About The Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition

The Abilene Philharmonic’s biennial Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition was established in 2008 to help support outstanding young musicians in the Abilene area.  The competition is open to woodwind, brass, percussion, string, and piano students between the ages of 12-18 that live in Texas School Regions 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, and have not yet graduated high school.

Nelda and Eddie Hodges were generous donors, active volunteers, and innovative leaders of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Foundation, and Guild for almost sixty years.  Eddie Hodges honored his wife with the establishment of the Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition Endowment to inspire and reward young people’s love for music. Read more…


The Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition consists of two rounds. During the first round of the competition, judges evaluate a live recording of the performer. All candidates are required to provide their own accompanist. Finalists are invited to the second round, to perform live for a panel of esteemed judges, including the Abilene Philharmonic’s Music Director David Itkin. Please see the document at the bottom of this page for additional rules.

Sign-up for the 2018 competition is open now. Applications are due by January 26, 2018 with the first round taking place February 24 and the second round on March 24.

Scholarship Prizes

Scholarship awards may be used to further the student’s musical education, including private music lessons, music camps, and university tuition.


First Prize: $1,500.00


Second Prize: $1,000.00


Third Prize: $750.00

You can find the rules and the application form for the 2018 competition below. 

Applications, materials, and the application fee should be mailed to:
Abilene Philharmonic
Attn: Nelda Hodges Young Artist Scholarship Competition
401 Cypress St. Ste 520
Abilene, TX 79601

The Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition Rules

The Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition Application Form


Questions regarding the The Young Artist Scholarship Competition should be sent to the dice@abilenephilharmonic.org.