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Benton-Schmidt

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Benton-Schmidt Voice Competition

The annual Benton-Schmidt Graduate Voice Competition provides scholarship awards up to $30,000 to promising incoming graduate students. Awards will be given based on excellence in vocal performance and versatility as revealed through the performance audition. Scholarship prizes are for the academic year beginning the following Fall semester.

Funds for these scholarships were made possible through the bequest of Joseph H. Benton, internationally-acclaimed tenor, long-time teacher and devoted supporter of vocal art, in honor of his much-revered voice teacher at the University of Oklahoma, William George Frederick Schmidt.

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Singers must first apply to the University of Oklahoma School of Music as a graduate student pursuing an MM or DMA in Voice.  All applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate program (and Master's program, if DMA applicant) to compete and receive scholarship.  The competition application must be completed by the deadline listed below.  The winners of the competition will receive their scholarships when they enter the graduate program the following Fall semester.

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Participants in the Benton-Schmidt Competition are required to present 6 selections covering all major languages (French, German, Italian, and English). The selections must include 2 opera or oratorio arias, 2 art songs, and 2 arias or songs of your choice.

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December 1, 2021 - DMA Voice Application Deadline (pre-screening video due)
December 15, 2021 - MM Voice Application Deadline
January 15, 2022 - Deadline for Benton-Schmidt Competition Applications
February 12, 2022 - Competition takes place in person on campus

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DMA applicants who pass the prescreening will also conduct an interview with voice faculty. Information on this process will be received by February 1, 2022. Interviews will take place prior to the Benton-Schmidt competition.

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For incoming students pursuing a graduate degree in voice, participation in the Benton-Schmidt competition will be considered the applicant's audition for the degree program. For competitors interested in enrolling in the Opera Emphasis Masters degree program, the required interview with the opera faculty will be scheduled during the competition.

Before applying for the competition, you must submit your graduate application to the OU School of Music. Click the button below for graduate admissions information. Within a day or two of submitting your graduate application, the School of Music will acknowledge receipt of the application by email. You may then apply for the competition using the button below.

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For more information, contact Professor Mark McCrory.