Open Call for Student Vocalists – Seventh Annual Sing-Off Competition at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, Cultural District




Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the seventh annual vocal competition for talented student singers! The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is officially accepting submissions for the Sing-Off Competition. The Sing-Off is part of the upcoming Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017, and is aimed at providing a unique and creative opportunity for young people in the greater Pittsburgh region. In line with this year’s theme, the competition is seeking the best and brightest singers that will help inform and mold Pittsburgh’s music scene in the future!

“We are pleased to continue this tradition of showcasing the talented students of our region. The competition represents what this year’s theme, Pittsburgh: The Next 200 Years, represents, as we encourage and promote the next generations of Pittsburgh performers,” said Janis Burley-Wilson, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Audience Engagement and Director of Jazz Programs for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We are also excited to once again welcome Smokey Robinson as a guest judge, along with our five of our past winners, who will select the winner.”

Similar to the format of popular TV talent shows, students from grades 6 through 12 who are affiliated with a regional middle or high school may submit a video audition performance of two songs. A panel of previous Sing-Off winners will review all submissions and select five finalists. Award-winning, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer and R&B icon, Smokey Robinson, will return as a guest judge to select the 2017 winner. The winner will be announced prior to Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, and will have the opportunity to participate in special media opportunities relative to the award, including a live performance opportunity as opening act at the Benedum Center on New Year’s Eve. Additionally, the winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a $1,000 donation to the school’s music department.

Individual students and student groups of 20 or fewer should upload a video of no more than 10 minutes in length to YouTube, and then submit it to the contestant page on the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 website.

Eligible counties include:
Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland
Ohio: Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe
West Virginia: Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Wetzel
Maryland: Allegany, Garrett, Washington

The application deadline is midnight on Monday, December 5, 2016 and late submissions will not be considered. For more information, eligibility and requirements, or to submit your application visit

The full complement of programming for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 will be announced on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh
Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is Pittsburgh’s arts-focused New Year’s Eve celebration. Culminating with the city’s Countdown to Midnight and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball, the six-hour celebration sprawls downtown’s renowned 14-block Cultural District—inside theaters, galleries, and unique spaces and along city streets on outdoor performance stages. Acclaimed national artists and Pittsburgh’s vibrant artist community ring in the New Year for revelers with live music, dance, theater, visual arts, comedy, magic, kids’ activities and a signature parade along with Zambelli Fireworks.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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