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CalASTA Bowed Strings Competition - Los Angeles Section

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The Cal-ASTA Bowed Strings Competition stimulates and encourages young people at all levels of development to study stringed instruments by providing opportunities for performance, evaluation, and recognition. The three-tiered competition is open to applicants of violin, viola, cello and double bass. The Preliminary Round is held via video submission. Up to five (5) participants from each instrument/age category will advance to a live Finals Round. Winners of the Finals Round are advanced to the Bi-Annual California State Finals.

Preliminary Round (Video)
  • Application and Video Submission Window: March 1, 2023 to April 1, 2023.
  • Fee: $100.00
  • Finalist Results Announced: April 21, 2023.
Finals Round (Live)
  • Date: Saturday, May 27, 2023 (Reserve the entire day as there will be no schedule changes.)
  • Fee: $100
  • Location: Recital Hall, Cal State University - Fullerton
  • Commitment to Participate in the Finals must be received by April 28, 2023. Students should plan to keep the whole day open or be prepared to forfeit their participation in the finals.
  • Finals Schedule Posting: by May 5th, 2023
California State Finals Round – Fall 2024 (Live)
  • Event details will be provided in the summer of 2024


  1. Participation is open to students of teachers who are active members of ASTA and CalASTA-Los Angeles Section.
  2. Participants’ applications must include their private teacher’s current membership number to establish eligibility.
  3. Contestants may enter in one of the following Age Categories for the Los Angeles Preliminary and Finals Rounds (age as of June 1, 2023). All students MUST compete within their respective age categories. Novice: age 12 and under Junior I: ages 13 through 15 Junior II: ages 16 through 18 Senior: ages 19 through 25
  4. Proof of age must be uploaded with the application. Acceptable documents include a scan of a birth certificate (certified copy or original), passport, or driver’s license.
  5. Code of Conduct agreement is required to participate in the Los Angeles Competitions. This includes Judges, Chairpersons, teachers, participants over 18, and parents or guardians of participants under 18. A .pdf copy of the CalASTA-LA Code of Conduct is available in the Resources section of this web page. Please make sure you have reviewed this document before starting your application process.
  6. Repertoire: One selection must be chosen from the standard literature and should demonstrate musicianship, tone, and technique. Repertoire must be performed from memory.
  7. Performance time limit: Eight (8) minutes for both Preliminary and Los Angeles Final Competitions. Cuts in piano accompaniments are allowed for time. If the video goes over 8 minutes, the judges will stop the video at that point without penalty.
  8. Accompaniment is required when applicable. Teachers may not perform as a participant’s accompanist, as it may compromise the competitor’s anonymity
  9. Judges’ decisions are final.

PRELIMINARY ROUND – Los Angeles (Video)
  • Applicants will submit a video recording via Acceptd.
  • Submissions must be filmed as one continuous recording on a single camera placed on a tripod or other steady surface.
    • Today’s phone camera videos are of a caliber that are sufficient for these recordings. It is not necessary to submit professionally engineered recordings.
    • 75% of the camera shot should be the performer from head to knees, positioned to see both hands clearly and the complete bow stroke for the entire piece.
    • No editing of video or audio is allowed. Submissions that are edited will be disqualified and no refunds given.
    • Make sure “mirror” setting is turned off.
  • Label the video submission to with [Composer], [Work], [Movement].
    • Example: Haydn: Concerto in C Major, Allegro
  • As a part of the application, students and parents must agree to allow CalASTA-LA to share their video submission on its Facebook page as part of a presentation of winners.
  • Up to five (5) finalists will be selected per instrument division in each age category to advance to the Los Angeles Finals Round.
  • Placement awards will not be given in the Preliminary Round.
  • Judges’ comments from the Preliminary Round will be posted on Accept’d. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ask their students to share them.
  • Certificates will be awarded to each participant.
FINALS ROUND – Los Angeles (Live)
  • The Final Round of the CalASTA-LA Bowed Strings Competition will be performed live if health regulations allow.
  • Finals participants must perform the same piece they entered in the Preliminary Round.
  • Judges will determine 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and Honorable Mention Awards.
  • First Place Winners in the Los Angeles Finals Competition in each instrument division and the appropriate age categories, will advance to the California State Competition.
  • First Place winners of the Los Angeles Finals Competition are eligible to compete in the bi-annual California State Competition (2024)
  • The judges may recommend additional highly qualified Second Place winners to advance to the California State Competition. No Third-Place awardees may be recommended for the State Finals.
  • Awards for the Los Angeles Finals Competition will be as follows: Senior—$400; Junior I—$300; Junior II—$300; Novice—$200.
  • A Special Award of a solo performance with the Cal State LA Symphony Orchestra/Olympia Youth Orchestra may be presented to a participant in the 2023 Los Angeles Finals Competition, as well as a cash prize to be determined. Performance repertoire is subject to the approval of Conductor Fung Ho.
  • The comments, certificates, and award checks from the LA Finals will be sent to teachers. It is the teacher’s responsibility to forward all comments, certificates, and award checks to their students in a timely manner!
  1. Two judges will be engaged for the Preliminary Round and three for the Los Angeles Finals Competition.
  2. Chairpersons and participating teachers in any part of the competition may not adjudicate in any part of the competition for that year.
  3. Prior to and during the competition, each student shall be identified to the judges by number only.
  4. Judges may not see any printed recital program until after all awards have been presented.
  5. Judges are required to consider only the performance given by a competitor on that particular day. No other prior experiences, whether positive or negative, are relevant to the competition.
  6. Judges are not to write contact information, addresses, or affiliations on the Evaluation Forms.
  7. Judges will make every effort to present their evaluations in a positive and constructive manner.
  8. While the Competition Chairs will need to work with judges to help with paperwork and to answer questions about procedures, a Chair may not sit with the judges during deliberations.
  9. Questions by the judges to the Competition Chair should be of a procedural nature only. All efforts shall be made to avoid even the appearance of any inappropriate influence on the results.
  10. Contact between judges and parents/teachers/students regarding competition participation is not allowed. All judges' decisions are final.
  • Any winner of the Los Angeles Finals Competition who is NOT chosen to advance to the State Competition is eligible to compete the following year.
  • LA Finals winners who advance to the Bi-Annual State Finals may not compete in the Los Angeles Section Preliminaries again until the year following the State Finals competition. For example, the 2023 Finals winners will advance to the 2024 State Finals and will next be eligible to compete in the Los Angeles Preliminaries in 2025.
  • California State Finals First-Place winners may not compete again in the same age category they won the prize in. Since the CalASTA State Finals combines both Junior age categories into one, winners of the State Finals Junior Category may next participate in the Preliminary Round at the SENIOR level.
  • State Finals participants not winning First Place may participate again in the Los Angeles Preliminaries the year following their State Finals competition an any category for which they qualify.
Submit all inquiries directly to the LA Bowed Strings Competition Chair:
Jillian Risigari-Gai Lopez at