2023 BRAVO! Competition

March 2 update: applications are now closed, thanks to everyone who applied!

Fontana is pleased to announce the 2023 BRAVO! Competition, joining many community partners to host this annual event for young musicians in Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas.

Congratulations to our 2023 winners!

  • Jay Balden – Voice, Millwood Middle School
  • Simar Bhatia – Piano, Portage Central High School
  • Alexander Bosak – Piano, Loy Norrix High School
  • James Quinn – Marimba, Loy Norrix High School
  • Michaela Sweis – Voice, Otsego High School
  • Carly Rose Koch – Voice, Portage Central High School
  • Ryan Soltanzadeh – Arabic Doumbek, Arcadia Elementary School
  • Ivan Tai – Violin, Portage Northern High School
  • Ellen Terzino – Voice, Loy Norrix High School
  • Claire Tong – Piano, Portage Northern High School
  • Salena Zhu – Piano, Portage Central High School

About the Competition

Established in 2001, the BRAVO! competition was incorporated into Fontana Chamber Arts’ outreach program in 2015 and 2016. In collaboration with local arts organizations and community advocates, Fontana is excited to sponsor BRAVO! once again. Similar in format to NPR’s “From the Top,” BRAVO! is a free public recital that celebrates the talents of area student musicians who audition for spots on the program in front of a panel of professional musicians.

BRAVO! supports advanced-level student musical talent by offering a competitive performance opportunity. Performers are selected for the competition via auditions for a public performance that will showcase the highest level of musical proficiency represented by locally based students through grade 12.

Student musicians through grade 12 in any musical discipline may apply.

  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023
  • Auditions: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 6:00 PM – Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre at the Epic Center (Individual audition times will be emailed to participants by Wednesday, March 15, 2023.)
  • Performance: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 7:00 PM – Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre

Application Guidelines

March 2 update: applications are now closed, thanks to everyone who applied!

  • The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, February 24, 2023 (11:59 p.m. EST).
  • The application fee is $20 USD payable online or by check.
  • Students have the opportunity to waive the application fee in the application form based on financial need.
  • Applicants will have the opportunity to submit special requests regarding audition time on the application form.
  • Any other requests or questions can be sent by email to Cori Somers at csomers@fontanachamberarts.org or by calling our office at (269) 382-7774.

A check payable to Fontana (with BRAVO! in the memo) may also be mailed to:

Attn: 2023 BRAVO! Competition
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Eligibility & Repertoire Requirements

  • Regional in scope, the competition is open to advanced student musicians from greater Kalamazoo and the adjacent counties of Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, St. Joseph, and Van Buren.
  • There is no restriction as to the styles and genres of music to be considered.
  • Solos as well as ensembles are welcomed (one entry per ensemble).
  • Applicants may apply for a solo and in an ensemble with two different applications.
  • Accompanists are the responsibility for the musicians.

Awards & Benefits

The 2023 BRAVO! winners will be announced on our website and contacted via email on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Selected by a panel of judges, winners will be featured in a FREE recital at the Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre in the Epic Center on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 7:00 pm, with portions of the performance broadcast at a later date on WMUK’s 89.9 FM “From the Top” and on Public Media Network with encore presentations.

Other awards and benefits include:

  • The opportunity for 1-2 professional coaching sessions 1-2 weeks prior to the April 19 concert.
  • Four tickets to an upcoming concert from one of the following organizations: the Gilmore International Piano Festival, Fontana Chamber Arts, and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.
  • Choose from fun gift cards to a variety of businesses!

Supporting Organizations

It takes a village, and we are so grateful to all of the organizations and individuals who contribute their time, efforts and resources to provide these young musicians the opportunity to perform for you – our community. Once you experience a performance by this select group of students, you will agree that our artistic future is shining bright!