A Premier Vocal Competition for High School Students

Witness the performances of the most talented area teens from 10 Northeast Ohio counties in an “American Idol” style competition for a total of $18,500 in college scholarships.

Who will be this year’s winner?

After hundreds of audition reels reviewed and three rounds of callbacks, 10 talented teens and two alternatives are chosen for The Finals. Enjoy the ensemble performances and multi-genre solo songs as these extraordinary performers take center stage. Judges, who are accomplished music professionals, choose the top four winners. The live audience will also be a part of the excitement as you join the judges in voting for the winner.

A Northeast Ohio favorite since 2017, Shining Star CLE is now a program of Mandel JCC. You can expect the same amazing event as in previous years. In addition to showcasing the region’s top teen vocalists and providing scholarships to winners and schools, Shining Star CLE is the major fundraising event for Mandel JCC and supports a broad range of services including healthy aging adults, youth, arts and culture, and program scholarships.


2024 Co-Chairs

  • Marti and Jeff Davis
  • Michelle and Evan Hirsch
  • Susan and Robert Hurwitz
  • Hallie and Eric Kogelschatz
  • Drs. Marcy Schwartz and Daniel Simon
  • Adrienne and Harvey Siegel
  • Cathy and Dr. Jonathan Stamler
  • Jennifer and Neil Tramer
  • Judy and Steven Willensky

Monica Robins, WKYC

Artistic Director
Connor Bogart O’Brien

Celebrity Judges
Jules Belkin
Barry Gabel
Ben Frankhauser
Carl Topilow
Mariama Whyte

Event Sponsor

Encore Sponsors
Susi & Peter Meisel
Dr. Donald & Judy Schermer

Media Partners
WKYC Studios
Cleveland Jewish News

2023 At a Glance


128 # of Auditions

71 # of Schools

800 In-person Attendance

Watch Recap



All high school students who have a 2025-2028 graduation date and who live in the following counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne. Public, private and home-schooled students are eligible. All genres of music are encouraged and welcome, and participation is free.


  • 1st Place Winner - $10,000 college scholarship plus an invitation to perform with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra
  • 2nd Place Winner - $5,000 college scholarship
  • 3rd Place Winner - $2,500 college scholarship
  • 4th Place Winner - $1,000 college scholarship

Bonus Prizes - $2,500 to the high school music department of the 1st place winner. All winners will receive a one-year membership to The J.

The Auditions

  • Upload an audition video (three minutes max) of you singing your favorite song to:
  • Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or a cappella are preferred, but recorded accompaniment is allowed.
  • The online submission website will be open from April 1 through June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Shining Star CLE Leadership