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Online Registration will be open February 1, 2017 - please click here

Preliminary applicants please see rules and regulations for additional required documentation

Deadline to submit Application for Preliminary Audition: April 30, 2017
Deadline to submit Application for Returning Finalist: April 30, 2017


Preliminary Auditions
Wednesday, May 31, 2016 8am-6pm
First United Methodist Church of San Diego

Semi-Final Auditions
Friday June 2 Semi-finals and
Saturday 3rd Finals and Award Allocations
First United Methodist Church of San Diego

Final Auditions and Award Allocations
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
First United Methodist Church of San Diego

Awards Concert
Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 3:00pm
First United Methodist Church of San Diego
2111 Camino del Rio South
San Diego, California 92108


We invite keyboard, brass, woodwind, string, percussion, and vocal applicants.

Check here for application information.

Open Letter
Rules and Regulations
Required Audition Music
Application Form
Audition Repertoire Form


Musical Merit AuditionThe mission of the Musical Merit Foundation of San Diego is to discover, encourage and present young music students of exceptional talent. The Foundation raises funds to provide scholarships to those students who show exceptional musical talent and who pass preliminary and final auditions and evidence exceptional talent.

Annual auditions are held to determine winners of scholarships. Initial screening is conducted through PRELIMINARY auditions. Competitors who pass the PRELIMINARY auditions are candidates for the FINAL auditions. Scholarships are awarded to those in the FINALS auditions. Winners are required to perform in the AWARDS CONCERT on the day following the FINAL auditions. All dates are listed above.

If you are an aspiring performer, please consider entering our 2016 Preliminary auditions with preliminary auditions at First United Methodist Church. The PRELIMINARY auditions are judged by a panel of at least three judges each in the categories of winds, strings, piano, pipe organ and voice. No private instructor of any contestant may be a judge in that category. Judges are unaware of the identity of contestants, and are asked to make written comments which will be mailed to each contestant following the competition.

There are six judges on the panel for the FINAL auditions, selected from distinguished university professors and professional musicians who reside outside San Diego County. Selection of FINAL judges is subject to approval by the Executive Board of the Foundation. The decision of the judges is conclusive.

You may download the documents found in the “Audition Application Documents” box above, fill out the application online on this website,
or contact:

All materials and documents are to be submitted online. Applicants may
download forms to assist them in preparing their applications.

Musical Merit Foundation 619.752.4741 (voicemail)
Dr. Arlie Langager, Auditions Chair 619.752.4741

Please note that applications are due one month prior to the Auditions, as indicated above.



  • All instrumentalists must have reached age 16 or be a graduating high school senior, and not have reached age 24 on the date of the Final auditions.
  • Vocalists must have reached age 18 or be a graduating high school senior, and not have reached age 32 on the date of the Final auditions.


  • FIRST TIME APPLICANTS and those who have not passed through to the Finals:
    An applicant who is participating in the PRELIMINARY auditions must be a resident of San Diego County, Imperial County, or Baja California del Norte for a minimum of one year at the time of the preliminary auditions—OR—have been a full-time registered student (12 semester units) in a college or university in the above geographic area since the preceding September. Proof of full-time registration must be enclosed with application.
    Residency requirements do not apply to participants in the FINAL auditions.


The following items must be submitted with ALL Audition Applications:

  • Application fee: $15.00 non refundable.
  • Each applicant shall fill out the Musical Merit audition application.
  • Each applicant shall list the precise title and identifying opus numbers of all compositions to be performed. Information must also list time length of each piece and movement, keys and movement titles where appropriate, and must be approved by your teacher.
  • To assist the Audition Chairman, each applicant shall provide photocopies of the first page of music for each composition and movement to be performed on the audition.

    Please note that FIRST TIME APPLICANTS and those who have not passed through to the Finals must also submit the following for the PRELIMINARY Auditions. The teacher's letter of recommendation will be sent under separate cover, by the teacher, but all other items including those listed above must be submitted with the Audition Application:

  • A letter of recommendation from his/her private music teacher, to be sent directly to the Auditions Chairman.
  • Submit a short statement of his/her musical goals.
  • A transcript of credit from the school last attended.


  • Applicant shall furnish his/her own accompanist, if needed, who should arrive with the applicant.
  • Preliminary audition participants are expected to present exactly the same repertoire program should they be chosen to compete in that year’s Finals.
  • No Final Auditions applicant may present compositions prepared for Musical Merit auditions in prior years (with the exception regarding operatic arias listed under Required Audition Music/Voice).
    · APPLICANTS MUST PROVIDE ORIGINAL, PRINTED SCORES OF ALL MUSIC TO BE PERFORMED FOR THE USE OF THE JUDGES AT EACH LEVEL OF THE COMPETITION. If your music is downloaded, the pages must have the ‘permission for use’ designation, and if printing from a repertoire CD, you must provide the original CD.
  • Applicants will be notified of audition times at least one week prior to the date of the audition. Those Preliminary participants who pass through to the Finals, will be notified of their Finals audition on the evening of their Preliminary audition.
  • Participants in the Final auditions are urged to keep the entire audition day free, so the judges may call them back should they require a second hearing for final deliberation.
  • All prizes will be awarded at the Awards Concert on the day following the auditions, which will be held at the
    FUMC - First United Methodist Church of San Diego
    2111 Camino del Rio South
    San Diego, California 92108


  • Please note the different residency requirements and audition application materials necessary for FIRST TIME applicants including those applying to return to the PRELIMINARY auditions as opposed to those who have previously passed through to the FINAL Auditions.
  • Contestants who have previously passed the Preliminary auditions need not appear in preliminaries again (unless their performance medium has changed)
  • Singers may participate in the FINALS for a maximum of TEN (10) years.
  • All applicants must submit to Musical Merit a photo and bio as part of their profile when they register for auditions. Applicants may update their profiles at musicalmerit.wildapricot.org.


Following the FINAL auditions, the Board of Directors of the Musical Merit Foundation meets to determine the amount to be awarded based upon the judges ratings. On the following day winners perform at the Awards Concert where they receive their monetary awards and the winner of the Aspen award is announced.