Gordon and Jean L. Petitt Annual Music Scholarship Competition

This scholarship is designed to give musically gifted students the opportunity to perform with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra on the stage of Severance Hall, and also to receive a cash award.

Entry is open to all students up to age 18 residing and attending school or homeschool in the seven-county Greater Cleveland region, namely the counties of Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina or Lorain. Applicants may be of any age up to 18, but must not be attending college or university. 

Contestants can be singers, dancers, or instrumentalists. They must be prepared to perform a full-length musical selection from memory not to exceed 10 minutes. The piece selected must be available to be performed with symphony orchestra. The choice of the selection may be drawn from standard popular music repertoire, including songs, dances or instrumental solos found in Broadway musicals, jazz or light classics.

Anyone with questions as to repertoire or the suitability of their selection may write to Loren Toplitz, at lorentoplitz@clevelandpops.com.

The first prize winner of the competition will perform with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at one of their regularly scheduled concerts at Severance Hall or Playhouse Square, and will receive a $1,000 cash award. The second prize winner will perform with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at an outdoor concert or special event and will receive a $500 cash award. 

2023 Scholarship Competition 

Auditions will be held on Sunday, November 12 beginning at 5:30 PM at The Music Settlement (11125 Magnolia Dr., Cleveland, OH 44106). Deadline for applicants is Thursday, November 9.

See official Rules and Requirements here. 

To apply fill out the form below:

Gordon and Jean L. Petitt Music Scholarship Competition Application

  • (musical, stage performance, other, etc.)
  • By submitting my name above, I agree to the following. My child is a resident and attends school in one of the following counties: Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina or Lorain in the State of Ohio. They will participate in the competition, according to the rules and requirements established by The Cleveland Pops Orchestra. If declared a scholarship winner, they will be able to perform with The Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall on a date to be determined by Conductor Carl Topilow. I give my approval for my child to participate in the Gordon and Jean L. Petitt Music Scholarship Competition.

Previous Winners

2021 First Prize Winner

Daniel Colaner, piano

2023 Co-Winner

Alexandra Newman, vocalist

2023 Co-Winner

Lindsey Ross, vocalist

If you have further questions, please contact (216) 765-7677.

Your tax-deductible gift to the Gordon and Jean L. Petitt Memorial Music Scholarship Fund is an investment in the future of fine music. Your gift will be acknowledged in the Cleveland Pops program book. Please send your contribution to our office OR fill out our online donation form.