Jazz Singers Showcase category at the High School Jazz Festival


Calling all jazz vocalists!

Berklee College of Music is pleased to announce the “Jazz Singers Showcase” at the 51st annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival beginning in 2016. This exciting category is offered to showcase talented solo vocalists performing jazz standards with a rhythm section, combo, or big band. This unique opportunity allows singers to perform music from the Great American Songbook—some of the most influential American popular songs/jazz standards from the early 20th century. It includes songs from the 1920s to the 1955s recorded and performed by a wide range of singers. The Songbook represents standards by composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Jimmy van Heusen, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, Harry Warren, and Richard Rodgers.

This competition is open to high school vocal jazz singers (grades 9-12).


Jazz Singers Showcase will happen in two rounds. The first round includes an online application and the submission of both video and audio recordings.  Materials will be reviewed and adjudicated by an accomplished panel of judges representing years of experience as singers, teachers, vocal coaches, producers, and more.

The second round (by invitation only) includes an in-person vocal competition for 10 finalists held at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston, MA on Saturday, January 26th, 2019.  These singers will perform songs from a specified song list with a quartet for a panel of judges in front of a live audience. This event is free and open to the public.

First, second, and third place winners will be selected. The first place recipient will receive a trophy and a full-tuition scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee 5-Week Summer Program. In addition the first place winner will perform to open the HSJF evening showcase

In addition the first place winner will perform to open the HSJF evening showcase concert in front of an audience of 5000+ at the Hynes Auditorium—performing one jazz standard with a big band or jazz combo.

Second and third place winners will also receive partial-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee Summer Programs.

Round 1:

Complete an online registration on BerkleeJazz.org opening on October 2nd, that includes links to Youtube recorded auditions. For the recordings, please prepare 2 contrasting jazz standards (i.e., 1 up-tempo and 1 ballad). Select songs that showcase your voice, are in a key that is appropriate for your vocal range, show your command of jazz style, and allow you to perform with energy and confidence. Improvisation is NOT required, but is allowed. Each song may be up to 4 minutes in length (only)

Deadline to Submit: October 31, 2018. (5PM EST)


  1. Submit YouTube video recording links or mp3 uploads with your registration
  2. Present your best singing
  3. No pitch alteration technology allowed
  4. Accompaniment: Professional accompanists allowed, but not necessary.  Select an accompaniment that supports your performance.  This can be a track, piano, guitar, rhythm section, combo, big band… you get the idea. The committee is listening to your vocal within the context of the overall performance.  A cappella singing is also acceptable.

Application Fee

Non-refundable application fee $50 required


Finalists will be notified by email on or before November 14th, 2018.

Round 2:

Finalists must travel to Boston, MA to participate in the afternoon competition on Saturday, January 26th, 2019. This event will take place within the Berklee HSJF at the Hynes Auditorium (900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116).

Finalists will be asked to prepare specific arrangements of selected jazz standards from a  list provided.  Rehearsal time with the big band and/or combo will be scheduled on Saturday morning to ensure that all singers are prepared and confident for the competition. (Note: Singers may choose to bring their own microphone to this competition—not necessary, but allowed. All other tech support is provided.)

All finalists will receive feedback regarding their performance in the competition with tips and suggestions offered to enhance future performance and grow as a vocal jazz artist. Finalists are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations.

Examples of Repertoire—Provided as Guidelines

A Fine Romance (Jerome Kern with Dorothy Fields)

A Foggy Day (George and Ira Gershwin)

Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin)

Begin the Beguine (Cole Porter)

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered (Rodgers and Hart)

Blue Skies (Irving Berlin)

Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Harry Warren)

But Beautiful (Jimmy van Heusen)

But Not For Me (George and Ira Gershwin)

Bye Bye Blackbird (Ray Henderson)

Call Me Irresponsible (Jimmy van Heusen)

Cheek to Cheek (Irving Berlin)

Come Fly with Me (Jimmy van Heusen)

Come Rain or Come Shine (Harold Arlen)

Day in, Day Out (Johnny Mercer)

Days of Wine and Roses (Johnny Mercer)

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend (Jule Styne)

Dream (Johnny Mercer)

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter)

Exactly Like You (Jimmy McHugh with Dorothy Fields)

Falling in Love with Love (Rodgers and Hart)

Fascinating Rhythm (George Gershwin)

Fly Me to the Moon (Bart Howard)

For All We know (J. Fred Coots)

For Sentimental Reasons (Al Sherman)

Georgia on My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael)

Have You Met Miss Jones (Rodgers and Hart)

Here’s That Rainy Day (Jimmy van Heusen)

I Can’t Get Started (Vernon Duke)

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Jimmy McHugh with Dorothy Fields)

I Didn’t Know What Time it Was (Rodgers and Hart)

I Thought About You (Jimmy van Heusen)

I’ll Be Seeing You (Sammy Fain)

I’m Beginning to See the Light (Duke Ellington)

I’ve Got the World on a String (Harold Arlen)

I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)

Imagination (Jimmy van Heusen)

In a Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington)

It Could Happen to You (Jimmy van Heusen)

It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing) (Duke Ellington)

It Had to be You (Isham Jones)

It Never Entered My Mind (Rodgers and Hart)

It’s Only a Paper Moon (Harold Arlen)

I’ve Got the World on a String (Harold Arlen)

Let’s Fall in Love (Harold Arlen with Johnny Mercer)

Like Someone in Love (Jimmy van Heusen)

Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)

Midnight Sun (Johnny Mercer)

My Foolish Heart (Victor Young)

My Romance (Rodgers and Hart)

Oh, Lady Be Good (George Gershwin)

On the Sunny Side of the Street (Jimmy McHugh with Dorothy Fields)

Our Love is Here to Stay (George and Ira Gershwin)

Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen with E.Y. Harburg)

Satin Doll (Duke Ellington)

September in the Rain (Harry Warren)

Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael)
Someone to Watch Over Me
(George and Ira Gershwin)

Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael)

Stormy Weather (Harold Arlen with Ted Koehler)

Summertime (George Gershwin)

Take the A Train (Duke Ellington with Billy Strayhorn)

The More I See You (Harry Warren)

The Nearness of You (Hoagy Carmichael)

The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern with Dorothy Fields)

There Will Never Be Another You (Harry Warren)

This Can’t Be Love (Rodgers and Hart)

Thou Swell (Rodgers and Hart)

Time After Time (Jule Styne)

When I Fall in Love (Victor Young)

You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to (Cole Porter)

          January 26, 2019