ISW > Composition Competition
May 19, 2024
Postmark Deadline for entry applications for the 2025 competition cycle
Judging takes place
Selection and announcement of entries to be performed at the next In-Service Workshop.
(last week of February)
Recognition of winners and performance of selected entries.
Dr. Jeff Jordan (1958 – 2021) was the director of bands at Fort Hays State University, where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and assisted with the Tiger Marching band. Additionally, he taught courses in conducting, music education, and arranging; instructed the horn studio; and oversaw student teachers. Before arriving at FHSU, Dr. Jordan earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Florida Southern College, a Master’s in Composition from the University of Kansas, and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He began his career as a music educator at Riley County High School in Kansas before teaching band at all levels in the public schools of central Florida. Finally, he joined the faculty at FHSU in 2002, where he spent the remainder of his career.
Over the years, Dr. Jordan published numerous musical compositions for a variety of ensembles. His recent compositions include Psalms, Praises and Gifts commissioned by the Fort Hays State University Concert Choir, Too Soon for Thunder for band, and Salute! for brass choir and timpani. Salute! was one of seven winners selected in the Dallas Wind Symphony’s annual Fanfare Competition. In 2020, he was one of several composters invited to be a part of the Ralph Vaughn Williams transcription series for Symphonic, Intermediate, and Brass Bands from GIA Publications in collaboration with Oxford University Press. His final composition, Symphony No. 1, was premiered by the St. Olaf Band in March 2022. Dr. Jordan’s principal teachers included John Pozdro, James Barnes, Jack Stamp, and Paul Rudy; he was further influenced by musicians like Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Vincent Persichetti, Peter Mennin, and Pat Metheny.
A published composer of music for band and other genre, Dr. Jordan also had a heart for encouraging young composers. For many years, he managed the KMEA Composition Competition. He dedicated time to this project because he wanted young composers to have their works accessed by nationally-renown composers and for the winners of the Competition to have their works performed at the ISW. Because of his connections as a composer, he was able to secure some of the best-known composers from across the United States to serve as judges for the works of our young composers. Each entry receives a comments sheet from the composer. At the 2022 In-Service Workshop, the KMEA board voted to rename this competition in Dr. Jordan’s honor.
Guidelines for Competition
- The competition is open to the students of any KMEA member in good standing Grade level K through 12 and collegian (undergraduate). Entrants to the KMEA Composition Competition must be enrolled at a Kansas educational institution at the time of entry.
- 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.
- Each submission will include the following:
- A legible PDF file of the student’s score. 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.
- One completed application form per entry.
- Application fee of $25 for K-12 entries and $35 for collegiate entries. Checks should be made payable to Kansas Music Educators Association.
- Live audio – mp3 recording of the composition.
- Each application will include instructor’s name, phone number, work address, and email address.
Categories for Competition
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Jazz: This category includes two sub-categories of combo (up to 7 players) and large ensemble (8 players and up).
- Musical content (including, but not limited to, melodic and harmonic ideas, use of form, texture, development of ideas, etc.).
- Knowledge of medium (including, but not limited to, knowledge of individual instruments/voices, knowledge of ensemble, effective use of instruments/voices, etc.).
- 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.).
- Collegiate level will be judged separate from Grades K through 12.
Judging Sheet, p. 1 – Rubric
Judging Sheet, p. 2 – Comments
- 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.
- 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.
- Collegiate level will be assessed using same format but with higher-level expectations.