How to Apply

How to Apply


How to Apply

How to Apply

This is one of my fondest competition memories - wonderful people and a great experience. So glad to be a part of this family.
— Abi Jeanne Levis

Important Dates

December 22, 2017 - “early bird” deadline

February 16, 2018 - final application deadline

March 9, 2018 - semifinalists selected

April 29, 2018 - finalists announced


  • All applications must be submitted through YAP Tracker. Applicants do not have to be members of YAP Tracker to apply.
  • Each year, the application form will ask for a brief resume and current 100 word biography, including: educational and vocal study experience, performance history, current management (if any), and singing goals. Applicants will also be asked to upload a current high resolution photo (300X500 pixels or greater). This bio and photo will appear in the competition program for the fourteen selected finalists.
  • Applicants must indicate in which tier they would like to compete, and are strongly encouraged to select the tier that best represents their current status as a vocalist. However, if both tiers seem applicable, the applicant may choose both, but must pay an application fee for each one.
  • All applicants must upload two video clips via YouTube to their YAP Tracker application. Video selections must be recent and no older than eighteen months. Selections that do not meet this criterion must first be approved for submission by JTVA. Each selection must be sung from memory and accompanied by a pianist. The two videos must be uploaded separately, and the two in total must not be longer than 15 minutes. Do not send videos of entire operas or concerts. 
  • Each video clip must be unedited and without recording enhancements. Each selection should be recorded in one "take."
  • Vocal selections may be clips chosen from lyric theater (opera, operetta, musical theater), oratorio, symphonic vocal material, art songs, or traditional jazz and cabaret standards.
  • Those hoping to pursue a career in a classical music genre should ideally include samples in more than one language.
  • There is no upper or lower age limit for this competition, provided the singer meets the general requirements of either tier.
  • Participation does not require a degree.
  • Singers are not required to be U.S. citizens to apply.
  • This competition is open to applicants irrespective of residency. All applicants must be in compliance with the laws of their home country as well as the U. S. in regard to residency, visitation, and study.
  • Should you be selected as a finalist, you will be required to travel to Oakland, CA from June 14 to June 17, 2018. 

The competition awards prizes to two groups of singers. Rather than specific age or educational requirements, these groups are distinguished primarily by level of ability, vocal experience, and readiness to begin a professional career. In some cases, singers may qualify and apply for both groups. All finalists receive a cash award.

Tier I is for singers ready to embark on a professional career. This includes those who have recently completed undergraduate or graduate study in voice; however, this is not a requirement. Tier I is open to anyone who has studied voice extensively and developed substantial skill in vocal performance. Prospective competitors who are looking to make a "later in life" career change to the performing arts are also welcome to apply.

Tier II is for those studying singing at or near the college level. Singers who are engaged in serious study (private or collegiate) of the fundamentals of vocal performance should apply at this level. Competitors might be undergraduates or graduates studying music, vocal performance, or musical theater. Non-collegiate singers who have achieved comparable vocal development through private study are eligible.

As soon as I was greeted, I could tell the JTVA Competition had a nurturing and welcoming atmosphere. The organizers did a fantastic job at ensuring the singers were familiar with their surroundings. The sound checks and warm-up spaces put us all at ease and made it very easy to get to know the other finalists. At every turn our needs were met and anticipated. I will look forward to returning!
— Yelena Dyachek