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The Wind Ensemble playing music
School of Music

Butler University Vocal Competition

Register online now!

Round 1: Online, videos due January 8, 2022
Semi-Finals and Finals Rounds: In-person, Saturday, February 12, 2022


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


The Butler University Vocal Competition is open to all high school age singers (grades 9-12). Participants must be U.S. citizens or green card holders in order to receive prize money. Winners will be required to fill out a W-9 form and provide a social security number to receive prize money.

Performance Submission Instructions

Before receiving the submission form, you must first register for the competition using the BUVC Registration Form.

Round 1

For Round 1, singers must perform TWO SELECTIONS from memory. Selections must meet the following criteria:

  • Your repertoire must include at least one Classical style piece (art songs or arias). The second selection can (but does not have to) be a Musical Theater piece.
  • At least one piece must be in English

  • At least one piece must be in a language other than English.

Videos should be prepared and submitted as follows:

  • Each selection should be video recorded in a single, unedited take.
  • You may work with a live collaborative pianist, or use a pre-recorded accompaniment.  The pianist does not need to be shown in the video.
  • Face the camera and direct your gaze as if the recording device were a panel of live judges.  
  • Do not move the camera, zoom, or cut to different camera angles during the performance.
  • Avoid recording in spaces that are overly live/reverberant.  We want to hear your voice clearly!
  • Do not edit the audio in any way, including correcting pitch or adding/removing reverb. 
  • Singers, please speak a brief introduction at the beginning of each recording, including:
    • Your name
    • Your grade
    • The title of your piece
    • The composer
    • The name of the opera, operetta, musical, or song cycle from which it is excerpted, if relevant.
    • The date you are making the recording
    • Example:  Hello, my name is Singer Singerson.  I am a ninth grader at Epic Musical High School in Indianapolis, IN.  Today is December 1, 2021.  I will be singing Alma del core by Antonio Caldara.
  • A submission form will be emailed to each BUVC participant after registration is confirmed.  You may upload your videos to Youtube or Vimeo and submit the links, or enter Google Drive links.

Butler University Audition Option

High school seniors participating in the competition may use their BUVC  Round 1 performances as an audition for admission into the Butler University School of Music as well as for music scholarship consideration.. To utilize this option, students must apply to Butler University  as a music major via the Common App or Butler Application, listing voice as their primary instrument. Students should complete their Butler or Common Application before submitting their BUVC Round 1 performance videos. The pre-screening requirement is waived for students using the BUVC audition option; please insert "BUVC" when prompted for a pre-screening video. Please 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 master classes, workshops, or other event content. The registration fee is not refundable. We aim to make the competition accessible to all interested singers. If the registration fee is prohibitive, please contact Dr. Zenobi directly (

Event Overview & Timeline

The competition will include a virtual Round 1, followed by an in-person Semi-Finals and Finals Round on the campus of Butler University with optional workshops and classes with faculty, an awards ceremony, and more on February 12, 2022.

Date Activity
September 13, 2021 Online registration opens: Click here to register!
Saturday, January 8, 2022

Round 1 performance videos due no later than midnight (12:00 AM-Eastern Time). Participants will receive access to the Round 1 Submission Form via email upon registering.

High School Seniors using the BUVC audition option should have their Butler Application or Common App completed BEFORE this date.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Semi-Finalists announced via email. Semi-Finalists will be contacted to schedule a complimentary, 30-minute lesson with a voice faculty member prior to February 4.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Live Semi-Finals and Finals Round!

  • Workshops and clinics
  • Awards Ceremony with closing reception
  • More!

View schedule here (coming soon)

Faculty Judges and Clinicians

Dana ZenobiDr. Dana Zenobi, Assistant Professor 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. Read full bio here.


Dr. Becky Marsh,  Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education
Dr. Becky Marsh is Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Butler University. She holds the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, with a choral conducting cognate, from Michigan State University. During her time at Michigan State, Dr. Marsh was awarded a university-wide Excellence-in-Teaching Citation. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education, as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Read full bio here.


David RuggerDr. David Rugger, Instructor of Voice

With a voice praised for its “dark-hued splendor” (San Francisco Gate), baritone David Rugger enjoys a blossoming career in oratorio, early music, and ensemble singing. Equally at home as an ensemble musician and as a soloist, David's repertoire encompasses music written from the Renaissance through to the present day, though he is especially regarded for his interpretation of J.S. Bach.  David has also performed as an ensemble musician with Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati), Seraphic Fire, and Conspirare. David is an alum of the American Bach Soloists Academy and was a Virginia Best Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival. He has performed under the batons of Dana Marsh, Scott Allen Jarrett, Paul Goodwin, Jeffrey Thomas, Eric Stark, A. Dennis Sparger, Philip Cave, Michael Beattie, and John Butt. Read full bio here.

Professor Kirsten Gunlogson, Visiting Associate Professor of Voice

Grammy nominated Mezzo-Soprano Kirsten Gunlogson’s voice has been described as “rich”, “creamy”and “beautifully dramatic”. Mark Kanny, of the Pittsburgh Tribune, describes her voice as “a beautifully placed mezzo-soprano voice that is rich without ever being heavy.”  Known for her convincing interpretation of trouser roles and charmingly feminine portrayals Ms. Gunlogson has distinguished herself as an impressive singing actress. Ms.Gunlogson has performed with Palm Beach Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Baltimore Lyric Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Tulsa Opera, Toledo Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Anchorage Opera, Nashville Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Sarasota Opera. Read full bio here.



Guest Judges: coming soon!




Contact: Dana Zenobi, DMA at