In honor of Black History Month, students will have the opportunity to digitally perform a selection from Rachel Barton Pine’s Music by Black Composers for Violin alongside PCSO violinist Alberta Barnes. Maestro Steven Byess will adjudicate the submissions and select the very best performances to feature in a final video on PCSO’s website, Facebook, and Instagram!


  • Contest is open to ALL instruments. If you are a treble-clef instrument, simply read the Violin 1 part. If you are a bass/alto/transposing instrument, ask your teacher to transpose the part (or check back soon for more opportunities to participate!).
  • Submit your recording by Sunday, February 28 at midnight for consideration.
  • Only one video submission per student.

Our first duet project features La Despedida or The Farewell by Felipe Gutiérrez y Espinosa (1825-1899), the most important Puerto Rican composer of operas and religious music in the 1800s. Gutiérrez became a musician in the army, then earned the post of choirmaster of the San Juan Cathedral, where he stayed for 40 years. Gutiérrez was a very active composer throughout his life and even ran a free music school so that he could teach and share music with anyone who wished to learn.  (Excerpted from Music by Black Composers Violin Volume 1)

How to participate

  • Download the student and/or teacher instructions.
  • Download the sheet music
  • Load up the click-track recording on YouTube.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • When you’re ready, record and submit, using the directions provided in the instructions.

You will be notified during the first week of March if your video has been selected!

Instructions for Students Instructions for Teachers

Sheet Music Click Track