Shining Star CLE 2024


April 1– June 30, 2024 11:59 PM

When the open enrollment begins, upload your video audition! ALL genres of music are accepted! Be creative. Gospel, Pop, Rock, R&B, Classical and Musical Theater are all encouraged.

  • Please, limit your video to three minutes maximum. This is just for ease of viewing. Get to the part of the song that really shows off your ability! As you advance through the competition, you will have the opportunity to sing your complete song!
  • Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or a capella are preferred but recorded accompaniment is allowed. 
  • A group of recognized music professionals will judge the online submissions and select the students who will advance to the next round.

NEW FOR 2024:

In order to avoid repetition, the top ten finalist songs from the previous year are excluded from the current competition. Please do not plan on singing any of the following songs from last year's show. 

  • What You'd Call a Dream (Diamonds)
  • A Song for You (Donny Hathaway) 
  • Fly, Fly Away (Catch Me if You Can) 
  • Maybe This Time (Cabaret) 
  • When I Sing in My Car (Joey Contreras)
  • Run Away with Me (The Mad Ones)
  • Where Am I Now (Lysistrata Jones) 
  • A New Life (Jekyll & Hyde)
  • Lost in the Brass (Band Geeks)
  • Death of a Bachelor (Brendon Urie)
  • Vampire (Olivia Rodrigo) 
  • I Can’t Stand Still (Footloose)

Tips for a Great Audition Video: 

  • Pick a song you love; a song you know well will guarantee a better audition. Plus, this song will likely remain with you throughout the length of your Shining Star CLE 2024 journey (subject to the sole discretion of the artistic director).  Put thought into why you are singing this song and how it represents your personal artistry!
  • Find a well-lit area – we want to see you!
  • Film your audition video in a place you feel comfortable like your living room, a park or a classroom. The more comfortable you feel, the better you will perform.
  • Minimize any background noise. We want to hear you, nothing else.
  • Keep yourself in frame! Take a few steps back from the camera, so we don't miss anything!
  • Don't be afraid to be yourself! Tell us who you are, why you chose your song and be sure to give it your best shot!
  • If at first you don’t succeed… Don't worry about making a mistake in your first take. Just keep trying. We want to see the BEST version of your song, and sometimes that happens after several tries.
  • Relax! Take a deep breath and have fun.
  • REMEMBER: We are excited to hear you sing.  This is our 8th year of this competition, and we continue to be amazed by the tremendous talent we see and hear in Northeast Ohio.  We look forward to seeing you "shine"!


This unique solo-singing competition gives high school students the chance to compete for college scholarships and perform live at Playhouse Square. 



  •  All high school students who have a have a 2025-2028 graduation date.
  • Students must live in the following counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne. Public, private and home-schooled students are eligible.
  • All genres of music are welcome. 
  • Participation is free.


Round 1 (Video Auditions): April 1 – June 30, 2024, 11:59 PM

  • Eligible students can upload their video audition, singing a song of their choice (students will likely use the same performance piece throughout the competition, subject to the sole discretion of the artistic director).
  • Students have three minutes max.
  • Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are preferred, but recorded accompaniment is allowed.
  • A group of recognized music professionals will judge the online submissions and select students to advance to the next round.

Round 2 (Virtual Auditions): Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, 2024

  • Students will perform via zoom in front of a panel of judges.
  • The top 25 students will advance to the Semifinals.

Round 3 (Semifinals): July 30, 2024

  • Judges will select the top 10 students and 2 alternates to perform during The Finals Competition.

Finalist Rehearsal Week: September 16-21, 2024

  • Upon request, religious accommodations will be made at the discretion of our Artistic Director.

The Finals: Sunday, September 22, 2024, 7 PM 

  • The top 10 students will perform live on stage at the Mimi Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square.
  • The students will be accompanied musically during their solo performance.
  • The top four students selected by the judges will be asked to perform a final song at the Finals.


Shining Star CLE