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The Masters of Musical Whistling International Competition and Festival is the only event in the United States

bringing together the best whistlers in the world to compete for the title of World Champion Whistler. Former champions compete against undiscovered talent in adjudicated concerts

featuring popular and classical compositions. 



Barnsdall Gallery Theater



Audition Submission: All contestants must be accepted through the audition process outlined on our Audition page

Registration Payment: Due July 1, 2019. Late fees apply after 7/1/19.

Registration Submission: All accepted contestants will be sent a registration form that is required to complete in order to compete. (Due July 31, 2019)

Music Submission: Once registration and payment are submitted, MMW will provide details for submitting music. (Due July 31, 2019)

Song Length: Each song may be a maximum of 5 minutes in length and a minimum of 2 minutes.

Prepare Two Songs: Prepare a minimum of 2 songs per division in order to have a backup. We try to avoid duplicate songs within each division, and you may be required to choose your alternate- you will be notified in advance if this is the case. Duplicate selections will be determined on a  first-come, first-served basis. (Whistlers will perform only one song in each division entered.)

Fees: $100 for the 1st division and $75 for each additional division. Payment is due with registration. E.g. Two divisions total $175 ($100 + $75); All five divisions total $400 ($100 + $75x4). If you would like to receive your scores and judges' notes - a $25 processing fee applies.

Late Fee: Late registration (after July 1, 2019) will incur a  late fee - due with registration. 

No Refunds: Registration fees are non-refundable for any reason.

Divisions: Contestants may perform in up to four divisions, which may include:

1. Live Band Accompaniment - Popular (World Exclusive Competition Division- starring  Stage 3 Contestants Only)

2. Pre-Recorded Accompaniment - Classical (Stage 2 & 3)

3. Pre-Recorded Accompaniment - Popular (Stage 1 &2)

4. Self-Accompaniment (aka "Hikifuki") - Classical or Popular (e.g. whistling with guitar, keyboard, etc.)

5. Allied Arts - Classical or Popular (Whistling combined with another performing art/artist - e.g. singing, duets, etc.)

Awards: Winners of each division will receive awards. To qualify for the highest award of World Champion Whistler, you must be a Stage 3 contestant and must compete in the Live Band and Classical Divisions.

Stages: There are three stages or levels of competition. See Audition page for details. NoteOnly Stage 3 contestants are able to compete in the Live Band Division and are eligible to win the title of World Champion Whistler.

Dress: Professional, performance attire only. Semi-formal preferred. No casual wear during performances.

Mandatory Rehearsal and Orientation: ALL contestants must attend Orientation on 8am, Friday, August 23, 2019. Live Band contestants must also attend a mandatory rehearsal on Friday afternoon with the band during the Whistlers Mixer.

Contact: Communications should be sent to

Contestant Schedule: Here

Pasadena Hotels: Here

Pasadena Restaurants: Here

Airports: Closest Regional- Burbank "Bob Hope" Airport; International - LAX International Airport








  • Features Classical and/or Popular music selections chosen by the performer. 

    • "Classical" compositions should consist of music written in the European tradition during a period lasting approximately from approximately 1750-1880 when forms such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata were standardized. (Do your research and then if you have questions regarding whether your classical composition meets the requirements, please email us directly.)

    • "Popular" music is any music other than "Classical" - such as Country, Blues, Pop, Jazz, etc. International music is accepted.

  • Contestants do NOT have to compete with the same song they auditioned with.

  • When competing in both Popular and Classical Divisions, contestants will perform both songs consecutively, during their turn.

  • The top-scoring contestant will receive an award. 



  • Contestants must provide .ai or .wav files of backtracks in advance (July 15, 2019).

  • NO VOCALS or whistling allowed on backtracks (20% point reduction).

  • NO INSTRUMENTAL MELODY LINES on backtrack (25% point reduction). Ensure that your backtrack does not too closely mirror your whistling tones (e.g. flute music must not be playing the same melody as the whistler throughout the song). Judges need to be able to distinguish whistling from recording. Points will not be deducted for normal, moderate overlap. Example of what NOT to do.

