2023 Composition Competition Info


  • Sempre Musick’s goal is to provide young musicians with new music to learn and perform, created by their contemporaries.
  • This Composition Competition encourages the creation of original music composed for performance by early intermediate – advanced performers.


  • Composition may be in any style and approximately 5 minutes in duration or less.
  • Previously created / performed works are acceptable.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed.
  • International applicants are eligible.
  • Applicants are welcome to apply to multiple Sempre Musick events.

Composition Categories

Compositions should fit in one of the following categories:

  • An original solo work for any instrument.
  • An original solo work for any instrument (including voice), with accompaniment, including piano, small string or wind ensemble of up to 5 players.
  • A chamber work for 2 to 5 players.

Age Categories

Applicants will be divided by age as of January 1: 
  • Elementary (10 and younger)
  • Junior (11-14)
  • Senior (15-18)
  • Collegiate (19-24)
  • Adult (25 and older)

Submission Format

  • Standard sheet music format. (No tablature will be accepted.)
  • Submissions in Sibelius or Finale are preferred, but not mandatory. A PDF printout of the composition should accompany the Sibelius or Finale files.
  • PDFs of clean and legible manuscripts without digital versions will also be accepted.
  • Measures of the composition must be numbered at the beginning of each system.
  • Audio and/or video recordings of submitted compositions are encouraged, but optional.

Deadlines and Dates

  • Application and submission deadline: October 1.
  • Results will be announced on or around November 1.


  • $50 per submission.  
  • Multiple submissions are allowed. Separate fee applies for each submission. 
  • An additional fee will apply for composition performance (depending on length and instrumentation).
  • All fees paid are non-refundable.

Awards and Prizes

  • All contestants will receive certificates of participation and comments from our judge(s).
  • Cash prize(s) of up to $300 will be awarded for outstanding compositions.  
  • Honorable Mentions will be awarded.  
  • One or more selected winners will have their work performed with the Sempre Musick Orchestra or by a Sempre Musick musician in the fall 2023 – summer 2024 season (additional performance fee will apply). The composer will be requested to provide the score and parts in PDF format, their biography, and any program notes.


  • At its discretion, Sempre Musick may request a re-submission or reject illegible manuscripts.
  • No changes may be made to a composition after submission.
  • Decisions of competition judges are final and may not be contested.
  • Each entrant certifies that the composition is an original work, and the score was produced by the entrant.
  • Winners grant Sempre Musick unremunerated one-time performance rights to their composition. Applicants retain all other rights to their work.
Additional details may be added closer to the event.
Provide your email to find out once registration for our 2023 events becomes available.