Bay Chamber Community Music School is accepting entries for its Young Stars of Maine prize program for 2012, featuring eight $1,000 prizes to be given away this spring. Prize categories include solo voice, piano, instrumental or jazz; and ensemble prizes in chamber music or jazz.

For 50 years, Bay Chamber Concerts has had an annual prize program to recognize, encourage and reward young Maine music students who are serious in their study and performance of music. Each of the $1,000 prizes has different parameters with varying age ranges.

The Eleanor Erdman and Diane Nixon Vocal Excellence Prize is open to solo vocalists age 12 to 25. The A. H. Chatfield, Jr. Piano Prize is open to solo pianists age 14 to 22. The Summer Music Woodwind Prize is open to woodwind soloist age 15 to 24. The Jean and Harvey Picker Senior Prize is open to instrumental or vocal soloist age 18 to 22. The Elsie Bixler Junior Prize is open to instrumental soloists age 12 to 17. The Ezra Rachlin Prize for Excellence is open to instrumental or vocal soloists age 16 to 25. The Nathan E. Corning Jazz Prize is open to instrumental or vocal soloists or groups age 15 to 23. The Kathie Johnson Chamber Music Prize is a shared prize for a group of three to eight instrumentalists whose members are no older than 23.

Members of any applying group must be from Maine or have participated in a Maine musical experience (e.g., Next Generation); each group is limited to one non-Maine member. The application deadline is May 1. Live auditions (by invitation) will be held on Saturday, June 16. The Young Stars of Maine Prize Winners’ Concert will be held Friday, June 29 at the Rockport Opera House.

For more information on the various prizes and to download an application form, visit baychamberconcerts.org or call 236-2823.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@villagesoup.com.