  • 5 minutes maximum and 2 minimum for each song.



The MMW is the first competition to award a World Champion title determined by Live Band Accompaniment


  • Your video audition was the first level of competition.

  • Stage 3 contestants will not have an opportunity to compete in the Popular Pre-Recorded  Division.

  • Whistlers may perform any Popular composition of their choosing. 

    • "Popular" music is any music other than "Classical" - such as Country, Blues, Pop, Jazz, etc.

    • While we recognize that popular music comes from around the world,  international compositions may not be accepted. Your song must utilize a European/American musical scale. (You will be notified if there is a problem with your song choice.)

    • Our professional piano, bass, and percussion musicians will accompany you during your performance.

  • Requires rehearsal with the band on Friday, August 23, 2019.

    • You will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes to rehearse with the band.

    • Time is very limited. If you have provided the correct reference music, in the correct key and style, the rehearsal process will be simple and swift. 

    • You will be given your mandatory audition time at orientation.

    • Missed rehearsal will result in disqualification.

    • The top-scoring contestant will receive an award. 



Our musical director will create a custom music chart for the band accompanying you during the competition. 


  • You must upload the following details on the Contestant Form. 

  • You will submit video links reflecting the SONG, ARRANGEMENT, STYLE, and KEY that you want to perform with the band.

    • Option A: If you have a link to a video/song in the exact Arrangement, Style, and Key:

      • You will submit a single link to the song you wish to perform. 

    • Option B: If you do not have a single video reflecting the exact way you want to perform the song:

      • You will submit multiple links for your song, which reflect each of the following:

        1. Arrangement

        2. Style

        3. Key

        • You may submit a link to a video of yourself whistling the song, in the Arrangement, Style, and/or Key as you wish to perform. 

        • It may be acapella or with background music.

        • You may record this on your phone or another device. 

        • Example: Submit an original Frank Sinatra video link of "Mac the Knife" which demonstrates the arrangement you like and also a video of you whistling it in the key you wish to perform it in.

  • In addition:

    • You may submit piano music or additional chord charts if you wish.

    • A professional band chart of your song will be created by our musical director and made available for purchase $75.




  • The MMW is dedicated to promoting whistling as a fine art instrument. While we respect all types of music, we ask that competitors choose music that reflect our intention. Chirping and bird sounds, while a talent in itself, may be acceptable only if used as minimal ornamentation.

  • Please consult your local agency regarding visa requirements. Unfortunately, MMW cannot assist in visa and/or governmental logistics.

  • Some hotel  information is provided. We do not have any block rooms on reserve. Pasadena, CA has quite a few hotels and motels for you to reserve. is also an excellent resource to find a room, apartment, or house to rent nearby. You may want to reach out to other whistlers to see who is interested in sharing rooms or rides.

  • We will provide limited space for you to sell your own CDs and swag. No cashier or security guard will be provided.

  • Your participation means you agree to be recorded and photographed. Content may be published for promotional reasons.

  • We may have a video recording of the concert available for purchase after the event. TBD.



    The following information is for reference only.


  • Technical Ability Rhythmic and note accuracy, breath support, dynamics, and shading, ability to perform the selection with the technique it requires. Is the tone pleasing and appropriate for the music at hand?

  • Musicality and Interpretation – Musicality, expressiveness, phrasing, dynamics, emotional import, communicative power. Appropriate use of legato, staccato, rubato, portamento, etc… Is the whistling style appropriate for the selection?

  • Stage Presence and Professionalism – Audience engagement, microphone technique, performance style, appearance, presentation, showmanship. Do you feel a connection to the performer? Do the energy and musicianship reach out and grab you?

    • Judges will be given bonus points to attribute to their top choice winners, in order to ensure that the judging is accurate and the win is given to the judges favorite.

    • Contestants are not promised an opportunity to see their scores. We will do our best to accommodate you.



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