Select musicians put their talents to the test in annual competition

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Nineteen select musicians put their talents to the test Saturday in the 37th annual Black Hills Young Artist Competition.

The Black Hills Symphony and Black Hills Symphony League choose applicants within a 180-mile radius of Rapid City in grades 9 through 12.

The applicants also have to be recommended by their school's music director to be eligible to compete.

The chair of this year's competition, Heidi Struth, says the competition is broken down into two divisions - senior and junior.

She also says the competition opens up many opportunities for young people that might consider making music a career.

Struth says, "It's a complete memory competition, so they have to completely memorize all of their solos and play with an accompanist. And then there's the benefit of the competition itself - gaining some publicitiy a little bit with some of the judges we bring from outside colleges and universities. So it really gives them a lot of experience for (the) future."

Struth says this competition could also open up the opportunity for potential scholarships.

The winner of the senior division will get to play with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra during their concert on March 5th.