2023 Saengerbund Awards

Now in its 139th year, the Houston Saengerbund is the oldest continuously operating musical organization in the city of Houston. The Saengerbund Awards are given yearly to encourage and support rising professional singers on the verge of a national career.


About Us

The Saengerbund Awards began in 2016. Since that time the support for the contest has grown, and we are able to offer greater prizes to the winners. This year the prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize - $5,000
  • 2nd Prize - $4,000
  • 3rd Prize - $3,000
  • Finalist Awards - $2,000
  • Audience Favorite - $500

Professionally Judged

Past judges have included coaches, casting directors and conductors from the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Houston Grand Opera, as well as leaders from other regional symphonies and opera companies.


Strong Competition

Past winners of the Saengerbund Awards have appeared with major companies throughout the USA and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and many others.


Past Winners


Luke Sutliff

2022 - 1st Prize

  • Houston Opera Studio, 2021-2023
  • Dancairo, Carmen - Santa Fe Opera, 2022
  • Elder McLean, Susannah - Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Johanna Will

2022 - 2nd Prize

  • Tatiana, Eugene Onegin - Music Academy of the West, 2022
  • Gerda Lissner Award, 2021
  • Countess, Le Nozze di Figaro - Merola Opera Program, 2020

Courtney Jameson

2022 - 3rd Prize

  • Dorabella, Cosí fan tutte- Opera Memphis, 2022
  • Alto Soloist, Beethoven 9th - New West Symphony, 2022
  • Alto Soloist, Mozart Requiem - Rhodes College, 2022

Elena Villalon


  • Susanna, Le Nozze di Figaro - Houston Grand Opera
  • Gretel, Hänsel und Gretel - The Dallas Opera
  • Nannetta, Falstaff - Santa Fe Opera

Erin Wagner


  • Naumburg Foundation First Prize, 2021
  • Renee Fleming Artist - Aspen Music Festival
  • Houston Grand Opera Studio Artist

William Guanbo Su


  • Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Winner, 2019
  • 2nd - Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera, 2019
  • 1st - Liederkranz Foundation’s Song/Lieder Competition, 2017

Entry Rules

Limited to young adults aged 21-32

Three selections from German opera, oratorio, operetta, Lieder, folk song, cabaret or musical theatre. All selections must be sung in German.

Deadline: Entry fee of $20 paid by November 15, 2022.

3-Minute video excerpt due by November 15, 2022.

Semi-Finalists will be notified by December 1, 2022.

Semi-Finalists will send a complete recording of a contrasting selection, due December 15, 2022.

Finalists will be notified by January 2, 2023.

Finalists will compete in the Finals Concert in Houston on February 25, 2023.

A travel stipend will be provided by the Houston Saengerbund.


Auditions for the 2022 contest have closed!

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