Inspiring Future Generations of Singers



First Place                     $2,500
Second Place                $2,000
Third Place                    $1,500
Finalists                          $250
Encouragement            $100
Best  Sophomore          $100
High school sophomores, juniors, or seniors recommended by their choral directors or vocal teachers. Singers are only allowed to enter one Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition per competition season. To be eligible for cash prizes, contestants must be United States citizens and supply a social security number. If you are a non-US citizen, you are ineligible to receive a score from the adjudicators. Participants are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee after submitting an application.  An application will considered complete when both the fee and private teacher recommendation have been received.  For special financial consideration, please make requests to Benjamin Smolder, Director at
Schmidt participants are required to wait until the next competition season before competing in another Schmidt Competition event. The competition season runs from September-June. Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the competition. First place winners of the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition are not allowed to compete in future Schmidt Youth Vocal Competitions.
Applicants must be prepared to present three (3) musical compositions from standard "classical" vocal literature representing different periods and styles, for example, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic or Contemporary Art Song. One selection may be from Broadway theatre repertoire. All selections must be memorized. A professional accompanist will be selected and provided for the competition by the Schmidt Foundation. (No individual, personal accompanists may be used.) The singer will not have the opportunity to rehearse with the pianist in advance of the competition. Singers will need to provide one (1) copy of printed music that is clear and easy to read for each of their songs. Please make sure that your music is complete and not missing the bass clef.  The printed music should be in a binder, double sided and well marked. It is not necessary to send your music in advance of the competition. It should be brought with you the day of the competition.
If there are changes in your repertoire on the day of the competition, you will be asked to announce the changes before you sing.  If the change occurs more than a week before the competition then you should contact the competition manager at so that we can make a change to the printed program.
There will be three professional adjudicators. The young artists will be judged on beauty of voice, technical skill, musicality, accuracy, and presentation.
The first round of competition will begin early in the morning and each singer is allotted seven (7) minutes. There will be a timer present and will call "time" when the seven minutes have passed.  All singers will have the opportunity to perform two (2) pieces -the first selected by the singer, the second selected by the adjudicators. After the first round there will be a break. After the break the participants for the master class are announced and a free master class will be presented for all the participants. After the master class the finalists are announced and asked to sing in the final round. The number of finalists is at the discretion of the adjudicators.
During this final round the singers will again be asked to sing two (2) pieces.  You must sing the third selection that was not presented in the first round and a second selection of your choice from the morning round.   To be eligible for prizes, competitors must stay until all prizes have been awarded. This is an all day event. If you have a conflict and cannot remain until prizes have been awarded, please do not enter. The competition is free of charge and open to the public.
Contact Linda McAlister, Schmidt Competition Manager, by phone at (513) 529-3046, or via email at, with any questions regarding the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition.
Can anyone enter?
To be eligible, you must be a high school sophomore, junior or senior recommended by your music teacher. You may only enter one competition per school year or competition season.
Should I send my music in advance?
No, it is not necessary. Bring your music in a binder, clearly marked for cuts on the day of the competition.  Our accompanists are some of the finest vocal coaches in the country and will most likely have played your repertoire before.  It is important, however, that you provide keys in your application materials.
Can I bring my own accompanist?
The Schmidt Foundation hires an accompanist for the day, and all participants use this accompanist. Individual accompanists are not permitted.
What is the dress code?
There is no hard and fast rule regarding dress. We recommend you wear your "Sunday Best". Dresses should be an appropriate length for stage as the audience is often below you.  If you are wearing high heels, make sure that you can walk in them.  Keep in mind that your appearance will make an impression on the judges.
What is the entry fee?
The fee to enter the competition is $45 which can be paid by credit card on the YAP Tracker application.  If you need special financial consideration, please send an email to  Benjamin Smolder, Director at
Is there an audience observing the competition?
All events are free and open to the public. We encourage parents, siblings, teachers, and other family members to come and watch the entire day. We do ask the audience to refrain from applause after your performance so it is not necessary to bow.
What do I do when I enter the stage for competition?
Enter the stage with authority and move to the crook or the bend of the piano.  Smile and then announce your name and your first selection.  Please do not announce where you are from, your age, or your year in school.  There will be no applause in the first round of the competition so you will not need to bow.  For the final round of competition, the audience will applaud so you should bow and  acknowledge the collaborative pianist.
What is the schedule for the day?
The competition begins in the morning, typically around 8:30 am, dependent on the number of applicants. The morning round will last until approximately 1:00 pm. followed by a lunch break, and then the Master Class around 2 pm.  The final round usually commences around 3 pm, and awards are at 5:00 pm. Close to the date of the competition, you will receive a specific time to sing, directions to the venue and a schedule of the event. It is recommended that you arrive 30-45 minutes ahead of this time to sign in and warm up.
What time should I arrive to the competition?
You will be assigned a time slot to sing which will be sent via email about two weeks before the competition. You should arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of your time slot to sign in and warm up. We encourage you to come at the beginning of the competition and watch the other competitors, but this is not a requirement.  Time slots are determined by distance from the venue.
Can I bring my family or my teacher?
Absolutely! The entire day is free and open to the public. We encourage you to bring supporters, friends, teachers, anyone you would like to invite!
What if I want to change my repertoire selections?
You may make changes to your rep at any time, right up until you walk onto the stage. After the program has been printed (about a week before the competition) you will simply need to announce your change from the stage. Before the program has been printed, we encourage you to email us at with the change so that we can correct the program and send the change to the accompanist.
Why do you need my social security number?
All award winners will have to fill out tax forms in order to receive your checks. You should bring your social security number or card on the day of the competition.
Why do I need to sign a release form?
The release form you are asked to sign is for permission to videotape the master class and to publish photos of the competition.   We will take photographs for use on our website, Facebook, and for advertising.

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As part of its mission the William E. Schmidt Foundation provides support and encouragement to youth in the arts.  Annually the Foundation provides scholarships and support to over one hundred and fifty students in the arts.  The William E. Schmidt Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, disability, or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations.




Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition

109 Presser Hall

501 South Patterson Avenue

Oxford, OH 45056

Telephone: (513) 529-3046


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