Vocal, Instrumental, Dance

Talent Show's Mission

Asian Youth Talent Competition aims to provide Asian American youth a professional platform to get discovered and developed.


  • In partnership with American Fine Arts Festival
  • Sponsored by Steinway & Sons Los Altos
  • Showcase of Asian American Youth talent
  • Encouragement and positive experience for all contestants
  • Inspiration through Judges mentoring
  • Support for under-privileged students in China rural area
  • Covers San Francisco, Peninsula, South Bay, East Bay & Central Valley
  • Professional Media Coverage reporting student, family and companies
  • Connecting Bay Area Asian Americans
  • Funds raised - 65%: building schools in China, 35%: American scholarships


Winners & Prizes

  • Grand Prix performance at AFAF Carnegie Hall
  • Brevard Music Center Scholarship (up to $2000)
  • Cash Prize up to $500 & Trophy
  • Continuous Media Coverage
  • Recommendation Letter from Competition Committee
  • Ambassador For National and International Event
  • Summer Camp in China
  • Various others sponsored prizes

1st Place Winner

2nd Place Winner

3rd Place Winner

Honor Rolls

Application Steps


Step One

Record and submit a video hosted on Youtube by Feb 28, 2016.


Step Two

Share with the world and get feedback.


Step Three

Meet the Judge and interact with other contestants.

Preselection date

March 2016

Competition date

March 12, 2016

Competition Venue

Skyline College Theater
3300 College Dr
San Bruno, CA 94066


  • 1.8 million Asian American population in bay area
  • North bay, San Francisco, Peninsula, South bay, East bay, central valley
  • Top Asian population: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian


Asian American students, 6th to 12th grade


Vocal, Dance, Instrumental

To Apply



Message from Judge


Music enriches our lives in ways far beyond what we think. Through the vibration of sound, it reaches the heart and brings joy, encouragement, inspiration, healing, and even transforming thoughts beyond oneself. Great composers expressed ideas, emotions, experiences in life that connect us, fellow human beings, into a universal community, I was in Vienna once
listening to Mahler's 2nd symphony "Resurrection," performed by the Vienna Philharmonic. It was such a powerful performance that the audience burst out into thunderous applause after the last note. When I turned and looked around me, the lady next to me was also in tears. Our eyes met, and she said with her heavy Austrian accent, "I understand, I understand!"  Just minutes ago, we were total strangers, but through our mutual experience in music, the invisible line between us disappeared. We became friends! It is encouraging to hear the noble vision of SF Asian Youth Talent Competition to bring hope to underprivileged villages with new schools and care for their needs. I look forward to hearing young aspiring talents who will carry on the legacy of great composers whose art made this world a better place!


Lead Judge | American Fine Arts Festival Judge

Judges profile

Sandra Wright Shen

Lead Judge|AFAF Judge

Simone Bley

Pre-selection Chair, Owner of Myriad

Mitchell Klein

Music Director and Conductor of Peninsula Symphony

Daniel Stewart

Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony

Manhua Gao

Soloist, Soprano of critical acclaim

Annie Cao

Teacher, Vocal

Yang Yang

Principal Dancer

Jing Zhang

Soloist, Ballet San Jose

Nina O'Brien

Dance Instructor, Myriad

Sponsoring School

School Information

School Name Longkou Elementary School
Location   Linyi, Shandong
Built   1966
Teacher   8
Computer   none
Book   50
Classroom size   2,160 sq ft

Region Demographics

Average Annual Household Income
RMB4,000-5,000/year or $600-$800/year

Competition Rules


Please read carefully the following rules and regulations as failure to comply could result in disqualification.

ONLINE APPLICATION: All entries must be submitted online at no later than Feb 28, 2016. Each entry should include a link to the self recorded video clip hosted on youtube or vimeo with proper title, contestants information marked as “for SF Asian Youth Talent Competition”.

PAYMENTS and FEES: All application fees ($75 per contestant) must be paid via our online registration by credit card. No refunds will be issued under any circumstances.

The competition is open to individual performer or group performers for dance. It includes three (3) categories: vocal, instrumental, and dance. Each contestant may enter all categories, but limited to one per category.

AGE GROUPING: Group 1 includes 6th grade to 8th grade, group 2 includes 9th grade to 12th grade.

AGE DEADLINE: All ages deadlines are as of JANUARY 1, 2016.

DANCE: For Grades 6 - 12
Submit one high quality video recording (iphone movie is fine) hosted on Youtube or Vimeo, including the following elements:

Solo or Group Dance featuring Ballet elements, (point not necessary) OR elements from other style of dance, including but not limited to: Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. Asian ethnic dances are also accepted. Selection should be choreographed to music of your choice. Total length of submission not to exceed 4 minutes.

