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.)
  9. To view instructions for preparing the score and individual instrument parts for either chamber ensemble or full‑orchestra, click here.

Submitting Compositions

  1. To register to enter the National Young Composers Challenge competition click here.
  2. To revise your registration information click here.
  3. To upload or review your mp3 audio file click here.
  4. To upload or review your PDF score click here.
  5. The final step in entering the competition is to mail four printed copies of your score to:
    National Young Composers Challenge
    PO Box 2023
    Winter Park, FL 32790
    Each copy must include a printed copy of a cover sheet that will be emailed to you by clicking here.
  6. To check that your submission package has been received click here.

  7. Important: Entrants must submit their printed scores postmarked no later than the score submission deadline listed in the schedule at the bottom of this page. Entrants must be between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of submission. Submission materials will not be returned. If you need help with any of the steps listed above, you can contact us by email at


  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.


    NOTE: The National Young Composers Challenge will accept scores starting January 1, 2022 for the 2023 Composium.
Activity Date
Score Submission Deadline October 1, 2022
Next Composium Sunday, April 16, 2023