Kennedy Center VSA Young Soloists Award

Scholarship Value: $2,000
Awards Available: 4

Each year outstanding musicians with disabilities from around the world are selected to participate in the VSA International Young Musicians Program. This opportunity is open to soloists and ensembles of any instrument or genre including classical, jazz, hip-hop, rock and more!

Calling musicians with disabilities, ages 14-25!

Each year outstanding disabled musicians from around the world are selected to participate in the VSA International Young Musicians Program. In addition to receiving a $2,000 award, these talented young musicians (ages 14-25)  participate in professional development and performance opportunities provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

This program is open to U.S. and international musicians (soloists or ensembles) of any genre or instrument, including voice. Multiple winners will be selected by a panel of music professionals.

Learn more and apply online by Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How old do you have to be to enter?

A: You must be between 14 and 25 years old at the time of the application deadline to be eligible.

Q: I’m in a band, does that count?

A: Yes! Any musical ensemble, including bands, of two to five members can enter so long as all members meet the age requirements and at least one member of the ensemble has a disability.

Q: What type of musical selections should I submit?

A: We suggest the following guidelines for selecting musical submissions:

  • Video files are suggested but not required. It is not necessary to have your video or audio professionally recorded, but the audio quality should be high.
  • Each uploaded file should be a recording of one piece only (multiple movements for a piece are fine).
  • Each recording should be 10 minutes or less in length.
  • Selected pieces should represent your current musicianship and repertoire. Recordings should be relatively recent (no more than 1 year old).
  • Winners perform live. Submit recordings that accurately represent a live performance space.

Q: What qualifies as a disability?

A: Disability is a broad umbrella that covers a variety of lived experiences. Eligible young musicians may have visible, physical, and/or sensory conditions, as well as less visible conditions like anxiety, ADHD, chronic illness/pain, PTSD, dyslexia, neurodivergence, and more. Review definitions of disability associated with the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act.

Q: Will 2024 program activities take place in person?

A: The safety of all program participants is of the utmost importance. Performance and professional development opportunities will take place virtually and/or in person as conditions allow.

Q: I need more information. How do I contact VSA?

A: For more information or to request application materials in an alternative format, we can be reached at 202-416-8898 (voice) or via e-mail at vsainfo@kennedy-center.org.

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