Sarofim Vocal Competition
Saturday, November 12, 2016

Registration is full. If you would like to be added to a wait list, please email  First round audition times will be emailed to participants by November 2.

The Sarofim Vocal Competition encourages excellence in solo vocal performance. It is an opportunity for high school singers to learn through master classes and workshops, and to connect with college students pursuing music careers.  


First Prize $500
Second Prize $300
Third Prize $200
Encouragement Award - $100 
Finalists - $50

Plus One Full Scholarship to the Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program 

Guest Judge & Clinician: Dr. Melinda Brou (Class of 1999)


The Sarofim Vocal Competition is open to all high school age singers. Participants must be U.S. citizens or green card holders. Winners will be required to fill out a W-9 form and provide a social security number to receive prize money. Participation in the Sarofim Vocal Competition does not affect students’ eligibility for UIL or TMEA contests.


Singers must perform THREE SELECTIONS from memory. Selections must meet the following criteria:
  • At least one of your three pieces must be in English.
  • At least one of your three pieces must be in a foreign language.
  • Your repertoire must include at least two classical style pieces (art songs or arias). The third selection can (but does not have to) be a musical theater piece.

One original score (or legally purchased pdf) of each selection must be provided to the judges. Printed copies of public domain music are acceptable.


Seniors have the option for the SVC performance to serve as an audition for admission to the Southwestern University Music Program and scholarship funding.  Singers who take advantage of this option may perform a brief sight reading passage (not scored as part of the SVC). Choosing the audition option does not obligate the student to apply to SU, but does allow the singer to be considered for scholarship funds if he or she chooses to apply.  If you are interested in the SU Audition Option, please fill out the SU Audition Form and bring it to your SVC performance.


A $40 application fee, plus a $1.33 payment processing charge (total of $41.33) is required to register for the event. There are no additional charges for concerts, workshops or events. The collaborative pianist’s fees are included.  The entry fee is not refundable.  We aim to make the competition accessible to all interested singers.  If the entry fee is prohibitive, please contact Dr. Zenobi directly ( 

Space is limited to 25 singers, so apply early!


We are thrilled to welcome Southwestern University alumna Dr. Melinda Brou as the 2016 SVC Guest Master Class Clinician and Judge. We are also delighted to welcome Professor Darlene Wiley (The University of Texas at Austin) as a guest judge for the final round. Southwestern University faculty judges include Katherine Altobello (Instructor of Music), Bruce Cain (Associate Professor of Music and Director of Southwestern Opera Theatre), and Jameson James (Instructor of Music).  David Utterback, Instructor of Music, will be the collaborative pianist.

Videos of 2014 SVC Winners

First Prize: Abby Orr, Montgomery High School (Montgomery, TX)


 Second Prize: Emilie Paige Young, homeschooled (Spring, TX)


 Third Prize: Shannon Murray, The Atonement Academy (San Antonio, TX)


Feedback from SVC Participants

“This competition was very well organized and well run. What I liked about it was that the judges gave the Master Class and were available to talk to me. It felt like they wanted us to do well. It felt less like a competition and more like we were just there to sing for each other. Overall, the focus was on each singer’s individual improvement.” 

“I’ve participated in a lot of vocal competitions and attended a lot of masterclasses in the last three years, but I can honestly say that none have been as enlightening or as helpful as the Sarofim Vocal Competition. The judges’ feedback was exceptionally helpful and it was obvious the judges cared about each participant’s vocal and artist development. The resume workshop and Dana Zenobi’s assistance in reworking my resume was beyond helpful and learning about the Alexander Technique helped me realize I have been tipping my chin upward about a inch or two and I and my voice teacher had never realized it! Not only did the whole competition run right on schedule, but thanks to the judges’ feedback and genuine interest from the directors of the competition, I learned a lot about myself and my vocal technique that I could take away with me and grow.” 

“It was my first time, and I learned a lot about these kind of auditions. The master class was wonderful and a fun way for students to explore their voices with professional guidance. It was definitely worthwhile and I hope to participate again next year!” 

“My students really enjoyed hearing other students their own age to see what other kids are doing and what level they are at. The parents loved interacting with the students and staff, who they found to be very helpful and encouraging.”

Frequently Asked Questions


Questions?  Contact:
Dana Zenobi, DMA
Assistant Professor of Voice
Sarofim Vocal Competition Director


Sarofim Vocal Competition 2015 Winners