Minnesota Varsity showcases the top high-school musical talent from Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s terrestrial broadcast area (includes parts of MN, WI, ND, SD, ID and the UP of Michigan). Teens in these regions are invited to compete in Minnesota Varsity as performers or as composers.
For six seasons ACF has partnered with Minnesota Public Radio to offer this distinctive composition contest for students ages 14-18 and grades 9-12. Students submit one original piece for the selected instrumentation, which changes each year to offer new creative challenges. The composer mentor and panel of performers play through all the submissions and select five students who advance to the featured round of the competition, where they participate in a full day of coaching and workshopping their pieces, plus recording interviews at MPR’s Studio M. After their edits are turned in and reviewed, two composers are selected for the Showcase Concert, a live radio broadcast from Ted Mann Concert Hall, which is later available to stream on the MPR website.
2018 Featured Composers
Ronan Armstrong, Richfield, MN
Sam Hanson, St. Paul, MN
Madeline Pape, New Brighton, MN
Reid Spreiter, Mantorville, MN
Isadora White, Minneapolis, MN
Special thanks to Carol Barnett, our 2018 composer mentor – and the performer panel of University of Minnesota DMA candidates: Robert Wakeley, flute; Rina Sugawara, clarinet; and Rodrigo Lima, alto saxophone!
Click below to watch composition videos about each instrument, and to go behind the scenes with MN Varsity showcase composers.
Instrumentation varies each year, and in past seasons students have composed for:
- 2018 concert: flute, clarinet, alto saxophone
- 2017 concert: trumpet, cello, piano
- 2016 concert: violin, viola, cello & tenor voice
- 2015 concert: piano, french horn, clarinet
- 2014 concert: piano, cello, violin
- 2013 concert: flute, oboe, clarinet
Teen musicians: what original melodies and textures can you imagine for flute, clarinet & saxophone? A solo, a duet, a trio? All the combinations are available to you in this year’s Minnesota Varsity composer category, and we’re eager to hear what you create!
Teen composers (ages 14-18 and grades 9-12) are invited to submit one original score (3-7 minutes in length) for any combination of the specific instruments listed below. To participate, read all the rules and apply online here: https://www.classicalmpr.org/topic/minnesota-varsity.
- Monday, 12/4/2017 @ 9:00am: the final deadline to submit your composition. Late entries are NOT accepted.
- Saturday, 2/24/2018: Mentoring Day in Saint Paul
- Sunday, 5/13/2018: Showcase Concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall
This season’s instrumentation
will be three performers:
You may compose/submit a trio for all three players; a duet (flute and clarinet; flute and alto sax, clarinet and alto sax); or an unaccompanied solo for flute, piccolo, clarinet, or alto saxophone. Music for any other instruments will not be accepted for this year’s competition.