Percussive Arts Society Solo Artist Competition

Percussive Arts Society holds solo artist competition.

Drummers and percussionists: It’s time to shine in the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Solo Artist Competition. The new annual contest will alternate in years between Drum Set and Solo Percussion.

Applications will be accepted through November 2019 for the 2020 Drum Set competition, where individuals will compete on full drum sets. Entrants must be 18 to 30 years old on or before June 19, 2020. In 2020, submissions will be accepted for the 2021 Solo Percussion competition, which will likely include marimba, vibraphone, timpani, and multi-percussion as its four main subcategories, according to Joshua Simonds, PAS executive director.

“[Judges] will be looking at everything from musicianship to technical ability,” Simonds says.

In the prelims round, competition hopefuls submit private YouTube links of their videos. Ten semifinalists will be invited to compete at Vanderbilt University in Nashville from June 17 to 19. Three finalists will perform live at 3rd and Lindsley, a Nashville club.

Simonds notes that other instruments, such as violin and piano, already have similar competitions. “Why shouldn’t we have an internationally recognized, big, … important competition for solo percussion?” he asks. “So we created it.”

PAS already has an Individual and Ensemble (I&E) Competition. However, Simonds elaborates on the differences. I&E is held at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention for high school and college students and does not have a monetary component. The Solo Artist Competition is a separate event for musicians 18 to 30 and will award a first prize ($10,000), second prize ($5,000), and third prize ($2,500).

To enter the Solo Artist Competition, visit

Photo courtesy of Percussive Arts Society.

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Jamie Lee Cortese

Jamie Lee Cortese graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Radio/TV/Film and political science. Jamie also writes scripts and is an actor, singer, and director who hosts a weekly radio show, Jammin’ with Jamie. Visit her website and read her blog at

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