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School of Music

Butler University Vocal Competition

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Registration will open online in October 2019. Registration is limited to 25 singers. 
Fill out this form to be notified when registration is live!

We are proud to announce the first annual vocal competition for high school singers! The Butler University Vocal Competition encourages excellence in solo vocal performance. It is an opportunity for high school singers to learn through master classes and workshops, as well as to connect with college students pursuing music careers. The competition will be limited to 25 participants, with registration on a first come, first served basis. See eligibility requirements below. The event will take place on the campus of Butler University in Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall and Lilly Hall.


  • $500 First Prize
  • $300 Second Prize
  • $200 Third Prize
  • $100 Encouragement Award for a 9th or 10th grader
  • $50 for Finalists


The Butler University Vocal Competition is open to all high school age singers (grads 9-12). 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.

Repertoire Requirements

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.

Butler University Audition Option

High school seniors participating in the competition may use their performance as an audition for admission into the Butler University School of Music as well as music scholarship funding. Students must apply to Butler University as a voice major by the November 1 Early Action deadline via the Common App or Butler Application in order to utilize this option. Note: students must be admitted academically to Butler University in order to be admitted into the School of Music. Students may still audition prior to receiving their academic admission decision. Questions? Email or call 317-940-9065.


A $40 registration fee 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 registration 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 ( Remember, space is limited to 25 singers so apply early!

Judges and Clinicians

Dana ZenobiDr. Dana Zenobi, Instructor of Voice, Butler University Vocal Competition Director

A native of Northport, NY, Dana Zenobi is a versatile performer who embraces both standard repertoire and new music. An active recitalist, Dr. Zenobi earned national recognition as an interpreter of art song by women composers when she was awarded an Honorable Mention for Exceptional Repertoire by The American Prize (2016). She has appeared as concert soloist with ensembles including the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and line upon line percussion ensemble. She has also performed with Viola by Choice chamber music ensemble, and is featured on their 2010 debut recording, Florilegium. 
On the opera stage, she was deemed "the chief vocal pleasure" of Lyric Opera Cleveland's The Pirates of Penzance, and named "a soprano to listen for" by the Cleveland Press... Read full bio here.

Oliver WorthingtonDr. Oliver Worthington, Assistant Professor of Voice, Butler Opera Theatre Director
Oliver Worthington, baritone, has performed extensively as an opera singer, oratorio soloist and recitalist in Texas before moving to Indianapolis to join the faculty at Butler University. He has appeared with regional opera companies like South Texas Lyric Opera, San Antonio Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Hill Country Lyric, Austin Opera and Lone Star Lyric in diverse roles from Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus to Mamma Agatha in Viva la Mamma. Other roles include Count Gil in Il Segreto di Susanna, Bruschino in Il Signor Bruschino, Dr. Greg in Gallantry, The Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers, Le Podestat in Le Docteur Miracle and others in more traditional repertoire. Dr. Worthington maintains a full schedule as an educator and performer and serves as the President of The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation (, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the arts with cash prizes to young singers. Read full bio here.

Michael Scherperel, Collaborative Pianist

Michael Scherperel studied composition and conducting at the Eastman School of Music where his principal instrument was organ. He later undertook graduate studies in piano, composition, and conducting at Boston University. He holds a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard and a M. Mus. in accompanying from the University of Miami.

[michael-conducting] Mr. Scherperel has been at various times a vocal coach at the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria), chorusmaster and assistant conductor with the Greater Miami Opera (now the Florida Grand Opera), music director of the Broward Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Chorus. Read more here.


More Clinician/Judges info coming soon!


See our Frequently Asked Questions (coming soon) or contact: Dana Zenobi, DMA at