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, theatre, visual art, and vocal music.

Congratulations 2023 Overture Awards Recipients!



  • Grade 11, William Mason High School

Anna is co-editor-in-chief of her school's literary magazine and a varsity member of its academic team. Her poetry has won three Scholastic Art and Writing silver keys, and Anna's second love, painting, has most recently been recognized with a gold key. In her writing, she marries her love for art and art history with a vivid passion for language.



  • Grade 11, Ursuline Academy
  • Studies at Movement Emporium

Ying Lei trains at Movement Emporium in many genres of dance. She also enjoys learning and being exposed to other styles of choreography at conventions. She has won numerous awards, scholarships, and titles, both regionally and nationally. As a dedicated student, she intends to pursue a double major to focus on both dance and academics in college.



  • Grade 12, Wyoming High School

Ari is a seventeen-year-old cellist and has practiced the instrument for the past fourteen years. At age six, he debuted at Carnegie Hall as winner of the AFA String Competition. He has journeyed to Germany, Switzerland, and numerous states to advance his proficiency on the cello. Ari has performed on NPR’s From The Top radio show with hosts Tessa Lark and Peter Dugan. He will perform the fi rst movement of Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual “Side by Side” concert in April.



  • Grade 10, Notre Dame Academy

  • Studies at Slater Music Academy

Chanduni has had a passion for singing since she was very young. She decided to try out taking part in musicals at summer camps and schools, and soon learned that people seemed to enjoy her acting skills as well. Now, she is taking every opportunity she can to bring her closer to her Broadway dreams.



  • Grade 12, William Mason High School

Michelle is a senior at Mason High School and loves creating art in all forms and mediums, including colored pencil, posca pens, and acrylic. In college, she hopes to combine her interests in STEM and the arts through engineering and studying an interdisciplinary fi eld such as product design. One of her favorite pastimes is sleeping, although she also is also known for painting in her bathroom at 2:00 AM.



  • Grade 12, School for Creative and Performing Arts

Sophia began studying the upright bass in seventh grade. She performs in her high school's Jazz and Symphony Orchestras. Her Jazz director encouraged her to study voice. Sophia is the principal bassist for CSO's Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the bassist and vocalist for CCM Prep's Youth Jazz Orchestra. She was awarded Outstanding Vocal Soloist at the Essentially Ellington competition in 2022. Sophia is pursuing a Jazz Studies Degree in college.

Congratulations 2023 Arts Educator Recipients!

WINNER: Hong Cheng, Hong Cheng Violin Studio
Discipline: Instrumental Music
Nominated by Vivian Chang

FINALIST: Kathy Cammett, The Golden Voice Studio
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by Luis Vega-Torres

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

2023 Overture Awards Finalists

2023 Overture Awards Finalists


2023 Overture Awards Timeline

  • Applications Open: September 19, 2022

  • Submission Deadline: December 13, 2022

  • Semi-Finalists Notified: January 17, 2023

  • Finalists Notified: February 21, 2023

  • Overture Awards Rehearsal: March 24, 2023

  • Overture Awards Finals: March 25, 2023

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. The winner of the 2023 award will receive $1,000, and two finalists will receive $500. Applications open September 19. Deadline: January 27, 2023.

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Past Overture Awards Winners and Finalists