Composition Competition

The timeline for the Composition Competition application process is shown below.

Create an Entry Application

May 15 – Postmark Deadline for entry applications for next competition cycle

Summer/Fall – Judging takes place

Winter – Selection and announcement of entries to be performed at the next In-Service Workshop.

In-Service Workshop (last week of February) – Recognition of winners and performance of selected entries.

Guidelines for Competition

  1. The competition is open to the students of any KMEA member in good standing Grade level K through 12 and collegian (undergraduate).
  2. Only two scores per KMEA member may be submitted for the competition. The work may be written by an individual or by a group. No more than one submission per student or group of will be allowed.
  3. Each submission will include the following:
    1. Four legible copies of the student’s score (do not send original). Score must include title, student’s name(s), and grade level. For adjudication purposes, score must contain measure numbers at the beginning of each system. Do not send parts. These will be requested as needed.
    2. One completed application form per entry.
    3. Application fee of $25 for individual entries and $35 for group and/or individual collegiate entries. Checks should be made payable to Kansas Music Educators Association.
    4. Live audio: Four (4) copies of a recording of the composition on CD clearly marked with the KMEA member’s name, composer’s name(s), and the title of composition.
    5. Each application will include instructor’s name, phone number, work address, and email address.

Categories for Competition

  1. Electronic: This category will include compositions of electronic media such as tape, computer generated sound or sequencing, or synthesizer. Entries must use at least one individual for live performance. For example, a work for computer generated sounds and instrumental soloist/voice would be eligible, but a work or tape alone would not.
  2. Solo: This category will be limited to solo compositions for voice or instrument with or without accompaniment. Accompaniments shall be limited to 1 or 2 instruments. Works in this category should be of a solo nature that emphasizes/features one performer.
  3. Ensemble: This category includes two sub-categories of small ensemble (2-6 players and/or solo voices) and large ensemble (7 players and up with choral works included in this category).
  4. Jazz: This category includes two sub-categories of combo (up to 7 players) and large ensemble (8 players and up).

Judging Criteria

  1. Musical content (including, but not limited to, melodic and harmonic ideas, use of form, texture, development of ideas, etc.).
  2. Creativity
  3. Knowledge of medium (including, but not limited to, knowledge of individual instruments/voices, knowledge of ensemble, effective use of instruments/voices, etc.).
  4. Appearance of manuscript (judging will not be based on whether the score is handwritten or created through notation software, but will center around the correct use of score markings, correct notation, dynamics, tempo markings, etc.).
  5. Collegiate level will be judged separate from Grades K through 12.
    Judging Sheet, p. 1 – Rubric
    Judging Sheet, p. 2 – Comments


  1. Each adjudicator will provide the entrant with an evaluation of his or her composition. Each evaluation will include a rating of 1 to 75 on each of the criteria listed above under “Judging Criteria” with written comments. An overall rating (I, II, III established by KSHSAA festivals) will be awarded based on the average rating of all three adjudicators. KMEA will award certificates to entries receiving a Division I rating.
  2. Based upon the recommendations of the adjudicators, compositions will be performed at the KMEA In-Service Workshop by invitation of the KMEA President. Compositions may be recommended based on exceptional merit.
  3. Collegiate level will be assessed using same format but with higher-level expectations.