THE SEARCH

If you love to sing … if you want to showcase your talent … if you can imagine yourself performing for an audience of thousands … you’ll want to participate in the fifth annual Shining Star CLE competition! This unique solo-singing competition gives high school students from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties (including home-schooled students) the chance to compete for college scholarships and perform virtually for an audience across the world. All participants must have a 2022–2025 graduation date.
No entry fee! All music genres welcome.

THE SCHOLARSHIPS

  • 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

THE AUDITIONS

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 preferred, but recorded accompaniment is allowed.

  • Round 1: Online video auditions between April 1 and June 13, 2021
  • Round 2: Virtual “live” auditions: June 28 & 29, 2021
  • Round 3: Virtual Semifinals July 11, 2021

THE VIRTUAL FINALS PERFORMANCE & COMPETITION

SUNDAY, August 29, 2021 • 7 PM

Contestants will be judged by independent, accomplished, music professionals and supervised by Shining Star CLE Artistic Director Connor Bogart O’Brien.

THE AUDITION PROCESS

Round 1 – Video Auditions: April 1 – June 13, 2021
Eligible students can upload their video audition, singing a song of their choice, to shiningstarcle.org (students will likely use the same performance piece throughout the competition, subject to the sole discretion of the artistic director). Students have three minutes max. Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are preferred, but recorded accompaniment is allowed. A group of recognized music professionals will judge the online submissions and select students to advance to the next round.

Round 2 – “In-person” Auditions: June 28 & June 29, 2021
Students will perform either live or virtually in front of a panel of judges (TBD). The top 25 students will advance to the semifinals.

Round 3 – Semifinals: July 11, 2021
Judges will select the top 10 students to perform during The VIRTUAL Finals Performance & Competition.

Round 4 – Finals: Sunday, August 29, 2021
The top 10 students will perform virtually! The students will be accompanied musically during their solo-performances (coached and pre-recorded July 22-July 25, 2021). The top four students selected by the judges will be asked to perform a final song during the virtual live-performance.

THE JUDGING PROCESS

Contestants will be judged by independent, accomplished, music professionals representing wonderful music diversity 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, “live” 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 pre-recorded performances. The top four will perform a second time, then the audience, in conjunction with the judges, will select the order of the winners.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help spread the word! Encourage any eligible high school student who has a passion for singing to enter the competition in early spring 2021 by uploading their video auditions between April 1 and June 13, 2021 to shiningstarcle.org.

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