VOCAL: For Grades 6 - 9
Submit one high quality video recording (iphone movie is fine) hosted on Youtube or Vimeo, including the following elements:

Solo or group Voice (a cappella, or piano / guitar accompaniment is acceptable; karaoke accompaniment will not be accepted)
Singer will need to submit 2 selections (see styles below), with the total length of submission not to exceed 4 minutes. Performance is required to be memorized. Excerpts are acceptable.
1. One folk/art song
2. One musical theater or pop song (age-appropriate, clean lyric versions only)

VOCAL: For Grades 10 - 12
Submit one high quality video recording (iphone movie is fine) hosted on Youtube or Vimeo., including the following elements:

Solo or group Voice (acapella, or piano / guitar accompaniment is acceptable; karaoke accompaniment will not be accepted).
Singer will need to submit 2 selections (see styles below), with the total length of submission not to exceed 4 minutes. Performance is required to be memorized. Excerpts are acceptable.
1. One folk/art song in a foreign language (Italian or German preferred)
2. One musical theater or pop song (age-appropriate, clean lyric versions only)

INSTRUMENTAL: For Grades 6 - 12
Submit one high quality video recording (iphone movie is fine) hosted on Youtube or Vimeo.
Selections must be performed in their original form / instrumentation. Original scores (no photocopies) will be submitted by each contestant to the judges panel at the final round. Instrumental Solos (other than piano) can be accompanied by orchestral reductions on piano. If an accompaniment is needed, soloists will provide their own accompanists. Memorized performances are preferred but are not required for instrumentalists. Contestants will perform from memory one solo work, or one movement from a concerto.

Contestants may submit one selection by composers from the following historical periods:
1. Baroque
2. Classical
3. Romantic
4. Impressionism
5. 20th Century & Contemporary (including ragtime, jazz solo arrangements, pop solo arrangements, provided that written notation or lead sheets can be provided at the final round)

Total length of submission not to exceed 6 minutes.

FORMAT and LABELING: Contestants will be required to record their own music on a CD for pre-selection and final competition. There must be one routine per CD. All music should be recorded at proper speed. For emergencies, it is advisable to have a duplicate CD available. Each CD must be clearly labeled with the name of the routine, age division, and performer name.

VOCAL: Candidates will be evaluated on the following criteria:

- Technique: Posture, breath support, technical control, pitch accuracy and consistent tuning / centered pitch, articulation, dexterity
- Rhythm: Rhythmic precision, tempo consistency, or effective use of non-metered time. If using vocal percussion: Contribution to the musicality of the performance / use of advanced vocal technique
- Interpretation: Artistry interpretation (performance stays true to the style of the arrangement) vocal quality, phrasing, tempo, dynamics, originality of interpretation when stylistically appropriate. Interpretation is musically, lyrically and rhythmically interesting and conveys appropriate emotion. For modern / contemporary choices, evaluators are seeking interpretation beyond a direct copy of the professional version. Be original and tasteful.
- Arrangement: Choice of literature and appropriate difficulty level. Is the selection arranged within a range appropriate for singer's voice (avoids muddiness at low end of pitches / avoids vocal strain at high end)
- Performance Factors: Appearance / stage presence / poise / general conduct, memorization (required)

INSTRUMENTAL: Candidates will be evaluated on the following criteria:

- Technique: Posture, tension-free ergonomics, technical control, accuracy to printed pitches, articulation, dexterity, precision of attacks and releases, pedaling (for piano), breath support (for winds & brass), bowing technique (for string instruments), etc.
- Rhythm: accuracy of note and rest values, duration, pulse and steadiness of pulse, flow, meter accuracy, etc.
- Interpretation: Artistry interpretation, phrasing, tempo, dynamics, balance of melody to accompaniment, originality of interpretation when stylistically appropriate.
- Performance Factors: Choice of literature, appropriate appearance, poise, general conduct, memorization (preferred, but not required)

DANCE: Candidates will be evaluated on the following criteria:

- Originality of choreography
- Difficulty of selection
- Technique: control of body alignment and coordination of body parts within a range of body action; maintenance of stamina and control of muscular strength within a range of body actions
- Stylistic Interpretation / Composition: Varied use of level / direction / eye and body focus / dimension; selection of expressive movement vocabulary; expressive arrangement of movement vocabulary to create an appropriate formal structure; skill in the use of performance processes, practices and artistry to communicate the expressive intention to the audience
- Connection and Synchronicity
- Timing and Musicality
- Sportsmanship

1st Place Winners 6; 2nd Place Winners 6; 3rd Place Winners 6; Honor Roll 30.

ONLINE SCREENING: All online applications need to receive a minimum of 20 likes (referred to the likes on your applicant page, not youtube likes) in order to be considered for the preselection. All online applications will be selected by the competition online screening committee chaired by an experienced professional in the industry.

Preselection is planned for March of 2016. The venue and time of preselection will be announced on our web site in the news section. Selected contestants will be contacted through email with an invitation to join the preselection.

Final contestants will be invited to perform at the final competition at the following address:

Skyline College Theater

3300 Campus Dr
San Bruno, CA 94066

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 1:00p.m.

All candidates who got accepted into preselection will be invited to watch the Final Competition at no cost.

Semi formal with shoes. No tennis shoes allowed.

Can be any style, as long as technical elements are executed in time with the music. You will be judged only on the technical elements NOT your choreography.

*VIDEO TAPING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED (Disqualification could result.) If any one is found videoing in the competition auditorium Committee reserves the right to take the video tape or delete the video footage. Teachers, please inform your contestants and studio parents of this rule. However, NON FLASH photography is permitted.

JUDGE’S CRITIQUES: All candidates invited to the pre-selection and final competition will be able to access your score sheets and critiques via your dashboard on your online registration account.

Committee will select the following awards from the competition contestants:

Committee reserves the right to add additional competition days or move the competition location due to unforeseen circumstances. This also includes starting early on final competition date if necessary. Committee also bears the right to refuse entries at their discretion. If there is any disputes over the competition rules, the committee reserves the right to explain and modify the rules.