Cello Festival


The competition:

  • provides a valuable performance platform for students
  • promotes excellence in the cello community
  • motivates talented cello students through an exciting competition experience.

*more info below about the competition including rules and registration  


Competition Finalists

Junior Category:
Charles Bennett
Kenton Brady
Graham Carlson
Henry Derr
Aliyah Gardner
Erica Choi
Abraham Kim
Lucy Lim
Blake Purser
Seth Risenmay
Dalloway Smith


Senior Category:
Paul Yan Clayton
Abigail Hartzell
Matthew Huff
Sequoya Lee
William Monson
Samuel Moore
Dallin Morgan
Brooke Schwartz
Britton Steele


Final round will be 3-6pm on Sept 15, 2023 in Eccles Concert Hall on Utah Tech University campus.  Livestream link:

Competition Results 2022

Congratulations to all Brimhall Cello Competition finalists today for their great performances this afternoon! Here are the prize-winners! Special thanks to the judges of both the preliminary and final rounds: Dr. David Starkweather, Dr. Eric Lenz, Prof. Pegsoon Whang and Mr. Cameron Smith. Thank you all the competition participants for being part of this competition and the festival. The first-prize winners will perform at the Matinee Concert tomorrow (Sept 17) at 2pm in Eccles Concert Hall.

Junior Category:
First Prize: Paul Yan Clayton
Second Prize: Dalloway Smith
Third Prize: Aliya Gardner
Honorable Mention: Claire Mortensen

Senior Category:
First Prize: Nathan Cox
Second Prize: Sam Moore
Third Prize: Lauren Roberts



Ages 15 or younger


Full-time high school or undergraduate students within the ages of 16 to 25


1) One movement from J. S. Bach’s Cello Suites

2) Contestant’s own choice.

*It is suggested that repertoire beyond the required work be varied in both time period and style.


Total Performance Time:

Junior Division: 5-10 minutes

Senior Division: 7-15 minutes

a) Time limits are suggestions only. Performances under the minimum will not be disqualified. Nevertheless, contestants are encouraged to fully utilize the performance time to feature themselves in the best possible light.

b) The cutting of lengthy piano tutti sections is strongly encouraged.

Further guidelines and considerations:

a) Complete works or complete single movements from works will be required of all contestants.

b) No composer may be represented more than once in each contestant’s program.  Multiple movements of the same work are permitted but two composers MUST be represented.

c) All works (including sonatas) performed in the Final Round must be played by memory.

d) First-prize winners of the previous years cannot re-enter the same category

e) Competition finalists are expected to stay after the competition to participate in the other sessions of the festival and perform in the final cello ensemble concert


Preliminary Recording

A Preliminary recording (YouTube link) is due on September 1 with the competition registration.  The required repertoire (Bach) must be included. Other work(s) presented on the recording not required to be the same as the potential live Final Competition.

Recordings must be in video format. Please upload it to YouTube and submit the link of your video.  Each piece or movement must be recorded without editing. Edited performances will be disqualified. Contestants should submit as high quality recording as possible.

Piano accompaniment is not required for the preliminary recording

Final Round

September 15 afternoon in Eccles Concert Hall

Accompanist required for pieces originally written with a piano or orchestra

An official accompanist will be available to rehearse with entrants on Sept 15 prior to the competition, but with limited rehearsal time. The official accompanist will be hired by the festival.  While entrants are allowed to bring their own accompanists if preferred, any such accompanist’s fee or additional rehearsal time with the official accompanist will NOT be covered by the festival.

*The competition reserves the rights to add a semi-final round if needed due to the number and performance level of the participants

Competition Prizes

Junior Division

  • first-prize $500
  • second-prize $250
  • third-prize $150

Senior Division

  • first-prize $1000
  • second-prize $400
  • third-prize $200

*The adjudicators and the Cello Festival Director reserved the rights not to award any of the above prizes based on the level of the competition

*The first-prize winners will perform in the 2-pm Matinee Chamber Concert on September 16.


Display image of Horacio Contreras

Horacio Contreras

Adjudicator (Preliminary Round)

/ More Info

Display image of Susan Lamb Cook

Susan Lamb Cook

Adjudicator (Final Round)

/ More Info

Display image of Dr. Theodore Buchholz

Dr. Theodore Buchholz

Adjudicator (Final Round)

/ More Info

Display image of Dr. Simona Barbu

Dr. Simona Barbu

Adjudicator (Preliminary Round)

/ More Info

registration & Guidelines

All competition participants will automatically be a part of the Cello Festival of Southern Utah. Enter the competition by filling out the Competition & Festival Registration,.  The competition-festival registration fee is $75.

PDF format of the above competition application guidelines: click here




Dr. Ka-Wai Yu

Festival Director

Email: Ka-Wai.Yu@utahtech.edu

Phone: 435-652-7797

Office: Eccles 138