With 28 contestants in its 28th year, the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) has pivoted to present the competition online for worldwide and local audiences to ensure safety for audiences and artists during this time of COVID-19. Performances will broadcast online at 7 p.m. Eastern Time each evening throughout the competition, slated for Feb. 9-19, 2021. The Semifinals on Feb. 17 and 18. The competition will conclude with the Final Round on Feb. 19. Continuing the annual tradition of its Judge’s Concert, the ATC will present a special concert on Feb. 16, also at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, featuring performances by this year’s judges: two-time Tony nominee, singer, actress, songwriter and recording artist Kate Baldwin; Grammy winner, nominee, and acclaimed jazz vocalist, Kurt Elling; and Grammy nominee and renowned opera singer Lawrence Brownlee. This concert will also feature exclusive interviews with each judge.
Audiences can purchase tickets for this virtual event via the direct competition’s link https://virtualatc.americantraditionscompetition.com or visit the ‘Virtual ATC 2021’ section of the ATC website at www.americantraditionscompetition.com/virtualatc. The $50 ticket grants access to the entire competition and only one subscription is needed per household.
This annual competition features some of the best vocal performers from across the world. The ATC brings a high caliber of performers as many of the contestants and past medalists have remarkable musical accomplishments including a NAACP Image Award nomination in the Outstanding New Artist category for 2019 Gold Medalist Mykal Kilgore, a Grammy Nomination for Best Arrangement for Cyrille Aimée, and several performances at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, and Broadway. Past winners include Mykal Kilgore, Tituss Burgess, Morgan James, Michael Maliakel and Julie Benko.
All 28 contestants chosen for the ATC will be awarded a cash prize. Every quarterfinalist receives $300 for being selected by the ATC and semifinalists each receive $600. The first-place ATC Gold Medal Award winner receives $12,000 and a paid solo performance with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, sponsored by Elizabeth Oxnard. The runner-up will receive the Silver Medal and $6,000 sponsored by Diana Langer. The third-place Bronze Medal Award of $3,000 is sponsored by Daniel Cohen. The fourth-place prize of $1,200 is sponsored by Susan and Ron Whitaker, and Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic sponsor the fifth-place prize of $1,200.
The Johnny Mercer Award for best Johnny Mercer performance is sponsored by The Friends of Johnny Mercer, Inc. and Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus. This award of $750 will be awarded for songs performed during the quarterfinal or semifinal rounds. The Sherrill Milnes Opera Award winner will receive $500, co-sponsored by Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves with Barry and Naomi Cohen, for the best American aria. The $500 Ben Tucker Jazz Award is presented for the best jazz performance and is given by Mrs. Gloria Tucker in honor of her late husband’s legacy and is sponsored by the Dr. David A. and Dr. Margaret M Cohen Charitable Foundation. One quarterfinalist and one semifinalist not advancing to the next round will be presented with the $500 Richard Chambless’ People’s Choice Award. This award is given by Swann Seiler in memory of her dear friend, Richard Chambless.
“Although we were unable to hold our competition live and in person, like so many events in this very strange year, we are committed to honoring and preserving American music, and the best way for us to continue that is to continue our annual competition for its 28th consecutive year. While many of us are tired of virtual events, these singers are not simply performing in front of their cameras, they are actively competing for one of the largest financial prizes in American vocal competitions. These folks are performing! They are engaging, making bold choices, and they’re funny, too! What better way to bring people together at the start of 2021 than through the rich expanse of classic American song,” said Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “We here at the ATC send our greatest thanks to our sponsors, our judges, our pianists and singers for taking this leap with us.”
The ATC held annually in Savannah, Georgia, encourages participation from artists all over the country in hopes to celebrate and protect the unique styles of classic American music. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts institution seeks to educate and engage people of all ages in the Savannah area to respect and love various genres of music through community performances and school workshops. In addition to ATC’s community-driven service initiatives, they award over $35,000 in cash prizes during their vocal competition to serve their mission.
For more information about this annual vocal competition or how to get tickets for the event, please visit: