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International Ensemble Youth Competition
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International Youth Ensemble Competition – All ensemble members must be ages 18 or under through the date of the competition finals (June 21st).






1. Guitar Duos, Trios, Quartets will compete in the Small Ensemble Category.


2. Ensembles of five or more guitarists will compete in the Large Ensemble Category.


3. Entering ensembles should primarily play classical nylon-string guitars - which may include extended range guitars such as soprano, contrabass, and 7-string guitars - using classical finger style technique. Any plectrum usage must be approved by the Artistic Director by May 1st, 2018.   


4. Directors may conduct large ensembles, but may not perform as a guitarist with the group.


5. All ensembles are required to submit their program in advance by May 1st, after which programs may not be altered.  With program submission, one elected ensemble member should include a high-resolution photo ( 300 DPI minimum) of the entire  ensemble. Individual photos will not be accepted and omitted. Ensembles will be asked to proof the program order at the Competitors' Orientation Meeting on Thursday, June 21st, 2018.


6. All competitors must attend the mandatory Competitors Orientation Meeting held at the University of Louisville at 10 am on Thursday, June 21, 2018. This meeting will determine the performance order for competition by numerical order draw. If you have a travel delay that prevents you from attending the meeting, you will need to provide proof upon arrival of earlier travel plans in order to compete. If you have any other reason that you cannot attend the meeting, you must write to and receive a reply from the Artistic Director in advance to receive permission to have your performance order drawn by a GFA staff person in your absence. Any registered competitors who do not either receive advance permission to miss the meeting for good cause or do not have a documented travel delay will not be allowed to compete.


7. There will be a single competition round for each category before a panel of five judges and the public.


8. The total performance time must not exceed fifteen minutes. Players will be timed from the moment the first note is played and the timer will run throughout the performance. Players who exceed the fifteen minute time limit may be stopped.


9. The judges have the option of stopping any of these performances before the fifteen minute deadline. All decisions by the judges are final. Competition prizes are not required to be awarded, and are given at the judges' discretion.  No ties will be allowed.


10. Results of the IEC will be announced at the end of the 4 pm concert on the penultimate day of the convention. The IEC Winners’ Concert will be held on the last day of the convention at 11am.


11. A single competitor will have allowance to compete in both small and large categories within an age division without multiple entries in either category. Contact Ethan Lodics,,  for assistance with registering for multiple categories.


12. IEYC Competitors are allowed to compete in the International Youth Competition. Contact Ethan Lodics,,  for assistance registering for multiple competitions.


13. The IEC is designed for ensembles of only guitarists. It is not a competition intended for guitar and other instrumentalists (violin, flute, voice, etc.). Any competitors that are not guitarists will be disqualified.


IEC winners will be announced at the end of the 4:00 pm concert on Friday, June 22, 2018.


Application Deadline is May 1, 2018 at 11:59pm, EST.  All ensemble members must be registered by this deadline; there are no exceptions.


Rehearsal spaces will be assigned for the day of the competition and can be accommodated during the week.


Competitors participating in the International Ensemble Youth Competition (IEYC) are eligible to participate in the International Youth Competition (IYC), but not the International Concert Artist Competition (ICAC).  If you will participate in more than one competition, please register for the first through the appropriate online registration form, and then contact Ethan Lodics, Operations Administrator, at or 877-570-1651 requesting directions to register for the second competition. An additional registration fee of $100 will be applied for participation in the second competition.







International Ensemble Competition full week - $265

International Ensemble Competition 3 day pass - $160

Application and fees must be submitted and paid through the GFA website no later than May 1, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Each individual of a competing ensemble must hold an active GFA membership and submit an application through the GFA website. No late entries will be considered. An ensemble will not be considered registered until all members have submitted an application. Competition registration includes full access to all convention events.


If a competing individual is not an active GFA member, there is an additional fee of  $45.00 for a full-time student membership.

Each ensemble  member must complete:

  • Application for GFA membership, $45.00 (Can take one business day to process). Click HERE.


  • Registration for International Ensemble Competition 3 day pass - $160. Click HERE (DEC 1).

$205 per member


  • Application for GFA membership, $45.00 (Can take one business day to process). Click HERE.


  • Registration for International Ensemble Competition Full Week - $265. Click HERE (DEC 1).

$310 per member

- These prices do not include dorm accommodations or meal plan.  

- For competition eligibility, competitors must, at minimum, register for a 3-day pass.


-An ensemble member will need GFA membership and username credentials to complete registration.


-Michael Kagan, Artistic Director of GFA International Ensemble Competition.  Please direct any questions to Michael at

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