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*More 2023 Updates Coming Soon

MMW 2023 coming September 22, 23, & 24

The Masters of Musical Whistling International Competition and Festival (MMW)

is the only whistling competition in the world featuring a live band division for our elite competitors.

Former champions compete against undiscovered talent in front of live audiences.


General Info 

When: September 22-24, 2023 - All Day

WhereBarnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood, California

Why: To celebrate and expand the art of whistling and self-expression

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

Registration Payment: Date TBD

Registration Submission: All accepted contestants will be sent a registration form that is required to complete in order to compete.

Music Submission: Once registration and payment are submitted, MMW will provide details for submitting music. 

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

*Exception for Level 1 - maximum length is 4 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.)

Registration 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). 

Late Fee: Late registration will incur a  late fee - due with registration. 

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

Levels: There are three levels of competition. See Audition page for details.

(Note: Only Level 3 contestants are able to compete in the Live Band Division and are eligible to win the title of "World Champion.")

Divisions: Contestants may perform in multiple divisions that they qualify for. See Audition page for details.

Awards: Winners of each division will receive awards. To qualify for the highest award of World Champion Whistler, you must be a LEVEL 3 contestant.

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, September 22, 2023. Live Band contestants must also attend a mandatory rehearsal on Friday September 22, 2023 afternoon.

AttendanceCompetitors are expected to attend the event until the end of the awards ceremony on Sunday night. Whistlers are encouraged to be in the audience during all levels of competition. Optional events, such as group dinners, will be included in the schedule.

Contact: Communications should be sent to

Airports:  LAX International Airport and Burbank "Bob Hope" Airport



Competitor Guidelines




  • 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 (DATE TBD).

  • 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 Whistling Competition to Determine the World Champion based on a Live Band Performance


  • Your video audition was the first level of competition.

  • LEVEL 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, September, 22 2023.

    • 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.



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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