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 and David Werfelmann.
2021-2022 Young Composers Competition Winners
Level I (age 12-16)
age 16, from Elk Grove, California, and student of Isaac Smith
"Catawampus Caccia" for Clarinet Trio (2 Bb Clarinets and Bb Bass Clarinet)
age 15, from Bonita Springs, Florida, and student of Charles Norman Mason
"Lamentation #4" for Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Piano, and Vibraphone
Level II (age 17-21)
age 20, from Algonquin, Illinois, attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and student of Reynold Tharp
"In Flux" for Flute, Alto Sax, Cello, and Piano
age 17, from San Diego, California, attending Cathedral Catholic High School and student of John Rot
"Dispersion" for Flute/Piccolo, Bb Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Percussion
2021-2022 Guest Composer
A product of the rich cultural environment of Chicago, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1954. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University where he studied composition with the Alan Stout, conducting with John P. Paynter, and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. A scholarship from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago enabled Camphouse to study trumpet privately for two years with legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet, Adolph Herseth.