Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition


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The Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition is sponsored by the William E. Schmidt Foundation, and is open to talented vocal artists who are currently high school sophomores, juniors or seniors, and who are recommended by their vocal teachers or choral directors. The goal of the competition is to encourage and nurture young people in the arts. We create a warm, inviting atmosphere in which young singers can compete to the best of their abilities. Each competition is a full and rewarding day for everyone involved.

In Memoriam

Philip FrohnmayerPhilip Frohnmayer, a longtime friend, supporter, and judge of the William E. Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition, passed away on September 27, 2013. He will be missed by many and the Schmidt Foundation offers its deepest condolences to his wife and daughter, Ellen and Anne Marie Frohnmayer, as well as all of the singers he taught and inspired throughout the years.



Sherrill MilnesThe Schmidt Competition is proud to welcome world-renowned operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes to our distinguished panel of judges.





Two winners of the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition were recently featured on the acclaimed NPR radio program, From the Top, which showcases the talents of young musicians around the country and is hosted by pianist, Christopher O'Riley. Click on the links below to listen to 'Sneak Peek' videos on YouTube. Complete broadcasts can be found at

Aaron Bigeleisen, Show 254 - Houston, TX (Minute 1:27)
2011-12 Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition - West Virginia Winner

Emily Hellenbrook, Show 257 - Chautauqua, NY (Minute 1:22)
2010-11 Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition - West Virginia Winner

Let us know about your successes. One of the great joys of the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition is the relationships that we build with our young artists. Read below one student's experience at our competition in Florida...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt,

Maria Elaine Sulimirski

After having a wonderful experience and winning second place at the Florida Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition on Saturday, I wanted to take a moment to extend my gratitude for your generosity. I enjoyed performing, learned very much from observing the Master Class, and am growing from the judges' comments. I intend to put the money toward my musical education (it's already in the bank)!

The impact your generosity has had on my life extends beyond the Schmidt Awards. Last May, I had the privilege of playing Bilbo Baggins in the Sarasota Youth Opera U.S. Premiere of "The Hobbit" when the William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre opened after the incredible renovation. This season, I have had the opportunity to sing the Shepherd solo in the beginning of Act III in Sarasota Opera's production of "Tosca". Your theatre holds many of my favorite memories, and the vision of the Schmidt Opera Theatre and my competition trophy both serve as tangible reminders of your generosity!

Thank you for all that you do to support the arts in the Sarasota community. You have inspired me to pursue my passion for music, a gift for which I will be forever grateful!

Yours Truly,
Maria Elaine Sulimirski