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Welcome to the 2021 Virtual Scholarship Auditions! We are pleased to offer this year’s auditions in a virtual video format, and we look forward to supporting the exceptional talent of our participants. These auditions are historic for two reasons: this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Musical Merit Foundation, and the only year ever offering virtual participation.


Do I need to upload multiple videos for each round?

No. The video you submit for each round must be a single continuous take of the selected repertoire. You cannot edit multiple takes into one video.

Can I record from home, a dorm room, or alternate location?

Yes, but we do ask you to consider whether an alternate location will showcase you at your best. Things to consider: size of the space, a piano that has been recently tuned, multiple camera angles, and recording and lighting equipment.

What sort of tips do you have to capture the best at-home recording?

  • Today's cell phones have excellent cameras and microphones built in and they should be able to make a high-quality recording for you. The use of other equipment is up to you.
  • We suggest experimenting with camera and microphone placement and sound quality first. Make a recording then listen to it. Make the necessary adjustments to ensure the best quality possible. Your first take doesn't need to be your final submission.
  • Placement of microphone: do not set the microphone too far from the vocalist/instrumentalist.
  • Get as tight of a frame as possible.
  • Instead of zooming in on your camera, move the camera closer to you. This will allow a better video quality.

Does my accompanist need to be in the frame? I’m concerned social distancing will make this prohibitive.

It is preferred that the video shot includes your accompanist. It is required for applicants who are submitting recordings where the piano part is of equal importance to the applicant’s instrument. For example, an art song or a sonata written for two instruments, rather than a piece of music that has the piano playing an orchestral reduction.

Do I need to wear a mask while recording my selections?

Musical Merit encourages all participants to follow safety protocols. Wearing a mask is up to the individual, and wearing a mask (or not) will not negatively impact the judges’ decisions.

Will I need to get a COVID test or be vaccinated to record at the venue Musical Merit provides?

This is still to be determined. Local health mandates are constantly updated as new data comes in. We will adhere to the requests made by local health authorities and the venue we use and update applicants as we approach recording/submission weeks. We will update our information as soon as we are able.

What if I have a special request or situation?

Musical Merit Foundation has a Special Dispensation Committee to review questions about unique situations. Please email us at and we will get back with you as soon as possible. Deadline for all Dispensation requests is April 20, 2021.