Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition

We are thrilled to announce the 2019-2020 Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition Winner: Andrew Jinhong Kim


Andrew J. Kim is a South Korean conductor, currently in his second year of graduate work at Ithaca College. Under the mentorship of Professor Octavio Más-Arocas, Andrew serves as the assistant conductor of IC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and as the co-principal conductor of IC Sinfonietta and the Trombone Ensemble. In addition, he has worked with Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble and Cornell University Open Orchestra and enjoys frequent collaborations with his friends for recital performances and composition premieres.

Before coming to Ithaca, Andrew studied Music and English Literature at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he served as the assistant conductor to the College Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chorus, and Garnet Singers. He was one of two conductors of the College Lab Orchestra, performing both on- and off-campus and collaborating regularly with professional artists-in-residence.

Andrew has performed with distinguished artists such as David Kim, the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jasper String Quartet, and Chamber Orchestra First Editions, a professional ensemble based in Philadelphia. He has participated in the Conductor’s Workshop at Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and has performed at Wintergreen and PRISMA Festivals.

His previous teachers include Andrew Hauze, Joseph Gregorio, Gary Gress, Richard Rotz, and Matthew Caretti. In masterclasses and festivals, he has been taught by renowned artists and pedagogues such as Cristian Macelaru, Gary Lewis, Jeffery Meyer, Jerry Blackstone, Victor Yampolsky, and Markand Thakar. He is deeply grateful for all the excellent guidance and mentorship he has received so far in his life as a musician.


The Arapahoe Philharmonic of Littleton, Colorado (a Denver suburb), in support of its ongoing mission to give recognition to young talent in the classical music field, implemented its Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition for 2019-2020.

This competition is for conductors between the ages of 18 and 28, who are not yet regularly employed in the conducting field. The winner will conduct a work or works, selected by the Music Director, in concert with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. The winner will be presented with a cash prize of $500 at the performance.

Entry Submission Requirements and application process

Applicants must submit:

    1. Video of three to five contrasting conducting excerpts seen from the ensemble’s perspective. Submitted footage should be 10-15 minutes in total length.
      • Microphone placement should reflect a good overall sound from the ensemble.
      • At least one conducting excerpt should be performance footage; at least one excerpt should be from a rehearsal.
      • Each excerpt may be a separate video file.
      • Please submit You Tube or Vimeo links with the setting that anyone with the link may view.
    2. Scan of ID (driver’s license or passport) to confirm eligibility to apply. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or provide written authorization from applicant’s U.S.-based school (Designated School Official) confirming that the applicant can be awarded the competition prize money.
    3. Resumé and/or brief biography of no more than 250 words.
    4. $50.00 non-refundable application fee.

    All applications must be submitted online. Completed submissions will be accepted at specified dates via the links which will be provided on this page. No late or mailed entries will be accepted.

    The competition judges will evaluate all eligible applications without exception. Decisions of the judges are final. Applicants will be notified by email of the results.


    Competition Eligibility Rules

    • The Competition is open to musicians who are at least 18 and not older than 28.
    • Applicant must be a legal resident of the United States or have written authorization from the Designated School Official at a U.S.-based school confirming eligibility to accept the cash prize.
    • Applicant should be a conductor-in-training or student conductor, and not yet regularly employed in the conducting field.
    • Entry in this competition constitutes the contestant’s authorization to use their name, photograph(s) and biographical information for publicity purposes.
    • The Arapahoe Philharmonic reserves the right to dismiss any applicant if the application is found to be ineligible or misleading in any way. Such disqualification may be made at any time, up to and including the date of the scheduled performance. A disqualified applicant will forfeit the conducting experience and prize and no refund of fees or expenses will be given. The Arapahoe Philharmonic will have sole discretion to award the prize and the opportunity to conduct the orchestra to an alternate candidate.
    • Current Arapahoe Philharmonic members and staff, and their families, are not eligible to apply.


    Competition Awards

    • The winning candidate will conduct the full symphonic orchestra in a concert from the season to be defined, with required rehearsals typically conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dates will be published when competition opens.
    • A cash award of $500 will be presented by check at the performance.
    • A travel stipend of $500 will also be provided to the winner. At the winner’s request, best efforts will be made to arrange housing/homestay. We may not always be able to arrange this.

    First Place Winner’s Obligations

    • The First Place winner will conduct the Arapahoe Philharmonic in a work or works selected by the Music Director, on a season concert. Two recordings of the concert will be made: one from the audience perspective and one from the musicians point of view. These recordings become the property of the Arapahoe Philharmonic. The winner will receive copies of both.
    • The First Place winner is required to attend and lead rehearsals of the selected work or works, in addition to the concert. Rehearsals run from 7:30-10 p.m.
    • If the First Place winner is unable to perform or rehearse with the orchestra, a runner-up may be asked to appear as the guest conductor. The original winner will forfeit the conducting experience and prize. Extenuating or emergency circumstances will be considered.
    • A digital photograph of the First Place winner is requested for publicity purposes. The image should be a minimum of 2″ x 3″ at 300 dpi. This photograph must be free of duplication restrictions. Please include a photo credit if one is required.


    Nathaniel Meyer, 2013-2014 Winner
    Nico Olarte-Hayes, 2015-2016 Winner
    Ho Yin Kwok, 2017-2018 winner