Vocal

WELCOME TO THE 2021 HAL LEONARD VOCAL COMPETITION

The annual Hal Leonard Vocal Competition was founded in 2011 to encourage young singers from all over United States and Canada, from children through college undergraduates. Thousands of singers have participated in the competition, with top placing videos from 35 states and provinces, and over 40 colleges and universities. The Hal Leonard Vocal Competition was one of the first music competitions held entirely on YouTube.

This year with many singers studying at home and unable to meet in person with teachers, we hope the 2021 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition can be a rewarding project for all participants to experience growth, community, and enrichment. The competition offers a thread of connection between all singers who enter, by seeing and hearing their peers online.

The rules of the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition have always required that a recorded accompaniment must be an official Hal Leonard recording. Because of the special circumstances we are in, for the 2021 competition, we will allow a singer to use an accompaniment recording made that is not an official Hal Leonard recording, provided that the accompaniment recorded matches exactly the edition of the songs from books chosen on the required repertoire list. The accompaniment must be piano or keyboard only.

Unlike almost every other music competition, there is no entry fee in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. We deliberately want young singers from any location in North America to be able to enter, without the expense of travel to an audition site. And singers can view and hear on YouTube others from around the U.S. and Canada who are in their own age group. Voice teachers have told us that it is instructive to hear hundreds of singers from other studios.

It is important to us to encourage the study of art song as well as musical theatre, with four age categories for each:

  • Children, 12 and under
  • Early Teens, 13-15
  • High School, 16-18
  • College Undergraduates/Young Adults, 18-23

We are certainly proud of all the participants in the competition. We follow with special interest former first place winner Samantha Hankey, a 2018 Richard Tucker Career Grant winner, and Jack Swanson, who is singing lead roles at Los Angeles Opera and Santa Fe Opera.

Big thank you to all the singers who take the time and effort to enter the competition, the pianists who accompany them, the voice teachers and coaches who prepare them, and all those parents who support the competition.

If the singers who have entered in the past are a representative sampling, there are clearly many dedicated students and teachers at all levels who have embraced our heritage of music literature. We thank all singers who participate in this competition, and the teachers and parents who guided the voice students in this competition. Thank you also to all the accompanists for their key participation.

View the Winning Videos from our Previous Years