Solo Competition

The James W. Simmons Solo Competition
The Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship
for Young Musicians

The competition is named for the 6th director of the Charlottesville Municipal Band, Mr. James W. Simmons, who began playing in the band in 1946 and was appointed its Music Director in 1980. During his 26-year tenure, the band increased in both membership and musicianship, playing many concerts in Charlottesville and in surrounding communities and across the state, attracting overflow audiences everywhere it played. He retired on December 31, 2006, and conducted his final program on April 24, 2007.

The scholarship is named in honor of its benefactor and Municipal Band of Charlottesville supporter, the Reverend Dr. Genevieve Murphy, whose generous legacy donation underwrites this annual tradition that showcases the finest young musicians and encourages them to pursue higher education in the arts.


One winner will be announced on our website within seven days of the auditions. The winner will receive a $1,000.00 scholarship to fund higher education costs, which will be payable to the financial aid department of his or her college upon successful completion of the first semester. The winner will also perform as featured soloist with the Charlottesville Municipal Band at its Spring Concert.

Applicant Eligibility

  1. There is no application fee.
  2. Students must be in grades 10, 11, or 12 at the time of audition.
  3. Students must be attending school in Charlottesville City or in one of the following counties: Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, or Orange. Home-schooled students from these areas are also welcome to participate.
  4. Students must be enrolled in a school band program and/or taking private lessons on their auditioned instrument.
  5. The winner must be available on March 31, April 7 and 14 for evening rehearsals and April 19, 2020 for the performance.
  6. Student members of the Municipal Band may apply; however, children of Municipal Band members are not eligible.
  7. Previous winners of the competition are not eligible.

Performance Requirements

  1. Auditions will be held at the Municipal Arts Center on January 18, 2020 and are open to the public. Applicants will be notified by phone or email of their audition time several days in advance. A common warm-up area will be provided.
  2. Applicants may audition on any one of the following instruments: flute, oboe, B-flat soprano clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, or xylophone.
  3. All applicants must provide their own piano accompanist for their audition. An acoustic piano will be provided.
  4. Each audition will consist of one work from the chart below. Please do not substitute editions or arrangements unless given permission to do so. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Layman at
Audition pieces for each instrument
Instrument Audition Piece Composer Arranger Publisher Stock Number*
Flute Concertino, Op. 107 Chaminade   Fischer 993469
Oboe Concerto in C minor (2nd & 3rd mvts.) Marcello, B   Southern 2081537
Clarinet Concertino, Op. 26 Von Weber Frank Kendor 6043327
Bassoon Concerto, K. 191 (1st mvmt) Mozart Guetter Luck’s 5068705
Alto Sax Sonata, Op. 29 Muczynski, R LaBounty Schirmer  
Trumpet Concerto (m.1-190) Arutunian   International  
Horn Adagio and Allegro for Horn Haddad, D   Shawnee  
Trombone/Baritone Concerto for Trombone and Band (all) Rimsky-Korsakov   Kalmus  
Tuba Concertino for Tuba & Band Bencriscutto   Shawnee 2111953
Xylophone Allegro Volante Dorff   Presser 5479167

* These stock numbers from illustrate the proper editions/arrangements to be performed. This does not imply an endorsement of J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. and music may be obtained from any sheet music retailer.


Please download the application here.  Mail your form (postmarked by January 2, 2020), or scan and email by January 5, 2020 to: Charlottesville Municipal Band Solo Competition, 1119 Fifth Street SW Suite B, Charlottesville, VA 22902. If you have any questions, please call 434.295.9850 or send an email to

Past Winners

Rose Bittle2019 Winner:
Rose Bittle

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Jason Dech 2018 Winner photo
2018 Winner:
Jason Dech

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Charlotte MacDonald 2017 Winner photo
2017 Winner:
Charlotte MacDonald

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Maggie Archer 2016
2016 Winner:
Maggie Archer

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Chris Hays 2015
2015 Winner:
Chris Hays

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Geneva Knight 2014
2014 Winner:
Geneva Knight

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2012 Winner:
Marie Fernandez

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Samantha Marshall
2011 Winner:
Samantha Marshall

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Anthony Poehailos
2010 Winner:
Anthony Poehailos

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The Municipal Band of Charlottesville, Inc. © 2019

1119 Fifth Street SW - Suite B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902-6480