• Young Artist Scholarships

    $1,500 in total scholarships (Up to 4 scholarships will be awarded to classical musicians at the judge's discretion).

  • High School Showcase Recital Performance Opportunity

    The top Audition Day musicians are invited to perform at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Each performer earns a $250 performance award. (Musicians must perform in the recital to receive the award).

  • Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship

    A total of $1,000 will be awarded in scholarship and Showcase Recital performance opportunity to the top jazz musician.


  • Eligibility:

    Open to high school vocal and instrumental students in grades 10-12 who live in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Washington or Racine County performing at or above WSMA Class A. (While your piece must be at this level, it need not be on their actual list.) Those who have received a Young Artist Scholarship in two consecutive years will be ineligible for a third scholarship.

  • Live Audition:

    Four to six minutes of performance time is required. Any six minute portion of longer pieces may be chosen by cutting long introductions or accompaniment interludes. The timer will stop the performer at six minutes without penalty. Memorization is optional.

  • Repertoire:

    Instrumentalists: One piece or one movement of a multi-movement piece
    Vocalists: Two contrasting classical pieces; one in a foreign language and one in English. A musical theater piece may be substituted in for the piece in English.

    For this Competition, the word "Classical" refers to an art song, or an aria from an opera, operetta or oratorio; and the words "Musical Theater" refer to a staged Broadway production.

    Jazz Applicants: One ballad, one up-tempo rhythm changes tune and Ellington's “C Jam Blues” - - instrumentalists play the head and improvise to the chord changes; and vocalists sing the head with the text and then scat.
    Click here for more details.

  • Accompanist:

    All applicants are expected to perform with an accompanist and must provide their own (unless the piece is meant to be unaccompanied).

  • Attire:

    Suitable performance attire. (No jeans shorts or sneakers, please.)


  • How to Apply:

    The application has two parts. You have two ways to apply. 1) Fill out Part I on line and print out Part II for completion by hand, OR 2) print out the full application and complete it entirely by hand. Then Part II OR the full application should be mailed with the fee payment by the December 6, 2019 deadline to:
    2625 S. Greeley Street, Suite 3A
    Milwaukee, WI 53207

  • Application Deadline:

    Postmarked no later than December 6, 2019

  • Application Fee:

    $35.00 (non-refundable). Please make your check payable to: CIVIC MUSIC.

  • Workshop/Class Fee:

    If auditioning - Free
    If not auditioning - 10.00 day pass

The CIVIC MUSIC High School Competition is a well-regarded Milwaukee competition for accomplished young musicians. Musicians compete for the opportunity to perform on the Showcase Recital and to be one of  four musicians to receive a total of $1,500 in Young Artist Scholarships.

ELIGIBILITY: Instrumental and vocal musicians in grades 10-12 who perform at the WSMA Class A level or above, and live in the five county greater Milwaukee area. Those who have received a Young Artist Scholarship in two consecutive years will be ineligible for a third scholarship. (They remain eligible to perform on the Showcase Recital if selected.)

COMPETITION DATE: January 18, 2020
DEADLINE: December 6, 2019
APPLICATIONS: Open as of October 1, 2019

INSTRUMENTALPasquale LaurinoElena AbendJohn Climer

VOCALTanya KruseDavid Hoffman


Young Artist Scholarships: A total of $1,500 will be awarded in scholarships to the top classical musicians.

Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship: A total of $1,000 will be awarded in performance opportunity and scholarship to the top jazz instrumentalist or vocalist. 

High School Showcase Recital Awards: A $250 award will be given to up to 10 classical competitors. The recipient of the Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship will also perform. (Winners must perform in the recital to receive the award). 

CIVIC MUSIC MKE will host another exciting performance and scholarship competition for high school students. Audition Day includes workshops and master classes open to all students. Admission is free to auditioning musicians and $10 for non-auditioning participants. The top competitors are given the opportunity to perform in the High School Showcase Recital and receive a stipend for this performance. CIVIC MUSIC MKE offers cash scholarships to high school vocalists and instrumentalists who are selected during the Competition. The announcement of the winners is made at the close of the recital. This recital is free and open to the public. 


2020 Highlights:

  • ALL: Separate judges for vocal, instrumental, and jazz musicians

  • ALL: Mark Davis, Milwaukee’s own amazing jazz pianist, returns to lead his Audition and Recital Workshop

  • ALL: Erica Ruppert from WSMA will hold workshops on Solo & Ensemble preparation NEW!

  • JAZZ: Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship for jazz instrumentalists and vocalists

  • JAZZ: Eric Jacobson, Milwaukee’s own fantastic jazz trumpeter, will lead a jazz masterclass NEW!

  • VOCAL: More specifics to the repertoire selection and instruction for vocalists

  • VOCAL: Vocal Health Workshop, presented in collaboration with UW - Milwaukee SNATS group NEW!

  • VOCAL: Masterclass with teachers from the Milwaukee Voice Teacher Alliance (Shallece Peters, Heidi Wylie and Nina Johnston) NEW!

  • Strings: Luthier Korinthia Klein will be on hand for workshops on string instrument maintenance NEW!


All workshops and masterclasses are open to ALL high school students.  They are free to competition participants and $10 for the day for observers.

Click here to see the day's schedule. 


HOW TO APPLY: There are two parts to the application. PART I can be filled out online with the addition of PART II that needs to be printed out, completed and mailed in with the application fee. PART II is in a separate .pdf file found at the bottom of the Part I online application. The option of printing and completing a FULL APPLICATION is also available. A link to all can be found in the navigational menu on the left.  Please feel free to email with any questions. 

(414) 483-3223

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