Vocal Studies

Richard Miller Classical Voice Competition for High School Students

Student singing on stage accompanied by piano
Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

The Richard Miller Classical Voice Competition for High School Students is named in honor of longtime Oberlin Conservatory voice faculty member, author, pedagogue, and performing artist. This competition has been established to encourage and support high school students in pursuit of a career in classical vocal music.  

Contestants compete for cash awards and scholarships to Oberlin College and Conservatory, as well as the opportunity to appear in master classes with esteemed members of the competition jury, made up of voice faculty at Oberlin, and a prominent guest from the field.

For the inaugural competition in October 2023, featured guest judge and master class teacher was renowned American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, a 1985 alumna of Oberlin Conservatory and performer, teacher, director, and founder of the Denyce Graves Foundation.

About Richard Miller


  • 1st prize - $2500
  • 2nd prize - $1500
  • 3rd prize - $1000
  • 4th and 5th prizes, "Howard Lubin Encouragement Awards" - $500 each
  • Scholarships

All prizes awarded are at the discretion of the judges.

Eligibility: The competition is open to sophomore, junior, and senior high school students recommended by their choral or voice teachers.

Required competition repertoire: Participants must prepare three contrasting pieces from the classical repertoire, including spirituals and folksongs, one of which must be in the singer’s native language.

Application procedure:

Applicant must provide— 

  • a letter of recommendation from the participant’s current voice teacher or choral instructor 
  • an unedited video (provide YouTube links to your video recordings); see Video Guidelines
  • $45 non-refundable application fee

Video Guidelines:

  • All videos must include memorized performances of two contrasting selections from the standard classical repertoire (including spirituals and folksongs) and be performed with live piano accompaniment.
  • A spoken introduction that includes only the contestant’s name and the title of the selection should begin each recorded performance. 
  • The applicant may submit one video with both performances included, or two separate videos for each selection.
  • Videos should give an accurate impression of the contestant’s voice (with no enhancement or editing) and with contestants appearing in full view. 

Competition Rules:

Live competition rounds and master classes will be held in person on the campus of Oberlin Conservatory in Kulas Recital Hall.

A pianist will be provided for the semifinal and final rounds. There will be no opportunity to rehearse with the pianist before the competition.



2024 Competition

Information will be released in late spring 2024.



2023 Competition

Date and Location: 
Saturday, October 14, 2023 
Oberlin Conservatory, Kulas Recital Hall
Oberlin, OH


  • Salvatore Champagne, director
  • Denyce Graves, guest jury member and master class teacher
  • Oberlin Voice Faculty
    • Kendra Colton
    • Mathilda Edge
    • Timothy LeFebvre
    • Katherine Jolly

Prize Winners: 

  • 1st prize - $2500: Meghan Linnington
  • 2nd prize tie - $1250 each: Lukas Palys and Madison Variale
  • 3rd prize - not awarded
  • Howard Lubin Encouragement Awards - $500 each: Isaiah Gallegos and Jaxon Glowacki
  • Scholarships to Oberlin Conservatory were awarded to each of the top five competition participants.

September 8: Application deadline

September 15: Competition participants will be notified whether they have admitted to the live rounds in Oberlin.

October 1: Any changes in competition repertoire must be submitted to the competition administration for approval.

October 14: Competition day in Oberlin

9:30-11:30 a.m. Semifinals
Semifinalists will sing one piece of their choosing and one chosen by the panel of judges. 
Each singer will be allotted a maximum performance time of seven minutes. 

11:55 a.m. Announcement of Master Class Participants 

12:00 p.m. Lunch 
Lunch will be provided for all competition participants.

1:00-2:45 p.m. Master Class with Oberlin Faculty

3:00-4:15 p.m. Master Class with Denyce Graves

4:30 p.m. Announcement of Final Round Participants

5:00 p.m. Finals Concert and Awards Presentation
Open to the public. Free admission
Participants will sing one selection of their choosing. 
Performance order will be established at random.  

6:00 p.m. Reception
Stull Recital Hall

The selection jury reviewed videos submitted by 74 applicants from 23 states across the country. The 15 vocalists who will participate in live rounds in Oberlin include:

Anabelle Calles, 16, Miami Lakes, FL
Bryan Corral, 17, Miami, FL
Max Foreman, 17, Hampton Cove, AL
Isaiah Gallegos, 17, Traverse City, MI
Jaxson Glowacki, 17, Santa Monica, CA
Vaughn Holleran, 17, Morton Grove, IL
Haley Hunt, 18, Monaca, PA
Gabrielle Liberman, 17, Summit, NJ
Meghan Linnington, 17, Claremont, CA
Lilliana Mindel, 17, Huntington Beach, CA
Chloe Ness, 17, Long Beach, CA
Lukas Palys, 16, Dallas, TX
Austyn Park, 17, Manhasset, NY
Aurora Sauer, 18, Chesapeake, VA
Madison Varriale, 16, Pound Ridge, NY


The Richard Miller Classical Voice Competition for High School Students is supported in part by funds given in memory of former Oberlin College and Conservatory faculty member and alumnus Howard Lubin '75.