Kennett Symphony Composition Competition

It is a joy and a responsibility of orchestras to seek out and perform the works of today’s composers. Kennett Symphony is undertaking an active role in discovering new composers of orchestral music. Kennett Symphony’s Composition Competition is a region-wide program to identify and nurture emerging artists and bring their work to a wider audience. The competition is designed to highlight a talented composer who is in the early stages of their professional career.

The selection panel will be made up of Kennett Symphony Music Director Michael Hall, internationally acclaimed composer Jim Stephenson, and WRTI classical music producer and host Debra Lew Harder. Pieces will be evaluated according to these broad criteria: originality, creative potential, overall musical effect, technique, clarity and quality of the score submitted. Determinations of the evaluation panel are final.

It is thrilling to discover the music of today, and to contribute to our musical heritage.

Competition Details

Submissions will be accepted from February 1 – September 1 2021. The winning composer will receive:

  • $1,000 monetary prize
  • A premiere performance by Kennett Symphony
  • Media coverage; appearances at a variety of community related events
  • Round trip transportation to Kennett Square, accommodations, ground transportation, and per diem

Eligibility & Submission Guidelines

  • Kennett Symphony values its position as an equitable and inclusive organization and welcomes submissions from composers of all backgrounds and stages of creative life.
  • Applicants must presently reside in Pennsylvania, New York State, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont.
  • Submitted work may not have received a performance or a reading by a professional orchestra.
  • Work should be 6 – 12 minutes in length.
  • Instrumentation must not exceed: 2 fl [1.2/pic] , 2 ob [ 1.2/eh], 2 cl [1.2/bcl], 2 bsn [1.2/cbn], 4 hn, 2 tp, 3 trombones, 1 tuba timp +3, pf/cel, str. Works for strings only will also be accepted.

Submissions must include:

  • One computer-generated score in PDF format
  • A unexpiring web link to an audio file of the work, either a live performance or MIDI tracks rendered to audio. (SoundCloud, A private link YouTube, Google Drive, or Dropbox)
  • A brief bio (200 word maximum)
  • A brief description of the work

If selected, the composer must provide a complete set of parts by December 1, 2021 that conform to the Major Orchestra Librarians’ of America (MOLA) Guidelines for Music Preparation.