2024 Composition Competition Info

Sempre Musick proudly announces the 2024 Composition Competition, featuring a new orchestral category open to all ages. This prestigious event invites composers to showcase their talent, with winning compositions performed by Sempre Musick musicians. Registration opens on September 1.

2024 Composition Competition Details

In 2023, seven winning compositions were selected for performance by Sempre Musick musicians. View the complete list of 2023 winners here.

New for 2024 is an orchestral category with no age restrictions.

Registration will open September 1. Sign up to receive updates!

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About

Winners will be selected in two categories:

  • Composition for Orchestra: one winner, open to all ages. 
  • Composition for Solo and / or Ensemble: three age categories, based on applicant’s age as of January 1, 2024:
    • 10-14 years old
    • 15-18 years old
    • 18 and older

Prizes

  • Winning compositions will be performed live by the Sempre Musick Orchestra or by Sempre Musick musician(s) in the 2025 season. 
  • Winners will receive award certificates. 
  • Cash prize(s) of up to $500 will be awarded for outstanding compositions.  
  • Honorable Mentions will be awarded at the discretion of the judges. 

Composition for Orchestra

  • Orchestral work, designed to be conducted. 
  • Duration: up to eight (8) minutes long.
  • Instrumentation may include only the instruments listed below. It is suggested, but not required, to use all of the instruments:
    • Strings: First Violins, Second Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double Bass
    • Woodwinds: Flute (1), Oboe (1), Clarinet (1), Bassoon (1)
    • Brass: Trumpet (1), French Horn (1)
    • Percussion: Timpani (1)
    • Piano (1)

Composition for Solo and / or Ensemble

  • Duration: up to five (5) minutes long. 
  • Submitted compositions should satisfy one of the following:
    • Original solo work for any instrument.
    • Original work for any solo instrument with piano or string ensemble accompaniment.
    • Chamber work for 2 to 5 players.
  • Instrumentation: up to a total of 5 instruments from the below list. The required quantity of any instrument must not exceed the stated number:
    • Strings: Violin (4), Viola (2), Cello (2), Double Bass (1)
    • Woodwinds: Flute (1), Oboe (1), Clarinet (1), Bassoon (1)
    • Brass: Trumpet (1) French Horn (1)
    • Percussion: Timpani (1)
    • Piano (1)

Eligibility

  • A maximum of five (5) submissions are allowed per applicant. A separate application fee applies for each submitted composition.
  • Works previously created, performed and / or published in 2019 or later are accepted.
  • International applicants are eligible.
  • Applicants are eligible to apply to multiple Sempre Musick events.
  • Prepared instrument techniques (to include unconventional tunings, objects placed within instruments or between the strings) are prohibited. 

Submission Format

  • Standard sheet music format. (No tablature will be accepted.)
  • Submissions in Sibelius or Finale are preferred, but not mandatory. A printable PDF 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.
  • MIDI, audio, and/or video recordings of submitted compositions are encouraged, but optional.
  • Filenames should only contain English characters (spaces, dashes, underscores, numbers are allowed).

Deadlines and Dates

  • Application and submission deadline: November 1.
  • Results will be announced after December 1.
  • Within four weeks after the announcement of results, the winning composers will be requested to provide their composition score and individual instrument parts in PDF format, their biography and photo, and any program notes. 

Application Fee

  • $25 per submission. 
  • A maximum of five (5) submissions are allowed per applicant. 
  • A separate application fee applies for each submitted composition. 
  • All fees paid are non-refundable. 

Rules

  • Decisions of the competition judges are final.
  • At its discretion, Sempre Musick may request a re-submission or reject illegible manuscripts.
  • No changes may be made to a composition after submission.
  • Each applicant certifies that the submitted composition is an original work and that the score was produced by the applicant.
  • The winners grant Sempre Musick unremunerated one-time performance rights to their composition, and allow Sempre Musick to use the recording of the performance for marketing and publicity purposes. Applicants retain all other rights to their work.
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