Young Composers Competition


Sponsored by Arden and Harry Fisher

2015 Guest Composer, Don Freund; CMS Director, Carol Commerford; and Arden and Harry FisherSince 2004, the Young Composers Competition has recognized and encouraged the efforts of those between the ages of 12 and 21 who are involved in the creative process of composing music.  This program, unique to the St. Louis region, is an open competition which has received submissions from St. Louis and throughout the nation.  Each year brings a new nationally known guest composer who is passionate about working with future generations of composers. Past guest composers have included Claude Baker, Zack Browning, John Cheetham, Dino Constantinides, Steven Dankner, Beth Denisch, Don Freund, James Mobberly, Shulamit Ran, Jared Spears, and Chen Yi.  

Awardees have their works performed by professional musicians in a public concert that is professionally recorded. Each awardee receives a written critique of his/her work and a conference with the guest composer.

 Level I: students ages 12-16; Level II: students ages 17-21
ENTRY FEE: $20 application fee payable to Community Music School of Webster University
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Submissions are no longer being accepted for the 2015-16 competition.  Guidelines and entry forms for the 2016-17 competition will be available in April 2016.  

Congratulations to the 2015-16 Winners 

Level One (12-16 years of age):
1st Place, Simon Cohen, 16, from Chicago, Illinois for Pluto
2nd Place, Stella Gitelman Willoughby, 15, from Cambridge, Massachusetts for Led 

Level Two (17-21 years of age): 
1st Place, Alex Berko, 19, from Solon, Ohio for Purple
2nd Place, Alex Williams, 20, from Columbia, Missouri for Adrenaline


Workshops:  Saturday, March 5, 2016
10 a.m. with guest composer, Lansing McLoskey 
1 p.m. on copyright and self-publishing with Sue Greenberg from the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
Emerging Composers Concert:  Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 3 p.m. featuring winning works and music by guest composer, Lansing McLoskey.  Pieces performed by guest artists What Is Noise, Equinox Chamber Players, members of the Perseid Quartet, and other area professionals. 

All events are open to the public.  Held at the CMS Center, 535 Garden Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119

2015-2016 Guest Composer
Lansing McLoskey

Lansing McLoskeyLansing McLoskey has been described as "a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear" by the American Composers Orchestra, "an engaging, gifted composer writing smart, compelling and fascinating music" by Gramophone Magazine, and "a distinctive voice in American music.” His music has an emotional intensity that appeals to academic and amateur alike, defying traditional stylistic pigeonholes.

McLoskey’s music has been performed in sixteen countries on six continents, and has won more than two dozen national and international awards, including the prestigious Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the International Joint Wind Quintet Project Commission Competition, and most recently the 2014 Red Note Festival Composition Competition and a 2013 Aaron Copland Recording Grant. In 2009 he became the only composer in the 45 year history of the ISU New Music Festival to win both the chamber music and orchestral composition awards; both blind-juried national competitions with two independent panels. Recent performances include concerts in Berlin, Finland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Miami and performances at over a dozen music festivals in the past two years alone. Recent commissions include a concerto for Triton Brass and a consortium of wind ensembles, and new works for the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, the newEar Ensemble for their 20th anniversary season, Chatham Baroque, the JWQP consortium of wind quintets, the soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy, Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion, and ensemberlino vocale in Berlin. He has been a Guest Composer or Composer-in-Residence at Aspen, the Tanglewood Institute, the soundSCAPE Festival, Missouri Chamber Music Festival, Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and the Charlotte New Music Festival (summer of 2015).

