Up Close and Orchestral is a program that makes a direct connection with high school students. Directed and hosted by WSO Music Director Daniel Raiskin, students receive the rare and exciting opportunity to meet the WSO and experience an engaging and interactive ‘up close and personal’ full orchestra performance – for free! Read more about this program in the Winnipeg Free Press.


Two Up Close & Orchestral concerts will take place on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:30am & 1:30pm (venue TBD). Concerts are one-hour in length and completely free for high school groups to attend!

To reserve seats for your group, please contact Jeffrey Acosta at 204.949.3995 or jacosta@wso.mb.ca

Provincial Student Soloist Competition

We are excited to announce that the winner of the 2019 competition is flutist Selwyn Sarmiento. Thank you to all competitors who auditioned this year.

Selwyn Sarmiento is going into the 12th grade at Elmwood High School. He started playing the flute in the 7th grade and began studying with Laurel Ridd in the 8th grade. Since then he has played in the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Provincial Honour Bands as well as the Winnipeg School Division Honour Band. He has participated in the Winnipeg Music Festival and the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals, receiving several trophies and scholarships including the Junior Musical Club Trophy for RCM Level 9 Instrumentalist (March 2018). Selwyn has attended several music camps including the International Music Camp, participating in the orchestra program and is a member of the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has recently been awarded first place in the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble Solo Competition (December 2018) and performed as a member of the National Youth Band of Canada (May 2019).

2020 Competition

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra invites students in Manitoba aged 14 to 18 to submit an application and recording for the annual Provincial Student Soloist Competition. This competition alternates annually between strings (including harp & guitar) and brass, woodwind & percussion. Due to limitations of the UCO tour, pianists are not eligible to compete. This competition will provide an opportunity to showcase a talented young musician in concert with the WSO during the Up Close and Orchestral program each year.

  • Any Manitoba string student (including harp & guitar) from the age of 14 to 18 at the time of application.
  • This competition is not open to voice or piano students.
  • Please note that the 2021 competition will be open to wind, brass & percussion students. The competition alternates annually between strings and woodwind/brass/percussion.

Auditions will be held in two rounds:

The preliminary round will be determined by submitted recordings which are due on March 27, 2020 (4:00pm CST). All applicants will be notified of their results via e-mail by April 8, 2019.

The final round of auditions is a live audition in front of a jury and will be held in late spring, 2020 (date TBD).

Application Form

2020 WSO Student Soloist Competition Application Form

Click here for the WSO Repertoire List.

Program Inquiries

Contact Brent Johnson, Education & Community Engagement Manager at (204) 949-3967 or email for more information.

Ticket Inquiries

Contact Jeffrey Acosta, Group & Education Events Coordinator, at 204.949.3995 or jacosta@wso.mb.ca

Provincial Student Soloist Competition Winners

2019 – Selwyn Sarmiento, flute
2018 – Juliana Moroz, cello
2017 – Bradley Cairns-Digel, trumpet
2016 – David Liam Roberts, cello
2015 – Subin Cho, flute
2014 – Gregory Lewis, violin
2013 – Claire Ploughman, marimba
2012 – Hannah Humphries, violin
2011 – Jaena Kim, flute
2010 – Heather Stewart, violin
2009 – Justin Hickmott, tuba
2008 – Joshua Peters, violin
2007 – Ariel Carrabré, cello
2006 – Keith Dyrda, trombone