Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition: Rising to the Top

“It was our desire to get to know the next great clarinetists and saxophonists,” commented DANSR, inc. president Michael Skinner. “We discovered that there is no shortage of talent out there. The winners and the runner-ups are not separated by very much. It’s truly inspiring to hear these auditions.”


Now in its eighth year, the Vandoren Emerging artist competition is a feature-rich competition designed to recognize the best young clarinets and saxophonists in the United States. Open to musicians between the age of 18 and 23, the competition has attracted the finest young musicians in three categories – classical clarinet, classical saxophone and jazz - to compete for cash prizes, products and a trip to Paris. There are second and third prizes awarded as well. The winners also perform at the Music For All National Festival held annually in Indianapolis, Indiana.


“Each year we try to raise the bar a bit,” added Vandoren USA artistic director, David Gould. “We make the audition requirements a bit more stringent and even with that, there are still a large number of high level performances submitted, which is quite exciting.”


A pool of Vandoren artists who are also intimately involved in designing the audition requirements judges VEA. The winners will be able to meet with Vandoren artists, spend time at 56 rue Lepic – the Vandoren international headquarters – and participate in performances ranging from short programs to the Vando Jam. There may be some sightseeing included, too.


Prizes Include: 

Grand prize winners in each category will:

  • Travel to Paris to visit 56 Rue Lepic, the home of Vandoren, with possible performance opportunities.
  • Perform at the 2019 Music For All National Festival. Classical winners to premiere commissioned works.
  • Receive a $1,000 cash award and a Vandoren product package including mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds.


Second prize winners in each category will:

  • Receive a $250 cash award
  • Receive a Vandoren product package including mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds.


Third prize winners in each category will:

  • Receive a Vandoren product package including mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds.

Words from Past Winners:

For more information on the VEA Competition, please go to www.veacompetition.com

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