Vocal Competition for Young Singers 2023

Event Date(s)
Ticket Price
$35 advanced registration to participate
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The primary mission of this competition is to encourage and support exceptionally gifted high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who currently display potential for success in solo classical voice performance. Cash prizes will be awarded.  

Repertoire requirements

  1. Participants must offer three selections for the competition.
  2. At least two songs or arias from the standard "classical" vocal repertoire - folk songs & Spirituals included; one selection may be from the musical theatre repertoire. However, a musical theatre piece is not required.
  3. Operatic arias are not required. Should a competitor decide to offer an operatic aria, no more than one age-appropriate aria is recommended.
  4. At least one selection must be in a language other than English. 

Registration Due: Friday, September 22, 2023
Registration is limited to 30 participants

Contact the Competition Administrator: youngsingerscomp@uky.edu


Will an accompanist be provided?

Yes. There will be an experienced and proficient collaborative pianist to play for the participants.

May I bring my own accompanist to the competition?

No. For consistency and objectivity, we ask that each singer use the collaborative pianist provided by UK Opera Theatre.

Will I have rehearsal time with the accompanist prior to singing in the competition?

No. There is not adequate time to accommodate rehearsals. However, we highly recommend that every singer rehearse with a live accompanist prior to singing in the competition, as well as spend ample rehearsal with an accompaniment track.

Do I need to mail copies of my music in advance?

No. On the day of competition, please bring your music neatly copied front-to back & placed in a 3-ring binder with tabs separating your pieces. If the pianist is playing from a book, please make sure the pages easily turn and that each piece is clearly marked with a tab.

May I change my repertoire after I submit my application?

Yes. You may change your repertoire after submitting your application. However, because there is an audience there will be a printed/digital program. For the correct repertoire to be listed in the program, the competition administrator must be notified no later than 10 days before the competition. If the administrator is not notified at least 10 days in advance, the singer may still change their repertoire (although not encouraged). The singer will walk on stage and notify the accompanist of the song change, then clearly announce their name and any repertoire changes to the audience & judges before singing the first selection. Please notify the competition administrator of repertoire changes even if it is less than 10 days prior to competition so the judges can be notified.

Do I need to wear formal attire to the competition?

No. It is not necessary or encouraged to wear formal attire. We do recommend business, cocktail, or professional attire in which you can confidently take the stage and sing with poise. Bear in mind your appearance will make an impression on the judges.

Is this competition open to the public?

Absolutely! Friends and family are encouraged to come support their loved ones for both the semi-final & final rounds of the competition.

Do I need to attend the entire day of the competition?

Yes. To win a prize, you are required to sing in both the semi-final and final rounds of the competition. It is at the discretion of the singer whether they wish to stay after singing in the semi-final round. The finalists will be announced AFTER the lunch break. It is highly encouraged that singers support their colleagues, as well as take the opportunity to hear repertoire other than what they already perform.

Is there a time limit for each singer?

Yes. Each singer will be allotted 7 minutes to perform in each round. If a singer happens to go over 7 minutes, a stage manager will call time.

Do I get to choose what pieces I perform in the semi-final round?

You will announce to the audience and judges the first piece of your choice. The judges will select the second piece. Time permitting, 2 pieces will be sung in the semi-final round.

If I make it to the final round, will I perform all 3 pieces?

No. Singers selected for the final round will perform the first piece of their choice and then must perform the 3rd piece that was not previously selected in the semi-final round. It is at the discretion of the singer with which piece they begin. A 7-minute time allotment will be observed in the final round.

What is a typical competition day like?

A typical competition day is as follows:
(All times are approximate & will be adjusted as necessary)

  • 8:15am- Registration Begins
  • 8:55am- Announcements & Semi-Final round begins
  • 12:45am- Semi-Final round ends
  • 1:00pm- Announcement of finalists
  • 1:05-2:15pm- Lunch Break (on your own, not provided)
  • 2:15pm- Finalists gather backstage to get in performance order
  • 1:25pmannouncements & Final Round begins
  • 3:30pm- Final Round ends
  • 3:30-3:55pm- Judges Deliberate
  • 3:55pm- All finalists line up on stage in performance order
  • 4:00pm- Announcement of winners
Can audience members record video and take photos?

We ask that no flash photography be taken, as it can be very distracting to the performers on stage. Parents may discreetly take video and photos without flash. There will be photos available to participants in the weeks following the competition. At this time, we cannot disclose whether they will be of professional or high amateur quality.

If I am a prizewinner, will I get a check on the day of the competition?

Because the university must process the award payments, it will take about 2-4 weeks for winners to receive their checks.


Created 07/11/2023
Last Updated 08/09/2023