OVERVIEW

The National Young Composers Challenge is now accepting submissions! All composers ages 13-18 living in the United States are eligible to submit their work. Six winning composers will receive cash awards and have their music performed live by members of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, April 13, 2025 at the NYCC Composium event held in Steinmetz Hall in Orlando, FL. There is no fee to submit. All submissions must be sent uploaded and postmarked no later than October 1, 2024.

COMPOSER ELIGIBILITY

Composers must be between ages 13-18 at time of submission. (If the composer turns 19 before the deadline, that is okay – as long as they are 18 when they submit their work).

Composers must reside in the United States.

There are no requirements regarding the history of the submitted composition. The piece may have been previously performed, recorded, and/or awarded.

HOW TO SUBMIT

1. Complete the registration form at https://youngcomposerschallenge.org/submission_registration.php. (Be sure to write down your registration number).

2. Upload a PDF score and MP3 audio realization of your piece using the appropriate links at https://youngcomposerschallenge.org/submit_composition.php.

3. Mail four (4) printed copies of your score, marked with your name and registration number, to:

National Young Composers Challenge
P.O. Box 2023
Winter Park, FL 32790

COMPOSITION GUIDELINES

Important: Please carefully review a full explanation of the guidelines found at: https://youngcomposerschallenge.org/guidelines.php

  • Pieces may not be longer than five (5) minutes in duration.
  • Pieces must be the composer’s original work. No arrangements or transcriptions will be accepted.
  • Composers may submit one (1) piece in either the chamber ensemble or orchestral category (not both).

INSTRUMENTATION GUIDELINES

If you are submitting a chamber ensemble score, your piece should be scored for 2-6 performers with instruments selected from the following list. The number of instruments of any given type must not exceed the numbers in parentheses.

Flute/Piccolo (2), Oboe/English Horn (2), Clarinet (2) Bassoon (2), Saxophone (1 player – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Baritone), French Horn (4), Trumpet (2), Trombone (3), Tuba (1), Violin (6), Cello (4), Bass (2), Piano (1), Harp (1), Percussion (3).

If you are submitting an orchestral score, your instrumentation may not exceed the forces listed below. It is suggested, but not required, that you use all the instruments.

Flute 1 & 2 (Flute 2 may play or double on Piccolo)
Oboe 1 & 2 (Oboe 2 may play or double on English Horn)
Clarinet 1 & 2
Bassoon 1 & 2
Horn 1 & 2
Horn 3 & 4
Trumpet 1 & 2
Trombone 1 & 2
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion 1
Percussion 2
Harp
Violin 1
Violin 2
Viola
Cello
Double Bass

ADJUDICATION

Six winners (three from each category) will be selected. Scores will be judged based on their artistic quality, orchestration, notation, and overall artistic vision. Qualifying entrants will receive recorded audio comments from the judges. All musical styles are welcome!

Winners must be present for the performance of their works on Sunday, April 13, 2025 (travel and lodging is not provided). Each orchestral winner will receive $1,000 and each ensemble winner will receive a $500 cash honorarium. Each winner will receive a professional recording of their composition.

The $500-1000 honorarium is the only official monetary award. However, if a selected composer needs additional travel assistance, they are encouraged to reach out directly.

QUESTIONS

If you have questions about how to submit your work, please send us an email at mail@youngcomposerschallenge.org. We will reply to you ASAP!