High School Programs

Opportunities For Young Musicians

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

INSTRUMENTAL: Pasquale Laurino, Elena Abend, John Climer

VOCAL: Tanya Kruse, David Hoffman


Young Artist Scholarships: A total of $2,000 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 info@civicmusicmilwaukee.org with any questions. 

Check out the 2019 Competition results here!

ELIGIBILITY: Vocal students entering grades 8-12 and instrumental students entering grades 4-9
AUDITION: March 28, 2020 

Scholarships provide private lessons to selected music students who have not yet had the opportunity for private study and whose family is in need of a financial helping hand.  On Audition Day, students participate in a workshop on Audition and Recital Preparation and enjoy a performance by winners of the High School Competition. Students in the Private Lesson Program study with a professional musician or music educator.  As a culminating experience to the year of lessons, students perform on a year-end recital showcasing each participant in a solo performance for a live audience. 

Year 1 students who are recommended by their private teachers are eligible to apply for Year 2.  And Year 2 students who are recommended by their private teachers are eligible to apply for Year 3.