So, you want to apply? Great! Read on to learn how.


High school sophomores, juniors, or seniors recommended by their choral directors or vocal teachers are eligible to compete. Singers are allowed to enter only one Schmidt Vocal Competition per competition season, whether live or virtual. To be eligible for cash awards, contestants must have a United States Social Security Number and must be United States citizens, Green Card holders, or have DACA approved status. Participants are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee with the submission of an application. Applications will be considered complete when both the fee and private teacher recommendation have been received. For special financial consideration, please make requests to:

Schmidt participants are required to wait until the next competition season before competing in another Schmidt Vocal Competition event. The competition season runs from September to May. Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the competition. First place winners of the Schmidt Vocal Competition are not allowed to compete in future Schmidt Vocal Competitions.

Revised Schmidt Vocal Arts Covid-19 Policy

(as of September 20, 2021)

Schmidt Vocal Arts is committed to offering safe, in-person events for the 2021-2022 season. Our top priority is the safety of our singers and their families, as well as our adjudicators, pianists, and staff. Therefore, Schmidt Vocal Arts is adopting best practices for indoor, arts events and will require that all people attending a live event show proof of vaccination.

Vaccination Requirements:

  • Live event attendees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.
  • Live event attendees will be required to submit proof of vaccination before arrival at an event.

With the persistence and current increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, Schmidt Vocal Arts will continue to follow strict protocols at each live event. In addition to showing proof of vaccinations, people entering a live event must agree to follow these rules:

  1. Mask Wearing: The only exception will be when a singer is on stage and actively singing or speaking.
  2. Social Distancing: Please make sure to keep your distance from people not in your family bubble. This will be a handshake-free event.
  3. Capacity Limits: Please note that only one family member per singer is allowed to enter the recital hall. SVA reserves the right to limit the audience to judges only if the case numbers in the area of a competition worsen. The event is not open to the general public or to teachers.
  4. Temperature/Health Checks: At registration, all singers and accompanying family members must consent to a temperature check and complete a health questionnaire.
  5. Waiver of Liability: All singers and accompanying family members must sign a waiver releasing Schmidt Vocal Arts, the William E. Schmidt Foundation, and the host institution from liability in case of an infection.

If you are feeling ill, have any Covid-like symptom, or have been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. SVA will work with the singer to find an alternate location.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines are three weeks prior to the competition dates. It is best to register early, as space is limited and wait lists fill quickly.

Number of Competitors – Live High School Regionals

While Schmidt Vocal Arts limits each competition to a maximum of 30 singers, we also require a minimum of 15 eligible singers to hold a competition. If we do not have a minimum of 15 eligible singers by the application deadline, we will extend the deadline by one week. If the deadline extension does not yield enough singers, then we may unfortunately cancel the competition at that location. If this happens, we will contact each family directly by email and/or phone. In the case of cancellation, application fees may be transferred to another competition location or refunded. We encourage families to book refundable travel arrangements when possible. If you have a question about a specific location, please feel free to call our office.

Competition Repertoire – Live High School Regionals

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 a Broadway theatre repertoire. All selections must be memorized. A professional pianist will be selected and provided for the competition by Schmidt Vocal Arts. (No individual, personal pianists may be used.) Singers will not have the opportunity to rehearse with the pianist in advance of the competition. All competitors will need to provide one (1) copy of printed music that is clear and easy to read, for each of their songs. While copies are permitted for use in the competition, each singer is responsible for owning an original score for each selection. Please make sure that your music is complete and not missing the bass clef. The printed music should be in a binder, printed double-sided, and well-marked. It is not necessary to send your music in advance of the competition; rather, it should be brought with you the day of the competition.

Competition Repertoire – Virtual

If a live regional competition must be cancelled due to Covid-19, SVA will most likely offer a virtual alternative. In this case, applicants must be prepared to present two (2) musical compositions from standard “classical” vocal literature representing different periods and styles, for example, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic or Contemporary Art Song. Musical Theater selections are not accepted. All selections must be memorized. Please note that SVA will be in touch with families before any details are changed and will offer an opportunity to request an accompaniment track from a Schmidt Network pianist.

Changes in Repertoire

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, you should contact Schmidt Vocal Arts through the contact page, so that we can make a change to the printed program. No repertoire changes will be permitted between rounds one and two of the competition.

Adjudication Criteria

There will be three professional adjudicators — one professor from the host site and two guest adjudicators from our Schmidt Vocal Artists Network. Singers are evaluated on beauty of voice, technical skill, musicality, accuracy, communication of text, diction, and presentation.

Live High School Regional Competition Procedure

The first round of competition will begin early in the morning. All singers will have the opportunity to perform two (2) pieces: the first, selected by the singer, the second, selected by the adjudicators. Each singer is allotted a total of seven (7) minutes. There will be a timer present and “time” will be called when the seven minutes have passed. After the first round, there will be a break. After the break, singers for the master class will be announced and a free master class will be presented for all the participants. After the master class, finalists are announced and asked to sing in the final round. The number of finalists in each competition will be at the discretion of the adjudicators.

During their final round, the singers will again be asked to sing two (2) pieces. Finalists 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 awards, competitors must stay until all awards have been announced. This is an all-day event. If you have a conflict and cannot remain until awards have been announced, please do not apply.

Live High School Regional Competition Audience

Normally, our live regional competitions are free of charge and open to the public and we encourage you to invite your family, friends, teachers, and fellow students. It’s a great opportunity for interested singers to learn about the Schmidt Vocal Competition and to hear other talented singers from the region!

However, due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, in the Fall 2021 High School Regionals, we are restricting the audience to one (1) parent/guardian per singer. The general public will not have access to the hall. We hope this might change further into the season!

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