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

                 APPLY BY:  December 15, 2023

        AUDITION DAY:  January 27, 2024 (All Day)

                                 First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa

                                 1511 Church Street

SHOWCASE RECITAL: Saturday, February 10, 2024 @ 7:30 PM

                                 Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

                                 325 W. Walnut Street



  • Audition Day Workshops and Master Classes

    • Lighten up: The Alexander Technique for Musicians 

    • Self-care for Singers        

    • Mindful Performances: Where Preparation and Confidence Intersect

    • Repair and Maintenance for Your Stringed Instrument

  • Showcase Recital Performance Opportunity
    Up to ten top performers from Audition Day are invited to perform in recital.

    Each performer earns a $250 performance award. (Musicians must perform in the recital to receive the award). 

  • Additional Recital Performance Opportunity

      Recital performers will have the opportunity to perform on another recital being planned.

      Date, time and venue will be available soon. 

  • Young Artist Scholarships: 

    $1,500 in scholarships is distributed to up to four musicians based on the judge's decisions.



  • 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. (They remain eligible to participate and perform on the Showcase Recital if selected.)

  • Audition:

    Four to six minutes of performance time is required. Any six-minute portion of a 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.

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

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


  • Online application will be available here after October 1 and closed after Dec. 15. 

  • Application Fee: $40.00 (non-refundable). 




Pasquale Laurino, Violinist, Music Director, Racine Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor, Milwaukee Ballet

Thomas Gamboa, Director, University Bands, Assistant Professor, UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts

Johanna Brahm, Pianist, Lecturer, Piano, UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts



Corinne Ness, Dean and Director, Graduate Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy, Carthage College

Matthew Markham, Associate Professor – Voice, Voice Area Coordinator, UW-Stevens Point

Please feel free to email with any questions.

CIVIC MUSIC MKE supports music education and provides performance

opportunities to young musicians in the Greater Milwaukee area. 

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