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Overture Awards

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Welcome to the Overture Awards

The Overture Awards is a program that recognizes, encourages and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12. Its mission is to encourage arts education as an integral part of a student’s academic experience and to create an environment that encourages training in, and appreciation of, the arts. The Overture Awards Competition is the area’s largest solo arts competition and offers awards in six artistic disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, theatre, visual art, and vocal music.

Deadline to fully complete and submit an application is January 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Applications for the Overture Awards may be filled out and submitted by a school coordinator/teacher or by a student.
  • School Coordinators/Teachers may create an account and start an application for students. The School Coordinator/Teacher can give access to the application to the students and both may fill out the application and submit it.

Applicants must be in grades 9-12 who study in the Greater Cincinnati Region.
*Find below all qualifying counties.

Application Fee is $20 and must be paid in order to submit application.

Notes on completing the application:

  • Applicants can enter in only one of the following disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, or Vocal Music
  • Discipline Program Groups:
    • Creative Writing
    • Dance
    • Instrumental Music: Select program for specific application.
      • Brass/Woodwind/Percussion
      • Piano
      • String
    • Theater: Apply for “Theater” if you are performing 2 monologues or “Musical Theater” if you are performing 1 monologue and 1 song.
    • Visual Art
    • Vocal Music: Enter this discipline if you plan to sing two songs

By completing the application, students agree to be available for the competition dates (see website for schedule). If you are not available on the competition dates, you are not eligible to compete.

Email is the primary means of communication for the Overture Awards. Please be sure the email information is correct and current.


Young Arts Finalists

The Overture Awards and Young Arts have an agreement where Overture Awards finalists automatically advance in Young Arts. The Overture Awards has extended that agreement to eligible Overture Awards competitors who advance to the finals in Young Arts. Since the Young Arts Finals conflicts with the Overture Awards Regional Competition, Overture Awards competitors who advance to Young Arts Finals will automatically advance to the Overture Awards Semi-Finals competition. Competitors must meet all other requirements including completing an application, and must notify the Overture Awards about advancing to Young Arts Finals.

*The following counties constitute the “Greater Cincinnati” area:
State of Ohio
Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, Warren
State of Kentucky
Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Pendleton
State of Indiana
Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland

Students notified if moving to Semi-Finals: January 26, 2021

Semi-Finals Resubmission Deadline: February 9, 2021

Overture Awards Finals: March 6, 2021

Questions? Contact espooner@cincinnatiarts.org or 513-977-4116.

For technical questions, please check out our Help Desk for frequently asked questions.