William E.

Schmidt Foundation

Youth Vocal Competition The William E.Schmidt The Nation's Premier Youth Vocal Competition


The mission of the William E. Schmidt Foundation is to encourage youth in the arts through scholarships and arts education

The Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition is open to talented young singers who are currently in their sophomore, junior or senior year in high school. The mission of the Schmidt Foundation is to nurture young musicians by offering encouragement, financial support and educational experiences in the arts.


October 31, 2015
November 14, 2015
November 21, 2015
January 9, 2016
January 16, 2016
February 3, 2016
February 20, 2016
April, TBD 2016
May 14, 2016
June 4, 2016
June 11, 2016
June 19, 2016
The National Opera Center
Miami University
Georgia State University
Arizona State University
Glenridge Performing Arts Center
Portland State University
Baylor University
San Francisco State University
University of Indianapolis
Roosevelt University
Washington National Opera Institute at American University
New York, NY
Oxford, Ohio
Atlanta, Georgia
Tempe, Arizona
Sarasota, Florida
Portland, Oregon
Waco, Texas
San Francisco, California
Indianapolis, Indiana
Chicago, Illinois
Boston, Massachusetts
Washington, D. C.



First Place - $2,000
Second Place - $1,500
Third Place - $1,000
Finalists - $100
Encouragement and Most Promising 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.  Participants are required to pay a 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 smoldebw@miamioh.edu.
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 coordinator through the contact page 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 schmidtcompinfo@gmail.com, with any questions regarding the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition.
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.

Master Classes

As part of the competition, our young artists have the opportunity to participate or observe master classes with our distinguished panel of world renowned singers and educators

Schmidt Vocal Institute

 This prestigious summer institute hosted by Miami University pairs the nation's finest young talent with master teachers, famous singers and composers in a college-preparatory program

Host Institution Scholarships

One finalist from each competition may also qualify for a $2,000 matching scholarship to the host institution. Applicants must apply and meet university requirements



A vital part of our mission is to celebrate the achievements of our Alumni.  Please update us regularly using the contact page.


We want to hear from you!  An important part of our mission is to track your development in the arts.  We want to hear about where you are studying, roles, competitions and your career as you move forward.

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The Schmidt Vocal Youth Competition is sponsored by The William E. Schmidt Foundation and Miami University located in Oxford, OH.
To learn more about the Schmidt Foundation visit:
Schmidt Competition
109 Presser Hall
520 Patterson Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056
Tel (513) 330-0534                                        Fax (513) 529-3027
Email: schmidtcompinfo@gmail.com