may apply for a scholarship by contacting us here.

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