2024 BRAVO! Competition

Fontana is pleased to announce the 2024 BRAVO! Competition, joining many community partners to host this annual event for young musicians in Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas.

Apply Online

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.

Student musicians in grades 9 through 12 in any musical discipline may apply.

  • Application Deadline: Monday, March 25, 2024, 11:59 PM
  • Auditions: Saturday, April 13, 2024, beginning at 2:00 PM – Crescendo Academy of Music at the Epic Center (Individual audition times will be emailed to participants by Friday, April 5, 2024.)
  • Performance: Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 7:00 PM – Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre

Apply Online

Application Guidelines

  • The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, March 25, 2024 (11:59 p.m. EST).
  • The application fee is $20 USD payable online or by check.
  • Students with financial need may request to waive the application fee in 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: 2024 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).
  • Your scheduled audition time will be based on the length of piece you have submitted. If your piece is longer than 8 minutes on the application form, please select a stopping point at or before 8 minutes. Longer pieces may be selected for the performance depending on the final results of the audition.
  • Applicants may apply as:
    • An individual instrumentalist or vocalist:
      • You are responsible for hiring your own professional pianist as needed with your piece of music.
    • A chamber ensemble:
      • Your group is 2 performers or larger.
      • All performers meet the requirements of being in grades 9 through 12.
      • You may only submit one application/piece for a chamber ensemble.
  • Applicants may apply as an individual and in a chamber ensemble with two different applications.
  • A student soloist may not be chosen as a winner during two consecutive years on the same instrument, but they are eligible to win the second year as a member of a chamber ensemble using the same instrument.

Awards & Benefits

The 2023 BRAVO! winners will be announced on our website and contacted via email on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 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, May 15, 2024 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 professional coaching sessions to help prepare for the performance.
  • Concert tickets from local arts organizations such as Fontana Chamber Arts, The Gilmore, and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.
  • Gift cards from a variety of local 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 our young musicians the opportunity to perform for you – our community. If you experienced a performance by this select group of students, you would agree that our artistic future is shining bright!