The Overture Awards

The Overture Awards is a program that recognizes and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12. Its mission is to encourage arts education as an integral part of a student’s academic experience and to create an environment that encourages training in, and appreciation of, the arts.

The Overture Awards Competition is the area’s largest solo arts competition and offers awards in six artistic disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, theater, visual art, and vocal music.

2025 Overture Awards Timeline

Applications for the 2025 Overture Awards will open September 6. Check back in early August for more information about the 2025 competition.

Congratulations 2024 Overture Awards Winners!


• Grade 12, School for Creative and Performing Arts
• Just Off Broadway
Isabella started her artistic journey at age nine, under the direction of Daryl Bjoza and Sara Swinehart at the School for Creative and Performing Arts. She has performed numerous lead roles at SCPA. Her dream is to pursue a BFA degree in college and share her talents with the world.


• Grade 12, William Mason High School
Hailey has been scribbling stories and poems for as long as she could hold a pencil. Her writing has won her six awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Outside of poetry, she channels her love of words into public speaking and is the President of her school's Model UN team.


• Grade 12, William Mason High School
Christy has been playing the violin since the age of six and now plans to pursue music professionally. She has won top prizes in numerous competitions, most recently the 2023 Sejong Music Competition, the 2023 Matinee Musicale Scholarship Competition, and the 2023-24 Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. Christy has been featured on National Public Radio's From The Top radio show with host Peter Dugan.


• Grade 12, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
• Musical Arts Center
• Cincinnati Music Academy
Natalie's favorite roles include Portia in Something Rotten, Evie in Disney's Descendants, Annie in Annie, and Molly Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher. For four years, Natalie was in the Young Artist Preparatory Program for young opera singers. She was an Overture Awards Semi-Finalist in Vocal Music in 2021. Natalie wishes to thank her vocal teacher, Karl Resnik, and acting coach, Gina Cerimele-Mechley, for their expertise, kindness and support.


• Grade 12, William Mason High School
Ellen has enjoyed creating art for over six years in many different media, including painting and sculpture. As an artist, she received a perfect score on the AP 2-D Art and Design Portfolio and a Gold Key on the Scholastics Art Portfolio. Ellen's dream is to be an installation artist. Outside of art, Ellen enjoys Chinese traditional dance, calligraphy, and reading.


• Grade 12, Dixie Heights High School
• Talia Zoll Studio of Music
Ella recently placed fi rst in the regional Schmidt Vocal Competition and third in the 2023 Matinee Musicale competition, and is a two-time Overture Awards finalist. She loves participating in her school's musicals, the May Festival Youth Chorus, and Dixie’s chamber choir. Ella hopes to double major in music education and vocal performance. She would like to thank her voice teacher, Talia, for the support and guidance throughout the years.

Arts Educator Award

The Arts Educator Award promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout Greater Cincinnati. Students nominate an educator through video submission that describes the impact the educator has had on his/her students. The winner will be announced at the Overture Awards Final Competition & Awards Ceremony.

2024 Overture Awards Recipients 

John Ingram, Private Instructor
Discipline: Instrumental Music
Nominated by John Paul Shannon

Lincoln Chapman, Musical Arts Center
(posthumous nominee)
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by Alice Pooley and Sabine Huhn

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Past Overture Awards Winners and Finalists