Up Close and Orchestral helps the WSO make a direct connection with high school students. Directed and hosted by Associate Conductor Julian Pellicano, students receive the rare and exciting opportunity to meet the full Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and experience an engaging and interactive ‘up close and personal’ full orchestra performance – for free!

Photo: Tanya Olfert, Linden Christian School

Read more about this program in the Winnipeg Free Press.



Two Up Close & Orchestral concerts will take place in 2020-21 (date(s) to be determined). Concerts are one-hour in length and completely free for middle & high school groups to attend!

To reserve seats for your group, please contact Jeffrey Acosta at 204.949.3995 or jacosta@wso.mb.ca


Provincial Student Soloist Competition

2020 Competition

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra invites students in Manitoba aged 14 to 18 to submit an application and recording for the annual Provincial Student Soloist Competition. This competition alternates annually between strings (including harp & guitar) and brass, woodwind & percussion. Due to limitations of the UCO tour, pianists are not eligible to compete. This competition will provide an opportunity to showcase a talented young musician in concert with the WSO during the Up Close and Orchestral program each year.

  • Any Manitoba string student (including harp & guitar) from the age of 14 to 18 at the time of application.
  • This competition is not open to voice or piano students.
  • Please note that the 2021 competition will be open to wind, brass & percussion students. The competition alternates annually between strings and woodwind/brass/percussion.

Auditions will be held in two rounds:

The preliminary round will be determined by submitted recordings which are due on March 27, 2020 (4:00pm CST). All applicants will be notified of their results via e-mail in mid-late April.

The final round of auditions is a live audition in front of a jury and will be held in late spring, 2020 (date TBD).

First Round – Recorded Audition
  • Repertoire is the choice of the applicant, however all submissions must be a minimum of four (4) minutes to a maximum of eight (8) minutes in duration.
  • Accompaniment is optional (but encouraged).
  • Repertoire, including composer, title and duration must be included on or with the recording.
  • Students may perform more than one piece, so long as time restrictions are met and not exceeded.
  • Recording may be submitted in digital format (MP3 format preferred, hosted on file sharing service (Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or YouTube, etc.). Links to individual pieces/excerpts will need to be pasted into the online application form below.
How to Apply:

Click here for the WSO Repertoire List.

Program Inquiries

Contact Brent Johnson, Education & Community Engagement Manager at (204) 949-3967 or email for more information.

Ticket Inquiries

Contact Jeffrey Acosta, Group & Education Events Coordinator, at 204.949.3995 or jacosta@wso.mb.ca

Provincial Student Soloist Competition Winners

2019 – Selwyn Sarmiento, flute

Photo Credit: Winnipeg School Division
2019 Provincial Student Soloist Competition Winner Selwyn Sarmiento, flute; Photo Credit: Winnipeg School Division

2018 – Juliana Moroz, cello
2017 – Bradley Cairns-Digel, trumpet
2016 – David Liam Roberts, cello
2015 – Subin Cho, flute
2014 – Gregory Lewis, violin
2013 – Claire Ploughman, marimba
2012 – Hannah Humphries, violin
2011 – Jaena Kim, flute
2010 – Heather Stewart, violin
2009 – Justin Hickmott, tuba
2008 – Joshua Peters, violin
2007 – Ariel Carrabré, cello
2006 – Keith Dyrda, trombone