Iowa Composers Forum

2021 Annual Student Composers Competition (June 1, 2021)

The Iowa Composers Forum seeks music educators, both private instructors and school teachers, to sponsor music compositions by students in 5th through 12th grades or undergraduate college students in the ICF Annual Student Composers Competition. Submissions may be written for any combination of instruments and/or voices. Entrants should be willing to travel to the ICF Festival of New Music (location and date TBA) to hear their piece performed if selected for an award. The ICF will make every effort to have winning compositions performed at an ICF event, but we cannot guarantee performances of pieces requiring more than three instruments or voices. Entrants are strongly urged to compose for small ensembles. All performances are also subject to the social-distancing constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submitting composers must be students of ICF members or reside in the state of Iowa to enter the competition. Students can enter a composition in one of three categories based on their grade equivalent:

  • Category 1: 5th -8th grade;
  • Category 2: 9th-12th grade;
  • Category 3: undergraduate college student.

Cash awards: $100 and 1st prize certificate will be awarded to the top student winner in the 1st Category; $125 and a 1st prize certificate will be awarded to the top student winner in the 2nd category; $200 and a 1st prize certificate will be awarded to the top student winner in the 3rd category. Honorary certificates may also be awarded at the discretion of the judges. Winners in each category will receive a one-year, free membership in the Iowa Composers Forum, granting full benefits of membership. The ICF reserves the right to declare no winners in a category if the judges determine there are no entries of sufficient quality.

To sponsor a student composer, please submit a full score of their work with all parts clearly shown and no more than two parts on a staff. Scores should follow standard ensemble layout practices, including proper instrumental order and transposition. Scores should be clearly labeled with the title of the composition and the grade level of the student at the time of submission. All marks referring to the identity of the composer should be removed. Please limit submissions to one work per student.

In a separate attachment, please include the following: Composition title, approximate timing of the piece, instrumentation, and date when the piece was written; teacher’s name, address, telephone number, email and school (if applicable); student’s name, address, email, school, age, grade level at the time of submission, newspaper contact; a short biography and brief program notes. If available, please also submit a recording of a live or electronic performance (MIDI realization is acceptable).

Submissions should be submitted no later than June 1, 2021: Email to with the last name of the composer and “Student ComposersCompetition” in the subject of the message.

See our website at For further information,please contact Denise Knaack at

Last year’s winners were Evan Erickson from Dubuque and Katie Bellows from Cedar Rapids in the high school division and Robert Majchcrzak from LeClaire in the middle school division. All of the winners are members of the forum this year.

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This article was written on 01 Apr 2021, and is filled under Opportunities.