Since 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 nationally and internationally. Each year brings a new nationally known guest composer who is passionate about working with future generations of composers. Past guest composers include 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, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Angélica Negrón, David Werfelmann and Mark Camphouse.

The Community Music School of Webster University partners with Chamber Project Saint Louis for the Young Composers Competition. Musicians from Chamber Project Saint Louis perform and record all winning works and selected works from the Guest Composer at the Young Composer Competition concert held in the CMS Center at Webster University in March.
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2022-2023 Submission Deadline:  October 21, 2022

Submit your application for the 2022-2023 Young Composers Competition

How to Submit an Entry to the Competition

Competition Guidelines and Instructions

  • Level I: students ages 12-16
  • Level II: students ages 17-21
  • $20.00 Application Fee required

Fee scholarships available for those experiencing financial hardship.  Contact Justin Blackburn for details.

  • Public performance of winning compositions by Chamber Project Saint Louis
  • Professional recording of the concert
  • Critique of work and conference with the guest composer

Format: Compositions should be for 2 to 7-member music ensembles and 3-15 minutes in length utilizing instruments from standard orchestral instrumentation.

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

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

Panel of Judges: Published composer(s) and school/university theory and composition faculty

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Oct. 21, 2022. The winners will be announced in early January.

  1. Applications will be accepted September 1 - October 21.
  2. Each applicant may submit only one work for consideration.
  3. Compositions must fulfill the formatting and medium requirements listed above.
  4. Compositions must be wholly original works composed by the applicant.
  5. Composition should be performable by university faculty-level professional musicians. Works requiring amplification, computer, tape, or CD are not eligible.
  6. Composer’s name should not appear on the score. Scores should be identified by pseudonym.
  7. 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. 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Oct. 21, 2022. The winners will be announced in early January.

  1. Entries will be accepted starting September 1, 2022
  2. Complete the online entry form. 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.
  3. Upload the computer-engraved score and parts, program notes and composer bio (each 200 words or less) where indicated on the form (ALL IN PDF FORMAT).
  4. Send the link to the Teacher Certification Form to your instructor.
  5. Email audio recording/MIDI realization, in MP3 format to
  6. 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.

2022-2023 Guest Composer


Nina Shekhar


Nina Shekhar is a composer who explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter to create bold and intensely personal works. Described as “tart and compelling” (New York Times), “vivid” (Washington Post), and “surprises and delights aplenty” (LA Times), her music has been commissioned and performed by leading artists. Aside from composing, Nina is a versatile performing artist as a flutist, pianist, and saxophonist. Nina is currently a PhD candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University. She previously completed composition graduate studies at University of Southern California and undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering.

2022-2023 Events

Mark Camphouse
Mark Camphouse

Save the date!


Saturday, March 25, 2023

CMS Concert Hall