Professor of Composition at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, his music is released on Albany Records, Wergo Schallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, and Beauport Classics. 2013 saw the release of three critically acclaimed CDs, including Specific Gravity: Chamber Works by Lansing McLoskey and The Unheard Music, including his multi-award-winning concerto What We Do Is Secret for brass and wind ensemble. Learn more about McLoskey at:


Past Young Composer Competition Winners and Guest Composers:

Guest Composer:  Dr. Claude Baker
Level 1
First Place: Benjamin Hart, St. Peters, MO
Second Place: Andy Oster, Festus, MO
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Godsil, St. Louis, MO
Second Place: Michael Dunsmoor, O’Fallon, MO 

Guest Composer:  Dr. John Cheetham
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu, Brentwood, MO
Second Place: Jack Popper, St. Louis, MO
Honorable Mention: Charlie Capps, St. Louis, MO
Level 2
First Place: Louis Goldford, Ballwin, MO
Second Place: Benjamin Hart, St. Peters, MO
Honorable Mention: Daniel Winfield, St. Charles, MO

Guest Composer:  Dr. James Mobberley
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes, Reston, VA
Second Place: Yan ZhuBrentwood, MO
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Maichel, St. Louis, MO 
Level 2
First Place: Elizabeth Lim, Cambridge, MA
Second Place: Timothy Eshing, Maryland Heights, MO
Honorable Mention: Adam Schumaker, Elsah, IL

Guest Composer:  Dr. Jared Spears
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu, Brentwood, MO
Second Place: Gabriel Maichel, St. Louis, MO
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson, Portland, OR and
Jack Hughes, Reston, VA
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Winfield, O’Fallon, MO
Second Place: Benjamin Hart, St. Peters, MO
Honorable Mention: William Bryant,  Murphysboro, IL and
Matthew Mendez, Cambridge, MA

Guest Composer:  Dr. Dinos Constantinides
Level 1
First Place: Cole Perkinson, Portland, OR
Second Place: Riley Crabtree, Vancouver, WA
Honorable Mention: Ian Evans Guthrie, Washougal, WA
Level 2
First Place: Kristen Walker, Liberty, MO
Second Place: William Bryant, Murphysboro, IL
Honorable Mention: Marta Sofia Botelho Vieira, Evanston, IL/Portugal 

Guest Composer:  Dr. Chen Yi
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes, Reston, VA
Second Place: Riley Crabtree, Vancouver, WA
Honorable Mention: Sam Reising, Portland, OR
Level 2
First Place: Anthony Hernandez, Columbia, MO
Second Place: Lauren Wells, Kansas City, MO
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson, Portland, OR

Guest Composer:  Shulamit Ran
Level 1
First Place: Alexis Lerner, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Second Place: Andrew Stock, St. Louis, MO 
Honorable Mention: Jared W. Hedges, Lindenhurst, IL and
Sidarth Jayadev, Saratoga, CA
Level 2
Co-First Place: Daniel McCallum, London, UK and
Mahlon Berv, Stamford, CT
Honorable Mention: Alexander Blank, Rock Hill, MO  and Riley Crabtree, Vancouver, WA

Guest Composer:  Dr. Stephen Dankner
Level 1
First Place: Ari Korotkin, Birmingham, MI
Second Place: Eleanor Bragg, Brookline, MA
Honorable Mention: Michael Parsons, Stirling, NJ and 
Felix Jarrar, Bridgeport, CT
Level 2
First Place: Thomas Feng, Fremont, CA 
Second Place: Wesley Devore, Centennial, CO
Honorable Mention: Riley Crabtree, Vancouver, WA

Guest Composer:  Dr. Zack Browning 
Level 1
First Place: Michael Parsons, Stirling, NJ
Second Place: Stuart Ross Carlson, Dexter, MI
Level 2
First Place: Jack Hughes, Reston, VA
Second Place: Wesley Devore, Centennial, CO

Guest Composer:  Dr. Beth Denisch 
Level 1
First Place: Joseph Jordan, New York City, NY
Second Place (tie): Molly Monahan, Holland, MI and Paul Novak, Reno, NV
Level 2
First Place: Cooper Minnis, St. Louis, MO
Second Place: Gus Knobbe, St. Louis, MO

Guest composer:  Dr. Don Freund
Level 1
First Place:  Paul Novak, Reno, NV
Second Place:  Julia Riew, St. Louis, MO
Honorable Mention:  Molly MonahanHolland, MI
Level 2
First Place:  Erin Hoerchler, Jefferson City, MO
Second Place:  Gus Knobbe, St. Louis, MO
Honorable Mention:  Kelly Stathis, Poughquag, NY


 Questions? Call (314) 968-5939 or email Katie Myler at