If you love to sing … if you want to showcase your talent … if you can imagine yourself performing on stage under Playhouse Square lights … you’ll want to participate in the second annual Shining Star CLE competition! This unique solo-singing competition gives high school students from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties (including home-schooled students) the chance to compete for college scholarships and perform at the prestigious Ohio Theatre in downtown Cleveland. All participants must have a 2020–2023 graduation date.
No entry fee! All music genres welcome.


  • 1ST PLACE WINNER of Shining Star CLE receives a $10,000 college scholarship plus the opportunity to perform with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall.
  • 2ND PLACE WINNER receives a $5,000 college scholarship
  • 3RD PLACE WINNER receives a $2,500 college scholarship
  • 4TH PLACE WINNER receives a $1,000 college scholarship
  • BONUS PRIZE: $2,500 to the high school music department of the 1st place winner


It’s easy! Just record yourself singing your favorite song and upload your video audition here. Three minutes max • Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are welcome.

  • Round 1: Online video auditions between April 1 and July 1, 2018
  • Round 2: In-person auditions August 2 & 4, 2019
  • Round 3: Semifinals Sunday, August 18, 2019


SUNDAY, September 22, 2019 • 7 PM


Contestants will be judged by independent, accomplished, music professionals and supervised by Shining Star CLE Artistic Director Jordan Cooper.


Round 1 – Video Auditions: April 1 – July 1, 2018
Eligible students can upload their video audition, singing a song of their choice, to (students will use the same song throughout the competition). Students have three minutes max. Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are welcome. A group of recognized music professionals will judge the online submissions and select up to 300 students to advance to the next round.

Round 2 – In-person Auditions: August 2 & 4, 2019
Students will perform at one of three in-person auditions, in front of a panel of judges, that will be held at Montefiore, in Beachwood. The top 25 students will advance to the semifinals.

Round 3 – Semifinals: Sunday, August 18, 2019
Judges will select the top 10 students, and two alternates, to perform in The Finals Performance & Competition.

Round 4 – Finals: Sunday, September 22, 2019
The top 10 students will perform at the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square! A multi-piece band will accompany the students in a group performance, as well as their solo numbers. The top four students selected by the judges will be asked to perform a final song. (The week leading up to The Finals are daily mandatory rehearsals- September 15 -21, 2019).


Contestants will be judged by independent, accomplished, music professionals representing the wonderful diversity of Northeast Ohio and who are qualified in a wide variety of musical genres including, but not limited to, pop, R&B, classical, jazz and musical theater. For the online audition screening, in-person auditions and semifinals, a panel of judges will choose the students who will advance to the following rounds. The Finals judges will select the top four students following the initial performances that evening. The top four will perform a second time, then the audience, in conjunction with the judges, will select the order of the winners.


Jordan Cooper, returning for the third year, is the artistic director for Shining Star CLE 2019 and will manage the entire production. His resume includes 20 years of classical piano training and musical directing throughout the East Coast and Northeast Ohio. Jordan’s love of theater and passion for the arts began at a young age and has flourished into a thriving theatrical career.

Jordan is an accomplished director, conductor, music director and pianist who has worked at Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Playhouse Square, Lakeland Civic Theatre, Cain Park, The Florida Repertory Theatre Company, Near West Theatre and the Cassidy Theatre. His favorite Cleveland theater credits include: Next To Normal, The Light In the Piazza, Violet, Into the Woods (Lakeland); The Toxic Avenger, Godspell, The Frogs (Cain Park); The Little Foxes (Cleveland Play House); A Civil War Christmas, Peter & The Starcatcher (Dobama).


Help spread the word! Encourage any eligible high school student who has a passion for singing to enter the competition in early spring 2019 by uploading their video auditions
between April 1 and July 1, 2019 to

Specific details will be promoted through emails to teachers and music coaches, directors and as well as directly to students via, social media and television and radio partners.


As the sponsor organization and fundraising arm of Montefiore and The Weils, nonprofit organizations in Beachwood and Chagrin Falls, The Montefiore Foundation will be producing the second annual season of this solo-singing competition, Shining Star CLE. The organization will be selling tickets and soliciting sponsorships from corporate and individual donors. All proceeds over and above the cost of the production and college scholarships will be used to support a wide variety of dementia/memory care services on the Montefiore and The Weils campuses and in homes throughout Northeast Ohio.