Contest Guidelines

  1. Participation and entry are free.
  2. Entrants must be U.S. residents.
  3. Entrants must be between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of submission.


  1. Entrants may submit only one composition per Composium.
  2. Entrants must submit either a full-orchestra or a chamber ensemble composition.
  3. Compositions must be composed solely by the entrant.
  4. Compositions may not exceed 5 minutes in length.
  5. Chamber ensemble compositions may be written for a total of 2 to 6 instruments selected from the following list. The number of instruments of any given type must not exceed the numbers in parentheses.
  6. Flute/Piccolo (2), Oboe/English Horn (2), Clarinet (2), Bassoon (2)
    French Horn (4), Trumpet (2), Trombone (3), Tuba (1)
    Violin (6), Viola (4), Cello (4), Bass (2), Piano (1), Harp (1)
    Percussionists (3)
  7. Instrumentation for full-orchestra compositions may include only the instruments listed below. It is suggested but not required that you use all the instruments:
  8. Flutes 1&2, Oboes 1&2, Clarinets 1&2, Bassoons 1&2
    Horns 1,2,3,4, Trumpets 1&2, Trombones 1&2, Bass Trombone, Tuba
    Timpani, Percussionists 1&2, Harp
    1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses.

    (Flute 2 may double on Piccolo. Oboe 2 may double on English Horn.)

Submitting Compositions

  1. To register to enter the competition, go to the "Register" page of this website and follow the instructions.
  2. Before submitting your score, carefully review the rules for preparing scores on the "Score Preparation" page of this website.
  3. Once you have registered and are ready to submit your composition, go to the "Submit Composition" page of this website and follow the steps on that page. You will be asked to upload an mp3 audio file and PDF score of your composition, and to mail four printed copies of your score to the National Young Composers Challenge. Printed scores must be mailed and postmarked no later than the October 1 deadline for submission.
  4. Any time until the October 1 deadline for submission has passed, you can review and/or replace the mp3 audio file or PDF score that you have uploaded, by going to the "Submit Composition" page of this website.

  5. NOTES               

    You must be between the ages of 13 and 18 on the date that your mailed scores are postmarked.

    Submission materials will not be returned.

    Recordings of winning compositions are made available for educational purposes on the "Composium Recordings" page of this website, along with each winner's submitted audio and score.

    If you need assistance, contact NYCC Outreach Director, Barbara Lombard at or call or text her at (407) 782-3538.


  1. A panel of judges will select winning compositions to be performed at the NYCC Composium.
  2. Scores will be judged based upon artistic quality, and skill in orchestration, notation, and scoring.
  3. Entrants will receive recorded audio comments from the judges.


  1. The six winning compositions will include three compositions for full orchestra and three compositions for chamber ensemble.
  2. Winners must be present at the Composium.
  3. Winners must provide their own transportation and lodging for the Composium.
  4. All compositions will be performed by a professional symphony orchestra.
  5. Winners must provide one copy of each individual instrument part for the orchestra or ensemble players.
  6. Winners must upload a PDF file of the conductor's score to the same link as the MP3 file.
  7. Each orchestral winner will receive $1000 and each ensemble winner will receive $500.
  8. Each winner will receive a professional recording of their composition performed at the Composium.
  9. Each year, the live Composium recordings of the winning ensemble and orchestral submissions are posted on the National Young Composers Challenge website, along with the submitted audio files. Copies of the winning scores may also be posted for educational purposes.


    2023 Competition Schedule     Date
Score Submission Deadline October 1, 2023
Spring 2024 Composium Sunday, April 14, 2024

    2024 Competition Schedule     Date
Score Submission Deadline October 1, 2024
Spring 2025 Composium April, 2025 (date to be determined)