Youth Ragtime Piano Competitions

Ragtime piano contests played a colorful and important role in ragtime's history and the West Coast Ragtime Society seeks to continue this tradition by hosting youth piano competitions. The Society's goal is to foster and encourage young pianists to play and enjoy ragtime by providing them with a forum in which to perform and be heard.

The Fourth Annual
West Coast Ragtime Society
Youth Ragtime Piano Competition
For students ages 8 to 18
Saturday, November 8, 2008
A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
at Trinity Cathedral
2620 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, California

Performance Divisions

Division 1 – ages 8 to 10
Division 2 – ages 11 to 14
  2A (Junior)—beginning students performing a published arranged rag or a rag written for beginning students
2B (Classic)—students performing a vintage rag as written
Division 3 – ages 15 to18

Awards and Prizes

Division Prizes
Division 3 and Division 2B (Classic)
  First Place, $100 and medal
  Second Place, $50 and medal
Division 2A (Junior) and Division 1
First Place, $50 and medal
Second Place, $25 and medal
Honorable Mention medals in all divisions will be awarded when merited and all contestants will receive Certificates of Participation.

Master Class

First Place division winners will be invited to participate in a Master Class with the sophisticated and dynamic performer, Frederick Hodges, to be held at the West Coast Ragtime Festival, Saturday, November 22, 10:00 A.M. at the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento.

Frederick Hodges not only performs as a headliner at various ragtime festivals, he also accompanies silent films, and is pianist and singer with the famed Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. Classically trained and groomed for a career as a concert pianist, Frederick was happily lured away from this path after he discovered a stack of 1920s sheet music in his grandmother’s piano bench.

The Master Class marks a rare opportunity for young pianists to have the benefit of guidance by one of ragtime’s most talented and well-loved artists.

To find out more about Frederick Hodges, visit:

Competition Rules

One published American ragtime composition, performed with all repeats.
While memorization is not required, it is encouraged.
All selections must meet with judges’ approval before the contest.
Student’s birthday must fall into our age divisions on the day of the competition.
One original copy of music must be supplied for the judges at the competition. (Music will be returned.)
Entry fee is $15, which must be submitted with the application form.

Judging Criteria

Rhythm, articulation, interpretation and accuracy.

Winners will be announced at the end of each division and prize money, medals and certificates will be awarded at that time. While the judges deliberate, live ragtime music will be provided by West Coast Ragtime Festival  headliner, Virginia Tichenor.


Jack Bradshaw is a ragtime performer, arranger, and former college piano teacher, with a Master’s Degree in piano from Northwestern.



Tom Brier is a performer, recording artist, ragtime sheet music collector and has composed over 200 pieces in various ragtime styles.


Shirley Case retired after thirty years of piano teaching, judging and performing. She holds a masters in piano performance and is a popular ragtime soloist.

Application Form Due October 1, 2008 PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
Name _____________________________________________ Age (on 11/3/08) _____
Address _______________________________________________________________
City ___________________________________ State ____ Zip Code _____________
Phone ______________________ email______________________________________
_______ 1 (8-10) ______ 2AJunior (11-14) _______2BClassic (11-14) _______ 3 (15-18)
Teacher’s Name ____________________________________ Phone _____________________________
Teacher’s Address _____________________________________________________________________
Composition & Composer ______________________________________________________________
1 & 2AJunior divisions, arrangement by ______________________________________________
Parents, please give us your permission to photograph your child and use his/her picture on our website by
signing here: ________________________________________________________________ Thank you!

Click here for a printable application form.

Applications will be processed in the order that they are received. Apply early as space is limited. Return form with registration fee of $15 check or money order to: The West Coast Ragtime Society, Youth Piano Competition, P.O. Box 13346, Sacramento, CA 95813-3346 Confirmation, performance time, directions to site and other information will be sent to the participant and his/her teacher mid-October. Phone: 1-800-760-9297.

1. Timely tips for playing Ragtime.
2. Ragtime Music Resource List.