The West Chester University Annual Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition, now it its 34th year, strives to provide students ages 9-18 with performing opportunities and raise the standard of excellence of young pianists. This is a national competition with no geographic restrictions. There are three age groups with up to five cash prizes awarded in each group. Information regarding repertoire requirements, competition guidelines, awards, and how to apply is found below.

This year's competition will take place on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in Swope Music Building on our beautiful West Chester University Campus. The Wells School of Music is grateful for the support of Jacobs Music as they continue to co-sponsor this event in 2024.

A Recital & Awards Presentation will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2024 from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm in the Ware Family Recital Hall. The recital will include performances by the first, second, and third place winner in each group and must be attended by all Honorable Mention winners. Absences in either category will result in cancellation of the award.

Preceding the Recital will be a Masterclass in Ware Family Recital Hall from 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm. The Masterclass will be conducted by our esteemed Wells School of Music Associate Professor of Piano, Dr. Carl Cramner. Both Masterclass and Winner's Recital are open to the public.

Wells School of Music - West Chester University Co-Sponsored By Jacobs Music Since 1900 - 'Offering the finest painos in every price range'

2024 Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition

Repertoire Requirements

  1. Two pieces from the standard solo literature (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th or 21st Century)
  2. The two pieces must be from different periods and contrasting in style. A single movement from a sonata or a suite is acceptable.
  3. Beginner level pieces, arrangements of pop songs and piano duets, and simplified arrangements of classical compositions will NOT be acceptable.
  4. Transcriptions composed by known classical composers from the four periods listed above are acceptable.
  5. Pieces requiring anything to be put inside the piano or on the strings are not acceptable.
  6. In the 16 -18 age group, a third piece may be added to meet the minimum 20 minute playing time. A third piece must follow the guidelines in 1 - 5 above.
Age 16-18 13-15 9-12
Time Requirement Minimum 20 Minutes
Maximum 30 Minutes
Maximum 17 minutes Maximum 12 minutes

Students are advised that the judges may stop anyone who exceeds the maximum playing time, and may stop any student whose skill level is sufficiently demonstrated before the conclusion of a piece.

Competition time assignments will be sent to all applicants the week of March 25, 2024.

Competition Guidelines

  • A $100 non-refundable entry fee is required
  • Music must be performed from memory
  • 1st Prize Winners from the previous years may compete only in the next older age group
  • Previous entrants may reapply, but not with the same pieces
  • No audition recordings required
  • Applicants must supply one publisher's copy of each of their pieces for the judges
  • No photocopies allowed for the judges
  • Applicants must be within the given age ranges as of April 13, 2024, and may not be in college


16-18 Years Old

  • 1st Place - $2,000
  • 2nd Place - $700
  • 3rd Place - $300
  • Honorable Mention - $100

13-15 Years Old

  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place - $350
  • 3rd Place - $200
  • Honorable Mention - $75

9-12 Years Old

  • 1st Place - $500
  • 2nd Place - $250
  • 3rd Place - $150
  • Honorable Mention - $50

*Up to two Honorable Mention Awards in each age group will be given at the discretion of the judges

Competition Awardees

2024 Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition Award Winners

16-18 Years Old

  • 1st Place: Yinghan Wang
  • 2nd Place: Ben Sessions
  • 3rd Place: Byron Dissinger
  • Honorable Mention 1: Ryan Zhang
  • Honorable Mention 2: Victor Peng

13-15 Years Old

  • 1st Place: Roy Hur
  • 2nd Place: Conan Yang
  • 3rd Place: Alexander Yu
  • Honorable Mention 1: Jaden Liu
  • Honorable Mention 2: Vincent Gao

9-12 Years Old

  • 1st Place: Aavi Sircar
  • 2nd Place: Grace Hwang
  • 3rd Place: Gabriel Darragjati
  • Honorable Mention 1: George Zhang
  • Honorable Mention 2: Terrance Lin

How to Apply

Register online and pay with a credit card (Registration closes on March 4, 2024 at midnight).

For additional information regarding registration or competition guidelines, please contact Joan Stalford, Administrative Assistant for the Departments of Ensembles & Conducting, Instrumental Music, and Vocal & Keyboard Music, at | 610-436-2921