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Senior Finals International Youth Competition

June 22, 2019 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

The Senior Finals for the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition.


International Youth Competition


Senior Division (Ages 15–18)
1st Prize: $2,000*
2nd Prize: $1,000*
3rd Prize: $750*
4th Prize: $500*

Other prizes awarded to all finalists will include:
Strings generously donated by D’Addario, Savarez, and Augustine
Gift Certificates from Guitar Solo Publications (GSP); Kling-On Products
All competitors receive gift certificates from Strings By Mail.


Open to competitors, regardless of nationality, who are not older than 14 years of age (Junior Division) or 18 years of age (Senior Division) through the date of the competition finals, and who are not represented by professional management. Each division is limited to the first forty-five (45) applicants to have all required materials submitted to the GFA by the stipulated deadline. First Place-winners from any previous IYC are not eligible for the same age group.

All registrants under the age of 18 at the time of the convention must be accompanied by a paid adult registrant for the duration of their stay. Minors are not allowed on convention premises unless accompanied by an adult. The GFA does not take responsibility for any minor during their stay.

Competitors must participate in the division corresponding with their birthdate, with the exception that past winners of the Junior Division are eligible to compete in the Senior Division if desired; however past winners of Junior and Senior Divisions may not compete in the ICAC unless they have reached the minimum age requirement.

Competitors participating in the International Youth Competition (IYC) are eligible to participate in the International Ensemble Youth Competition (IEYC), but will need to register for that separately. Please note that International Youth Competition (IYC) participants cannot also be entered in the International Ensemble Competition (IEC). International Youth Competition (IYC) participants can only compete in the International Ensemble Youth Competition (IEYC).

If you will participate in more than one youth competition, you can register for one and then you must write an email to Ebaa Khamas, Operations Administrator, at requesting directions to register for a second youth competition.

All decisions regarding eligibility are made by the IYC Artistic Director, Lynn McGrath.

DEADLINE: May 1, 2019. Entries with all fees and application materials, including submission of repertoire for the preliminary and final rounds as well as a an HD photo for the program, must be received by the GFA no later than the above deadline. No late entries will be considered.

REQUIRED PIECE – One solo from the Heitor Villa-Lobos Complete Works for Solo Guitar, Editions Max Eschig.

FREE CHOICE – One free choice piece of 4-7 minutes in length. This may include multiple movements from the same composition. For example, multiple movements from a Bach Suite or several etudes from Leo Brouwer’s Etudes Simples.

MANDATORY COMPETITOR’S MEETING: Thursday, 6/20/19. Time and location TBD.

Attendance at the Competitor’s Meeting meeting is required of all competitors. Procedures will be reviewed, and afterwards, there will be a brief tour of the Preliminary Round venue.

IMPORTANT CHANGE: The 2019 IYC has one change in the program submittal procedures. The programs for the preliminary and final rounds as well as an HD photo must be submitted via the provided program link by May 1st, 11:59PM EST (the same date and time as the registration deadline). Links will be sent upon successful completion of your registration. Please plan accordingly as those who do not submit a program by that deadline may be ineligible to compete.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Competitors who do not upload appropriate age verification with their registration are required to bring documentation to the competitor’s orientation meeting. Competitors who do not present appropriate materials will be allowed to perform for evaluation by the jury, but will not be eligible for advancing to the finals of the competition.

If you encounter a travel delay which prevents you from attending the meeting, you will need to provide proof upon arrival of earlier travel plans. Should you have another event in conflict with the competitors’ orientation meeting, which is not a sponsored GFA event, the competitor will only be permitted to perform for evaluation and will be ineligible to compete for competition prizes.


June 20th-21st: performance before a panel of three (3) judges for each division. This round will be closed to the public and no observers are allowed. If the number of competitors allows, this round will be held only on June 21st.

Each candidate must perform the following pieces and they may be performed in any order:

Required piece

Free Choice of 4-7 minutes length

All pieces must be performed from memory.

Each competitor is allotted a 12-minute performance slot in this round and a performance may be stopped by the judges if the player is not near completion of the music after 12 minutes of playing. Tuning or pausing between the selections is not included in the timing. All competitors must perform on a nylon string, classical guitar. Four (4) competitors from this round will advance to the Final Round. Announcement of the four (4) competitors to advance will be made at the conclusion of the Friday 4pm concert.


June 22nd: 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Performance order for this round will be determined by a Lottery-numerical order draw. The four (4) candidates will perform before a panel of three (3) judges. This round will be open to the public.

All finalists are required to perform a minimum of two (2) works of contrasting styles (by different composers) not to exceed a total of fifteen (15) minutes. They may be performed in any order. No works by Villa-Lobos may be included in the Final Round, but other works from the Preliminary Round may be repeated.

All pieces must be memorized. Performers may be stopped at a total of 15 minutes playing time. Tuning or pausing between the selections is not included in the timing. Announcement of the winners will be made at the end of the IYC Awards Ceremony, TBA (typically at the conclusion of the afternoon recital).


A list of preliminary round times will be e-mailed to each competitor a few weeks before the start of the convention. Order is determined by random number generating software. More detailed information about the IYC Competitor’s meeting will be provided by email communication after the registration deadline has been reached. Please check the email address you used when registering for all correspondence regarding the event.


Competitors should be near the judging venue, ready to perform, at least 30-45 minutes before their scheduled time. This is necessary in the event judging runs ahead of schedule. Competitors should bring only their guitar (without the case) and guitar elevation device or footstool into the judging venue. Footstools will not be provided. Be certain to tune the instrument before entering the judging venue. Performers are allowed to check tuning once inside the venue. Judges do not require copies of the score.


Judges will evaluate each competitor in several categories. Based upon this, they will vote their choice of the four (4) competitors from the Preliminary Round to advance to the Final Round. All votes are tallied and the four (4) competitors with the highest votes shall advance to the Final Round. Should a tie result, judges will discuss and re-vote on the tied competitors.

In the Final Round, judges will evaluate each competitor in several categories. The judges shall vote for each place, beginning with First then moving on to Second, Third, and Forth. No ties will be allowed. In the case of a tie during deliberation, judges will discuss and re-vote on the tied competitors to determine who will advance to the higher place.

All decisions by the judges are final.

Additional competition and convention registrations should be purchased separately. Chaperones attending with more than one competitor only need to purchase one pass for the appropriate competition period.

For competition questions, please contact: Lynn McGrath, Artistic Director of the International Youth Competition at

For registration questions, please contact: Ebaa Khamas, Operations Administrator, at


Guitar Foundation of America
View Organizer Website


Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami
1314 Miller Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146 United States
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View Venue Website
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