Announcing the first New Music Composition Competition by the Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble – Call for Scores!

Application Deadline : May 29, 2020!


  • One first prize of $1500
  • One second prize of $1000
  • One third prize of $500

The award-winning works will be premiered at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota in the United States by the Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble under the direction of Gao Hong. The winning pieces will also be included in the release of the second album by the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble.


The Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble in the United States was established by pipa player and composer Gao Hong in 2004. Each academic year there are three concerts (autumn, winter and spring) at the college, as well as multiple performances in the community.  In 2008, Carleton College became the first higher education institution in the United States to offer BA degree for music majors using Chinese traditional instruments as their primary instruments.  In 2020, the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble will hold their first new music composition competition, with “innovation” and “inheritance” as the main themes.  It is a call for scores for composers worldwide who love Chinese music. Though there is no limit on nationality or age, we hope to encourage students who are composition majors to participate. The winning works will be premiered in the United States and included on the second album by the Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble.

Composition Guidelines

  1. The composition can be composed using any combination of the following instruments: Yangqin, Pipa, Zhongruan, Liuqin, Erhu, Guzheng, Dizi, Hulusi, Cello, Percussion.
  2. The composition should be 6 to10 minutes in length.
  3. The piece should be suitable for playing by non-professional music students at a liberal arts college.
  4. The music must be a work that has never been performed, though it can be a new arrangement of a previously performed work.


To be fair, all submissions should be anonymous. The awarded composers should only submit their real names, ages, nationalities, and resumes after winning a prize.

Applications must include:

  1. Anonymous PDF score. Please hide your name and any other identifying information (for example, in the dedication or program notes.)
  2. Recording in mp3 format (MIDI generated recording is acceptable). Please hide your name and any other identifying information. Please send as an attachment. MIDI files will not be accepted; applicants must convert MIDI to mp3.
  3. Applicant contact information and title of composition in email body.
  4. Please label the subject line of your email as “CCME Call for Scores”
  5. Send by email to:

The winning composers will be notified by June 15, 2020. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Gao Hong at

No submitted materials will be returned regardless of whether a composer wins a prize or not, so please keep copies for your own records.

additional details

The list of winners will be announced on June 15, 2020.

During or after the call for scores, participants who are found to have plagiarized, violated laws, or infringed on the copyrights of others will be disqualified. In addition to their own legal responsibility, participants will also be required to return to prize money.

Entries must not have been performed, published, sold, commercialized, or have related advertising activities and authorization.

The copyright of all winning works will remain the ownership of the composers. The composers must agree to grant unconditional rights to the “Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble” for performance, concert promotion, audio and video recording, inclusion on a CD, etc.

If scheduling becomes affected by unforeseen circumstances or force majeure, it will be announced on the official website without notice.

Contact information : E-mail Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble, USA:


About the Department of Music at Carleton College: 

Carleton is an exceptionally musical college, where excellent musical opportunities abound for all students, regardless of major. All Carleton students may choose from a wide variety of classroom courses embracing the study of not only western art music, its history, theory, and practices, but also rock, jazz, global pop, Motown, and blues, film music, the philosophy and psychology of music, and musics of India, Africa, the Caribbean, and China.

Over 800 Carleton students per year have also chosen to perform in Choir, Orchestra, Symphony Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chinese Music Ensemble, West African Drum Ensemble, and to study privately in an array of areas, including voice and all instruments typical of western art music ensembles, and also folk guitar, mandolin, banjo, sitar, Indian vocal music, African drums, jazz, and Chinese musical instruments.

About the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble:

The Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble, under the direction of Gao Hong, was established in 2004 and has since performed to much acclaim at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Mall of America, University of Minnesota, The Confucius Institute’s China Day 2010 event at Northrop Auditorium, the National Conference for Silk Road Scholars at the University of Minnesota, The ASIANetwork 22nd Annual Conference in Chicago IL, the Organization of Chinese Americans’ annual Chinese New Year Celebration, Winona State University, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Land O’Lakes Company’s Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Concert Series, The Schubert Club’s concert series Cocktails with Culture, the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival presented by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and the Chinese Minghua Language School in St. Paul. Locally they performed the inaugural performance for Northfield Library’s Carnegie Concert Series, at St Olaf College, Northfield High School, Northfield Middle School, and Carleton’s international festival, gallery openings, and Chinese New Year celebrations. They even appeared on a broadcast on KSTP news for their performance during the Confucius Institute’s opening ceremony at the University of Minnesota. In 2017 Carleton ensemble members Gus Holley (zhongruan), Gege Zhang (guqin), and Haoyi Wang (guzheng) won gold medals at the 2017 NYC International Chinese Instruments Competition. In 2018, Gus Holley won the gold medal in Beijing at the 2018 Liaoyuan Cup Pipa International Competition. He competed with 1300 other players and became the first non-Chinese pipa player in the competition’s history to win a gold medal.