Composition Competition


Winner: Carter Jackson (Caroline Ahn)

HM: Jiaqi Yi (Ellene Owens)


HM: Carter Jackson (Caroline Ahn)

Elementary I

1st Place:

Katherine Li (Ellene Owens)

“Haunted House”

2nd Place:

Sydney Williams (Ellene Owens)


Elementary II

1st Place:

Brooklyn Jenkins (Ellene Owens)

Wind on the Hill”

David Williams (Ellene Owens)


2nd Place:

David Gilchrist (Ellene Owens)

“Bus Chairs”


Entries must be received, via email, by September 17, 2022. MTNA Composition Competition entries must be received by September 14, 2022, 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Composition Competition for MTNA may be accessed HERE

Late entries will not be accepted.

Email entries to the chairperson.

Applications for both competitions will be available in August.

Chair: Ellene Owens |

General Information

1.  Students must be currently studying with an LMTA teacher.

2.  Entries may be composed for any medium.

3.  A student may enter only one composition in his/her designated division.

4.  Composition entered previously may not be re-entered in subsequent years.

5.  Composition may be in one or more movements, but the performance time for an entire work must not exceed 8 minutes.

Contest Divisions

Elementary I      Grades 1 – 4
Elementary II     Grades 5 – 6
Intermediate      Grades 7 – 8


Entrants or teachers should submit a PDF score and a MIDI file of the composition to the chairman by 5pm on the day of the deadline. Receipt of email entries will be acknowledged within 24 hours. One entry per email.

  • Please type “elementary composition I,” “elementary composition II,” or “intermediate composition” in the subject line.
  • Attach PDF and MIDI file of composition to the email.
  • In the body of the email please provide the following:
    • Teacher’s name
    • Teacher’s email address (for return of judge’s critiques)
    • Student’s name
    • Student’s grade in school
  • Completed application form may be scanned and sent with the email entry or may be sent along with entry fee via the postal service.
  • Teachers must send one check for all entries to the composition chair (postmarked by deadline). Check should be from the teacher’s account. Critiques and certificates will be returned to the teacher via the email address used for electronic submission of scores.

General Reminders

  • Accuracy in music fundamentals should be checked by the teacher before the composition is submitted, and corrections should be made by the student. Other help from the teacher is limited to the teaching of desirable rules of composition.
  • The student’s name, age, teacher’s name, or other personal information may not appear on the manuscript. Poems, performance directions or the student’s annotations will be accepted. Artwork need not be submitted as the judge will not evaluate this.
  • Page numbers and the composition title should appear in the upper right corner for each page of the manuscript. All measures should be numbered, either by bar or by system. Only copies free of extra markings should be submitted.

Judging and Awards

The following criteria will be used for evaluating compositions:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Basic music-writing skills
    • Manuscripts should show student’s understanding of time signature, key signature, note values, rests and other compositional elements such as the use of dynamics and tempo markings.
  • Organization of Material
    • The composition should utilize clear melodic and rhythmic ideas and show an understanding of phrases and cadences and a clear sense of form.
  • Idiomatic writing
    • The student should show an understanding of the instrument for which he/she is writing.

Each student will receive an Original Composition Certificate and a rating sheet evaluating his/her composition. 

First and second places will be selected in each division if the judge deems the compositions worthy. These students will receive a cash award of $50.00 and $25.00 respectively.

Honorable mentions may be awarded as merited.

Entry Fees  (Nonrefundable)

Entry fee is $15.00 per student. The completed entry form and fee must accompany each entry. Student fees must be submitted as a single check from the teacher’s account. Mail entry fee to composition chair by the postmark deadline.

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.

Giacomo Puccini

questions about this event?