American Traditions Competition 2008

Posted by:  Savannah Music Festival  | 


This gig is not currently accepting applications. We think you might like these similar gigs.


With up to $30,000 in prize money, the American Traditions Competition truly celebrates the solo vocal music repertoire of the United States. These include art songs, operatic excerpts, blues, jazz, cabaret songs, hymns, spirituals, musical theater, songs from film and television and popular songs penned by American composers over the last two centuries.

In its 15th year, and with an average attendance of 2,000 people, the event will take place in Savannah, Georgia from March 25 – March 29, 2008.

Solo applicants will submit 3 or 4 songs, no longer than 15 minutes total. All songs must be by American composers and will be judged for participation in the quarterfinal round of the competition. Singers must perform the same songs submitted, as well as covering the following categories:

  • Category 1 – Songs selected from the ATC quarterfinal song list found on our website,

  • Category 2 – Spirituals, hymns or songs of praise

  • Category 3 – Selections of your choice that represent an American tradition and are composed by an American

In addition to songs from these 3 categories, applicants submissions must include a performance of the first verse of America the Beautiful with accompaniment. This is solely for evaluation purposes and will not be part of the quarterfinal program.

Applicants will also be asked to submit information (but not recordings) of the songs they will perform if they advance to subsequent rounds of the competition. Artists will be asked to submit information for each selection, including:

  • Song title

  • Composer

  • Category represented (must have a selection for each category) and Accompaniment.

(There are 3 rounds to the competition.)

Quarterfinal Round

As many as 30 contestants will advance to the Quarterfinals and will present a live performance of the same material as submitted in the preliminary round submission.

Semifinal Round

Up to 12 contestants will be selected to advance to the Semifinals and will perform at least 1 (one) selection from each of the following three categories:

  • Category 1 – Songs by Johnny Mercer. See our website for song selection guidance.

  • Category 2 – Songs by musical theater works from American composers.

  • Category 3 – Selections of your choice which represent an American tradition. These may include but are not limited to the following:

a) Art songs or operatic excerpts by U.S. composers

b) Blues songs by W.C. Handy or his U.S. contemporaries

c) Songs in a jazz or cabaret style

d) Songs from an American-produced film or TV feature

Final Round

Up to 6 contestants will be chosen for the final round and will present a program of songs submitted in their application. Contestants may perform songs from any of the fore mentioned categories, as long they represent American traditions, are composed by an American and have not been performed in earlier rounds of the competition. Final programs may not exceed 15-minutes in length.

Submissions will be judged by local music experts. Judges for Quarter/Semi/Final Rounds will be announced.

Special notes and reminders to all applicants:

  • Selected quarterfinalists must provide their own transportation to Savannah.

  • All competition rounds are no more than 15 minutes. Contestants will be penalized if they exceed the 15-minute time allocation

  • Each round must include selections from the round-specific categories listed above

  • Contestants must perform songs composed by American composers

  • If selected to advance to the next round, you may not repeat a song

  • Accompaniment will be only piano (or piano, bass & drums)

  • No personal compositions allowed

  • Accompanists will be provided at no cost or artists may bring their own accompanists at their own expense


The First Place winner will win the Oxnard Gold Medal and a check for $10,000.
The Second Place winner will win the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation Silver Medal and a check of $5,000.
The Third Place winner will win the Stanton Bronze Medal and a check of $2,500.

All contestants will receive one cash award. Quarterfinalists will receive $250; Semifinalists will receive $500; and Finalists will receive $1,000.