For over a century, the Pacific Musical Society & Foundation has nurtured the growth of gifted musicians by awarding merit-based scholarships to promising students in the Bay Area and surrounding regions. Each year we hold a competition for instrumentalists, pianists, vocalists, and composers in various age categories. Winners receive scholarship awards to support their ongoing musical education. The results are announced at a public concert in which our first place winners perform and their scholarship prizes are awarded.

For the 2019 competition, we will be adding a new category to the competition for chamber music (string quartets and piano trios) and making some adjustments to the existing categories. Please see the entry information for more details!

2018 Competition Winners

Photos and Videos from our 2017 Winners Concert

Sample List of Past Winners (2009-2017)

2019 Competition Entry Information

Welcome to the Pacific Musical Society & Foundation's 2019 Scholarship Competition. The Society is committed to helping young musicians develop their talent through awarding merit-based scholarships. This year, we are privileged to hold the competition finals at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley and the Winners Concert at The Green Room in San Francisco.

The application deadline for the 2019 Competition is February 17, 2019.

Download the Competition Information Pack

Instructions to Applicants:
Please read these instructions in their entirety, and complete all steps by February 17, 2019.


Participation in the competition requires an application fee of $80.00, which includes a 1-year tax-deductible regular membership in the Pacific Musical Society & Foundation. Submit your non-refundable fee of $80.00 via PayPal.


Upload your video submissions to YouTube. All your videos must be uploaded to YouTube before they can be entered in the competition. Each piece you're submitting must be uploaded separately (for example, if you are applying for a piano competition, you will upload four separate videos). Log into your YouTube account, and upload your video submissions to your account. You must mark your videos as Public or Unlisted on YouTube for them to be available to enter in the competition. Children may have their videos submitted through a parent's account.


Complete and submit the online application form. The form will ask you to supply links to the YouTube videos you uploaded in Step 2, so please have those handy.


We are pleased to announce that our 2019 Annual Competition is open for submissions! There are several changes this year, including a new Chamber Music category. Click here for full details and entry information. All applications must be submitted by February 17, 2019. Competition Finals will be held on April 7, 2019 at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley.

The Winners Concert and Awards Presentation will be held on May 17, 2019, 7pm, at The Green Room at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Can a selection be an excerpt or partial work?

    A: Each selection must be a complete movement or complete work in itself.

  • Q: What composers are considered Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century?


    Lists of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century composers are available on Wikipedia. Please note that for the 20th Century category, compositions must be written after 1915.

  • Q: What instruments are included in the 'instrumental' category?

    A: Orchestral string instruments only. Woodwinds, harp, and guitar have been eliminated from this category in 2019.

  • Q: Can multiple contestants apply together?

    A: For the chamber music category, each group should submit one application, and designate one member of the group as the primary applicant and point of contact for communication. For all other categories, each contestant must apply separately. If an applicant wishes to compete in multiple categories, they should apply to each category separately and pay a separate application fee for each category.

  • Q: Must all works be memorized?

    A: With the exception of the chamber music category, where music does not need to be memorized, in all other categories all works must be memorized and performed from memory in the video submissions and live finals.

  • Q: For accompanied works, must they be performed with accompaniment?

    A: Yes, all accompanied works must be played as such in the video submissions and live finals.