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 compete and 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.

Revised Schmidt Vocal Arts Covid-19 Policy

(as of August 3, 2023)

Schmidt Vocal Arts (SVA) is committed to offering safe, in-person events for the 2024-25 season. Our top priority is the safety of our singers and their families, as well as our adjudicators, pianists, and staff. Schmidt Vocal Arts strongly encourages Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters.

In the event of amended CDC guidelines, Schmidt Vocal Arts reserves the right to adjust other protocols in order to protect everyone’s health and safety.

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, please contact the SVA office to cancel. We will work with the singer to find an alternate location. We repeat: Please do not pressure yourself into coming to a live event while sick or with symptoms. We will respect your decision to withdraw and will help find an alternative.

Schmidt Vocal Competition Regionals:

If a host institution requires more Covid-19 protocols than Schmidt Vocal Arts, singers and families must follow the requirements of the host institution.

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.

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.


(If you have registered for an Online Cohort, please click here)

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.

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.

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

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!


Competition Repertoire/Video Submissions – Virtual High School Regionals

  • Singers must submit YouTube links of three (3) video selections. The videos should be no more than 10-minutes in length total and should include a spoken introduction of the singer name and selection only (no ages, current schools, or teachers). Cuts are allowed.
  • If the total performance time of the combined videos is over 10 minutes, the singer will be disqualified. Spoken introductions do not count towards the 10-minute time limit.
  • The vocal selections must be 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.
  • Singers must perform with piano accompaniment, but it may be either a live piano or a recorded track, unless the chosen piece is meant to be performed without accompaniment (i.e. “The Singer” by Michael Head). Orchestral or instrumental accompaniment tracks other than piano will NOT be accepted.
  • No audio or video enhancement is allowed. Recordings should be one full take without video editing. Note: External microphones are allowed.
  • All selections must be performed by memory.
  • Singers may use pieces that have been videotaped previously, as long as the recording was made within the past six months.
  • Video submissions will be via YouTube link. You may submit as a public or unlisted link. An unlisted link is not visible to the public without the specific link. Please do not send a private, password protected link as the adjudicators will not be able to access the videos.
  • SVA is not responsible for late or unsuccessful attempts to upload videos.
  • Incomplete, corrupted, untimely, or unintelligible videos will be disqualified.
  • If for any reason a singer’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost or otherwise corrupted, the singer’s sole remedy is to apply for next year’s competition, if eligible.
  • SVA reserves the right to determine, at its sole discretion, which entries have satisfied the entry requirements.
  • By entering, each singer represents and warrants that his/her/their entry is his/her/their own performance.
  • Please make sure audio and video quality show you at your best!

Changes in Repertoire – Virtual High School Regionals

Changes to video submissions can be made up until the application deadline. No changes can be made after the application deadline.

Competition Procedure – Virtual High School Regionals

After the deadline, video submissions will be sent to the adjudication panel and scored using the adjudication criteria listed above. To replicate the live competition experience, singers must indicate the video the adjudicators will listen to first. Then, the adjudicators will choose one from the remaining two to score. Adjudicator comments will be provided.

Singers are required to attend the scheduled cohort master class and awards ceremony. Approximately 2 days before the scheduled master class, singers will be notified if they are chosen to perform for the class. If chosen, the singer must provide a live pianist or accompaniment track. The master class will be via Zoom and will be for participants and family only (not live-streamed). The Awards Ceremony will be live-streamed via YouTube. Singers must be present to win. The top three winners from the virtual cohorts will also advance to the National Competition from May 30 – June 1, 2025.