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The Rules of the OPUS Music Competition (state level)

Rule 1: The competition is open to all students ages 5-18 who play violin, viola, cello, double bass, and/or piano, and reside in the United States. The age of the student will be determined by their age on November 18, 2022.

Rule 2: Participants will compete within their state of residence and within the instrument and category chosen. If a category does not have enough participants, then the entries received are still adjudicated by our panel. Students may enter in multiple instrumental categories (e.g. strings & piano). Please note that a separate application is required for multiple entries. All entry fees are nonrefundable.

Rule 3: There are no repertoire limitations. Competitors can choose their own music program from the baroque, classical, romantic, or contemporary periods. To be eligible for a prize, all music must be memorized with the exception of sonatas or collaborative works with accompaniment, which are not concertos. Concertos and Bach Suites/Sonatas/Partitas must be performed by memory. Please note that the number of compositions performed has no bearing on results. This means competitors will be judged on their performance quality rather than number of pieces performed.

Rule 4: Participants can create a program with at least 1 composition, and no more than 3, which must fit within their allotted time based on age category. Students who surpass the allotted time for their category will not be penalized as long as the video doesn’t surpass the allotted time by 60 seconds. The Opus Competition prefers YouTube or Vimeo links. Participants can record each composition at a time, and then combine the videos to (1) final submission or record their entire performance in 1 take.  Students may also choose to create a YouTube playlist if they are submitting multiple videos.

Rule 5: Video performances must be performed by the applicants and may not be edited nor enhanced in any way. Participants will not be penalized for the quality of your video, although it is important that it is good enough to see and hear you clearly. It is recommended that the recording device be at 6-7 feet away from the performers. Cell phone recordings are acceptable. Please see video guidelines for more information.

Rule 6: Participants may use previously recorded performance videos, which should be no more than 6 months old from the date of the application deadline.

Rule 7: Piano accompaniment is preferred, but not required.

Rule 8: Participants will receive a notable diploma specifying their participation or prize attained. All prize winners are eligible to compete in their state competition in subsequent years. All prize winners, including merit awards, are eligible to compete in the OPUS National Music Competition. Cash prizes and awards will be given at the national level only.

Rule 9: The jury is comprised of renowned musical artists from the United States, Canada, and Europe. The jury is regulated by guidelines & rules to help choose winners in each state. The jury reserves the right to award a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in addition to multiple merit prizes at their own discretion. The results of the jury are final and cannot be overturned.

Rule 10: By participating in the OPUS Competition, participants agree to forfeit the right for any financial remuneration regarding eventual publication and/or distribution of music video recordings on CD and DVD publications and the internet. Participants also agree to allow the OPUS Competition to use photos or images taken from both online and live competitions hosted by the OPUS Organization.

By entering the OPUS Music Competition, participants accept all conditions set forth above.

The OPUS Organization has the right to change these terms & conditions at any time. Participants will be notified if any changes occur.


Each category is open for students who play violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano. Each category has a time limit for the video performance. Students can create a program with at least 1 composition, and no more than 3, which must fit within their allotted time based on their category.

CATEGORY I: Ages 5-7  |  up to 6 minutes

CATEGORY II: Ages 8-10  |  up to 8 minutes

CATEGORY III: Ages 11-13  |  up to 10 minutes

CATEGORY IV: Ages 14-16  |  up to 12 minutes

CATEGORY V: Ages 17-18  |  up to 15 minutes


The OPUS Competition will award prizes for each category and state on the recommendation of the judges.  All other students will receive a unique participation diploma. All winners will be featured on our website & YouTube channel, in addition to press releases through local media outlets in each state. Lastly, all winners including merit prize recipients from each state will be invited to compete at the national level. Finalists of the National Competition will be invited to compete in person for cash prizes & national titles.


The application form must be accompanied with a link to the performance video. Videos do not have to be professional in nature. Cell phone videos are welcome. Students can record each composition at a time, and then combine the videos to (1) final submission OR record their entire performance in one take. Students are also able to create a YouTube playlist using multiple videos, and submit the link to the playlist. The OPUS Competition prefers YouTube links.

1. YouTube links are preferred. The YouTube video title should have the name of participant and the category in which they are competing.  Please be sure your videos are set to “Public” or “Unlisted”: VIDEO MANAGER → videos → Basic Info → from the dropdown menu, please choose “Public” or “Unlisted” only.

2. Contestants must show upper or full body and have adequate lighting as to see their face and instrument as well as their full range of motion. We recommend having the recording devices 6-7 ft. away from the performer(s).

3. Audios and videos may not be edited.

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