Are you a student music lover and leader with big dreams for the future? Do you see yourself making a difference in the field someday, as a music educator, conductor, composer, band leader, choral director, or other creative change-maker?

For the second year, Cincinnati Public Radio, home to 90.9 WGUC and Classics for Kids, announces “Maestro of Tomorrow,” a scholarship program to identify outstanding young artists in our listening area and help them envision a life in music beyond high school.

Applications for 2022 are now open, with a top prize of $1,000, two $500 runners-up, and an additional $500 prize for a music teacher or adviser whose students participate in the competition; we’ll also spotlight the honorees on our WGUC/Classics for Kids platforms, and as part of our Make Music Day community celebration in June.

The program sponsor is the Charles H. Dater Foundation. 

Eligibility: The contest is open to all music-interested students in the WGUC listening area, currently enrolled in grades 8-12. We welcome applications from young people practicing music of all kinds (not just classical), in any settings (not just formal, school-based programs). We especially welcome entries from young people in communities historically underrepresented in classical music, or who might face other barriers to achieving their potential in the field.

How to apply: Students must complete the online entry form themselves, including a short musical bio and statement of purpose; permission from a parent/guardian to participate in the program and appear on various media platforms should the student be selected as a winner; contact info for a music teacher, director or other supportive adult; and a short audio/video clip or other documentation of themselves making music. Students may also submit a teacher’s letter of recommendation, or anything else that might show the judges the student’s unique, authentic self, and strengthen their application.

Judging: Entries will be reviewed by a committee of WGUC staff and volunteers. Finalists might be asked to participate in virtual interviews with some members of the judging panel—not too scary, we promise!

Awards: One top scholarship prize of $1,000, and two runner-up prizes of $500 each, to be used toward lessons, instruments or other costs related to one’s musical education. In addition, all music teachers or other adult mentors with students who participate in the contest will be entered in a random drawing for a $500 prize, which can be used for any music-educational purpose (including self-education/PD). Honorees will be featured on WGUC/Classics for Kids.

Deadline: Deadline extended by one week! Entries must be received by Friday, April 29 (midnight EDT), 2022. Awards will be announced in May.