Twelfth Annual JMU Young Composers' Competition

part of the 36th Contemporary Music Festival at the James Madison University School of Music

February 14-16, 2017

with guest artists

 Augusta Read Thomas composer, GRAMMY winner
Argus Quartet

Competition Guidelines

  • The competition is open to students in grades K-12 in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Winchester, Roanoke, or Northern Virginia
  • The length of the work should not exceed five minutes
  • The piece should require no more than four performers
  • If a student is unable to notate music, then a teacher may help; however, the creation of the music itself must be entirely the student’s own work
  • Computer notation (e.g. Finale) is preferred, but entrants may submit clear photocopies of handwritten scores. Entries will not be returned. Electronic submissions (pdf only) are welcome.
  • All entries must be received (not postmarked) by December 16, 2016


Winning Compositions

The judges will select one winning composition for each of three levels:
Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Each winner will receive:

  • a $50 prize
  • an award certificate
  • a performance of his/her composition by JMU School of Music students on a concert of the Contemporary Music Festival, Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 5:00 pm in Forbes Recital Hall


The judges reserve the right not to name a winner at a particular level. Performance of winning works is not guaranteed, but will take place if at all possible.

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