The Festival for Young Musicians and Dancers

Celebrating 75 Years!

Musicfest Northwest encourages, develops and improves the performance of young musicians and dancers through professional adjudication.

History of the Festival

Josephine Clark
Musicfest Northwest, formerly The Greater Spokane Music & Allied Arts Festival, was founded in 1945 by Spokane piano teacher Josephine Clark to celebrate the end of World War II and to "promote the arts of peace". Patterned after the great music festivals of Europe, it has been the premier event of its kind in North America. Since its inception, Musicfest has offered the highest quality adjudication to more than 69,000 talented young musicians and dancers ranging in ages from third grade through post-graduate at a minimal cost.

Innovation and Collaboration

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Festival participants are judged by nationally accepted standards of performance appropriate to their age and training by nationally and internationally known artists and master teachers. There are nine divisions of participation: Ballet, Brass, Flute, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Reed, String and Voice. Gold and Silver medals, Certificates of Merit, scholarships and monetary awards are given as well as performance privileges in the Young Artist Concert with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and in the Festival Highlights programs.

Cultural Impact

Musicfest Northwest puts Spokane in the forefront of cultural events for youth. No other city in the United States offers as much opportunity for performance evaluation to so many students over such a wide range of ages. The Festival has launched many successful artistic careers, among them internationally acclaimed baritones Thomas Hampson and Frank Hernandez, Spokane Symphony concertmaster Kelly Farris, pianists Stephen Drury, Greg Presley, Archie Chen and Jody Graves, violinist Jason Moody and soprano Karen Beardsley.

Economic Impact

The Festival brings more than 3,000 people to the Gonzaga University campus and other locations throughout Spokane annually. At least one-half of these guests are out of town visitors who generate more than $500,000 to support the local economy. This figure is a significant portion of the approximately $34 million generated by all Spokane arts organizations.

Success & Accomplishments

More than 69,000 students representing third grade through post-graduate school have participated in the Festival in its 75 years of service.

  • In 2019, more than 1,100 students participated in separate performances representing 300 public and private teachers.
  • Launched many successful artistic careers, among them internationally acclaimed baritones Thomas Hampson and Frank Hernandez, Spokane Symphony concertmaster Kelly Farris, pianists Stephen Drury, Greg Presley, Archie Chen, and Jody Graves, violinist Jason Moody and soprano Karen Beardsley.
  • More than 100 volunteers provide staffing and leadership every year.
  • An increase of 35 percent participation in the last nine years.
  • Collaboration with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra to present the Young Artist evening concert during Festival week.
  • Participants have been recruited to premier conservatories and university around the world and received numerous prestigious awards.
  • Participants are prominently showcased in The Spokesman Review, The Inlander, on KPBX-FM, and in publications.
  • Top artists are acknowledged through the Young Artist Awards, Margie May Ott Award, and Adjudicator Choice Awards.

Important News!

Registration for Musicfest Northwest 2020 will be open on January 1st, 2020. Please check back here for links to registration.

Online Registration

Syllabus

The complete syllabus is now available for all categories.

Dates

This year's festival takes place May 10th - 15th, 2020

Young Artist Concert: Wednesday May 13th, 2020 at 7:30pm

Festival Highlights Concert: Friday May 15th, 2020 at 7:30pm

Both concerts take place at the Martin Woldson theatre at the FOX and are FREE and open to the public! Come and support the next generation of artists!

Location Information

All division adjudications take place on the beautiful campus of Gonzaga University.

Organ division takes place at St. John's Cathedral - 127 E. 12th Avenue

Donate

As we celebrate our 75th Diamond Anniversary in 2020 we are aiming to make it the best festival yet! We are always in need of sponsors, donors and volunteers. If you have any skills or ideas you would like to present to us please feel free to get in touch!

In the meantime, your donation to the Festival helps immensely in keeping future editions of this wonderful even alive and because as a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of our members.

Please send checks/cash to our Festival Office.

To Donate Online

Contact

Musicfest Northwest
1305 N Napa
Spokane, WA 99202
Tel: +1 509-327-3455
Email: musicfest@smfnw.org

Sponsors

Steinway Piano Gallery of Spokane Logo
Gonzaga University Logo
Spokane Symphony logo
Spokane Public Radio Logo