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.

Community Partner

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.
young composeres logo
chamber project logo

Competition Guidelines and Instructions

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

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

Submission Deadline: Oct. 20, 2023.

The winners will be announced in January.

  • Each applicant may submit only one work for consideration.
  • Compositions must fulfill the formatting and medium requirements listed below.
  • Compositions must be wholly original works composed by the applicant.
  • Composition should be performable by university faculty-level professional musicians. Works requiring amplification, computer, tape or CD are not eligible.
  • Composer’s name should not appear on the score. Scores should be identified by pseudonym.
  • 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. 

Composition Guidelines

Format: Compositions must be 3-15 minutes in duration and scored for 2-7 players from the following instrumentation:

  • 2 Violins
  • 1 Viola
  • 1 Cello
  • 1 Flute (C flute/piccolo; no alto/bass)
  • 1 Clarinet (Bb or A soprano clarinet; no doubles)
  • 1 Piano

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

Applications for the 2024-2025 Competition will be open August 19th.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Send the link to the Teacher Certification Form to your instructor.
  4. Email audio recording/MIDI realization, in MP3 format to
  5. 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.