From school bands to adjudicated contests, young musicians today have many outlets to demonstrate their instrumental prowess. For young composers, the opportunities to show their talents can be much harder to find, which is why the Mizzou New Music Initiative began the Creating Original Music Project (COMP).
Now in its twelfth year, COMP is an annual statewide competition that showcases new, original music from Missouri student composers and songwriters in grades K-12, offering positive recognition and prizes, performance and educational opportunities, and more.
Sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, COMP is now accepting entries for the 2017 competition. Both the winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
The postmark deadline for submission of all compositions is Friday, January 14, 2017.
Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Popular Music, Jazz, and Other styles. All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.
Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though the submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.
Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest.
For students looking for more guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.
Students can e-mail works in progress, ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2016-17 academic year is Henry Breneman Stewart, who can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and an application for the 2017 competition, please visit the COMP website at https://music.missouri.edu/mnmi/comp.