NACOGDOCHES, Texas - In an effort to encourage more local young musicians to attend the distinguished 2016 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University, event organizers have agreed to allow students under the age of 18 free admission to both the semi-final and final rounds.

Slated for Saturday, Jan. 30, the competition takes place in Cole Concert Hall in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building on the SFA campus. The semi-final round of the competition begins at 2 p.m. Finalists will be announced at approximately 4:30 p.m. Those who move onto the final round will perform in a live concert starting at 7:30 p.m.

A valuable recruiting tool for SFA, the Schmidbauer Competition offers a unique performance opportunity for young musicians, offering prizes that include cash awards, scholarship incentives from the SFA School of Music and performance opportunities with orchestras.

Susie Lower, Schmidbauer Committee member for the SFA Friends of Music, said she hopes music teachers will encourage students to attend.

"Last year was my first to attend this event, and I was simply blown away with the talent of these young musicians," Lower said. "It was so exciting to watch them perform and to witness the fruition of all their hard work. It's the SFA equivalent to 'America's Got Talent.' Our local music students would love to see this; they should be here."

Students attending the event this year will also have the unique opportunity to meet and converse with the contestants. "This is designed to be a truly enriching experience for all participants," Lower said. "The exchange may include questions such as what it's like to compete, and how it affects their lives."

Admission to the semi-final round of the competition is free, and tickets to the final round are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students/youth. For ticketing information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

For more information about the competition, contact Gene Moon at (936) 468-3885 or or visit