Young Composers Competition | Webster University

Young Composers Competition


Sponsored by Arden and Harry Fisher

2015-16 YCC WinnersSince 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, Lansing McLoskey, James Mobberly, Shulamit Ran, Jared Spears, Chen Yi, Elizabeth Ogonek, Kyong Mee Choi and Niloufar Nourbakhsh.  

Awardees will have their works performed by musicians from Chamber Music St. Louis at a public concert that is professionally recorded. Each awardee receives a written critique of his/her work and a conference with the guest composer.

2019-20 Young Composer Competition

AGES: 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
AWARDS: Public performance of winning compositions by professional musicians where awardees are recognized, plus a professional recording of the concert.  Each awardee receives a written critique of his/her work and a conference with the guest composer.
OPEN WORKSHOPS:  In addition to the concert, there are planned competition workshops open to all.


FORMAT:  Compositions should be for 2-7 member music ensembles and 3-15 minutes in length. 

MEDIUM:  Traditional manuscript and audio recording or MIDI realization required.

Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Style, Form, Instrumentation, Labeling, Notation, Musicality

THE PANEL OF JUDGES INCLUDE: Published composer(s) and school/university theory & composition faculty

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: All submissions must be postmarked or received by October 18, 2019.  The winners will be announced no later than January 10, 2020.


  1. Each applicant may submit only one work for consideration.
  2. Compositions must fulfill the formatting and medium requirements listed above.
  3. Compositions must be wholly original works composed by the applicant.
  4. Composition should be performable by university faculty level professional musicians.  Works requiring amplification, computer, tape, or CD are not eligible.
  5. Composer’s name should not appear on the score. Scores should be identified by pseudonym.
  6. Previous first place winners not eligible to enter the competition for one year.  Exception being if level I winner aged into level II for the following year. 



  1. Complete the online entry form HERE.  After you have submitted the form you will be directed to pay the entry fee by credit card online.  All submissions must be accompanied by payment to be considered.
  2. Upload the computer-engraved score & parts, program notes and composer bio (each 200 words or less) where indicated on the form (ALL IN PDF FORMAT).
  3. Email your instructor and ask them to complete this online Teacher Certification Form
  4. Email audio recording/MIDI realization, in MP3 format to

You will receive an automatic email response if you've completed the Entry form correctly.  You will also receive email notification when the Teacher Certification Form has been completed by your instructor.  THE TEACHER CERTIFICATION FORM MUST BE COMPLETED to be considered.


Send the following via email:      (    

  • Computer-engraved score & parts, in PDF format
  • Audio recording/MIDI realization, in MP3 format
  • Copy of completed Entry Form
  • Program Notes & Composer Bio (each 200 words or less)

And the following via post:  (Community Music School of Webster University; Attn:  Young Composers Competition  470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO  63119)

  • $20 application fee payable to Community Music School
  • a completed Entry and Teacher Certification Form (download here)


 2019-20 Guest Composer: Angélica Negrón

Angelica Negron 

Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” and “mesmerizing and affecting” while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and “quirky approach to scoring”. Angélica has been commissioned by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, A Far Cry, Carnegie Hall, Sō Percussion and the American Composers Orchestra, among others. Angélica is the composer in residence for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for their 2018-2019 season. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence at National Sawdust, completing “Chimera,” a lip-synch opera focused on the intricacies and complexities of identity as well as the first composer in residence at The New York Botanical Garden working on an interactive choral piece which will give voice to the natural world at the Thain Family Forest.

Angélica Negrón website

Angélica Negrón Soundcloud

Angélica Negrón Instagram

Angélica Negrón Facebook

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

Guest composer:  Dr. Lansing McLoskey
Level 1
First Place: Simon Cohen, Chicago, IL 
Second Place: Stella Gitelman Willoughby, Cambridge, MA
Level 2
First Place: Alex Berko, Solon, OH
Second Place: Alex Williams, Columbia, MO

Guest composer:  Elizabeth Ogonek
Level 1
First Place: Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby from Cambridge, MA 
Second Place:  Li Chibing from Beijing, China
Honorable Mention: Andrew Courtney from Corona del Mar, CA
Level 2
First Place: Alex Williams from Kansas City, MO
and Lucy McKnight from Los Angeles, CA
Honorable Mention: Shiwei Liu from Shanghai, China
Best from St. Louis: Zach Fendelman

Guest composer:  Kyong Mee Choi
Level 1
Co-1st Place, Solomon Ge, 14, from San Jose CA
Co-1st Place, Bo Huang, 16, Rutherford NJ
Co-2nd Place, Brinson Moore, 15, Greenwood, SC
Co-2nd Place, Avik Sarkar, 16, Chestnut Hill, MA

Level 2
1st Place, Josiah Sprankle, 21, Kansas City, MO
2nd Place, Julian Freyo, 21, Cleveland, OH

Guest Composer:  NIloufar Nourbakhsh
Level 1
1st Place: Yusei Hata, 16, New York City, NY 
2nd Place: Caroline Bragg, 15, Brookline, MA 
Level 2
1st Place: Paul Novak, 20, Reno, NV 
2nd Place: Jenny Yao, 18, Cambridge, MA
Honorable Mention: Nathaniel Heyder, 19, Cleveland, OH

 Questions? Call (314) 968-5939 or email Justin Blackburn at