Traditional Composition

Teachers and students in DMEA member schools are invited to submit original compositions by students in grades K through 12 for evaluation by a panel of composers for inclusion in the 1st Annual DMEA Music Composition Contest. Each student or class (K - 5) submitting a composition will receive a written evaluation that provides feedback about his/her composition. The compositions may be in any style and genre.

6-8 and 9-12 Divisions: ALL student composers will receive a DMEA Certificate and a written evaluation of their work with the top scoring compositions for the 6-8 and 9-12 divisions being previewed prior to  DMEA All-State Events for that year and the composer receiving a one year renewable subscription to Finale Print Music.

K-5 Division: Submission by classes in the K-5 division will receive a DMEA Certificate and a written evaluation of their work with a $150 stipend awarded to the program of the top scoring compositions for use for musical supplies or instructional materials for the classroom.

Age Categories

Grades K-5 (elementary), 6-8 (Middle), and 9-12 (High)

Submission Criteria

• Entries are due (postmarked) by January 31, 2018 for Grades 6 - 12 and April 3, 2018 for Grades K - 5.

* Entry Fee of $10 for one submission, $15 for two submissions.

• No more than two compositions may be submitted by one student.

• Original student compositions must not exceed five (5) minutes.

  • Compositions may be for a solo instrument or voice, or for an ensemble of instruments and or voices.

  • A score MUST be included. Scores are to be either traditionally or graphically notated.
  • Every submission must be sponsored by a current DMEA member who must sign off on the application and provide their NAfME membership number and contact information.
  • An Audio CD recording must be included containing no other material than the student’s entry - this can be an electronically created version - using computer notation program, however, recordings with live instruments and musicians, if possible, are prefered.

    Evaluation Criteria

    Compositions will be judged based on three broad criteria: Creativity and uniqueness, Compositional Technique/Artisanship, Energy and style. Compositional Technique/Artisanship is the primary criterion, DMEA will attempt to represent all three age categories and will seek to compositions of varied style, genre, and instrumentation.