For the love of music, the Music Guild of New Mexico supports, promotes, and encourages nonprofit musical organizations that will educate, enhance, engage, and enrich the quality of our New Mexico community, especially its youth.

About the Music Guild of New Mexico’s Jackie McGehee Young Artists’ Competition


Since 1992, the Music Guild of New Mexico (MGNM), formerly known as the New Mexico Symphony Guild (NMSG), held an annual concerto competition for young musicians in our state. This event is named for Jackie McGehee, a long-time NMSG/MGNM member and past president of the NMSG, who spearheaded and underwrote the event at its beginning and continues to underwrite the program. This event has become one of the premier competitions in the state and provides monetary awards for the winners and opportunities to perform with a professional orchestra. In 2009, this event was renamed the Music Guild of New Mexico's Jackie McGehee Young Artists' Competition for Piano and Strings to reflect an expansion of its musical scope. We are very pleased to note that, since its inception, many nationally known musicians have traveled to Albuquerque from all over the U.S. to adjudicate this competition.


The competition is open to New Mexico students aged 10, at the time of application, through 21. Applications for the competition are accepted annually. They are posted to this site, distributed to music teachers in the Summer (mid-late May) of each year, and the deadline for submission is in early December. Acceptance notifications are mailed in January.

The repertoire for young pianists includes solo pieces as well as concertos and is available online. Either is acceptable for performance. If a solo piece is chosen, the contestant is not required to play the entire selection. Time restraints apply. We encourage all talented high school-aged musicians in New Mexico to apply for participation in the JMYAC.

We welcome teachers, students, families, and friends to enjoy these wonderful performances in person or via streaming and share in the festivities of the day. It is an event not to be missed and one that makes us all proud of the talent of future generations of classical musicians.


  • First-place piano and strings concerto winners receive a solo performance opportunity with the New Mexico Philharmonic. The Philharmonic handles all publicity and advertisements, so that the winners are guaranteed recognition. No other competition in New Mexico offers the prestigious opportunity of performing with a major orchestra.
  • The first-place winner in the piano solo division receives the opportunity to perform at the Music Guild of New Mexico spring luncheon.
  • Cash awards are $2500.00 for first-place winners in each category (piano and strings concerto, piano solo); $1500.00 for second-place winners; and $1000.00 for third-place winners. A Rising Star award of $500.00 is often awarded in each category.
  • The winner in in piano solo and concerto (18 years and older) has the opportunity to prepare an audition for the Olga Kern International Piano Competition held in Albuquerque every 3 years.
  • The first-place winner in piano solo and concerto may perform at the Southwest Piano Festival
  • A winner in strings may receive a scholarship to attend the Texas Strings Camp and Festival,, or the UNM Summer Music Institute
  • All piano contestants may apply for the Larry McGehee Piano Scholarship at New Mexico State University.
  • Master classes or a career-development symposium may be conducted in conjunction with the competition.

Visit the Jackie McGehee Young Artists' Competition YouTube Channel for videos of previous winning performances, as well as a live feed during the annual competition.

For additional information or to volunteer, please visit our contact page and select Jackie McGehee Young Artists' Competition as the subject of your message.

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In 2022, KHFM 99.5 classical radio station from Santa Fe included a feature about the JMYAC in its Education Festival. Here's a recording of that presentation.

New for 2025

Application Due Date: December 1, 2024 by midnight
Application Notification Date: On or before January 6, 2025

Reminders of the application deadline on Facebook
August 1, 2024
November 1, 2024

Competition Dates:
February 14, 2025 (piano concerto and piano solo)/Valentine’s Day
February 15, 2025 (strings concerto)/Part of President’s Day weekend

The Chatter Performance Space
912 3rd St. NW
Albuquerque 87102

Expanding the Piano Competition:
Winners in the Piano Solo Division will receive the same cash prizes as winners in the Piano and String Concerto Divisions. The first-place winner will play at the Music Guild of New Mexico’s Spring luncheon. Date TBA.