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Orchestra Composition Contest

Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival/ Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition

Call for Scores

The 56th Contemporary Music Festival, sponsored by the Indiana State University School of Music, proudly announces the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition. Submitted compositions will be judged by a screening panel chosen by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. The Festival is scheduled for October 26-28, 2022.

The ISU/ICO Composition Competition is designed to encourage the composition of and recognize outstanding music for the small orchestra. In addition to a monetary prize, the composer receiving first place will be invited to attend a performance of the winning composition by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra as part of the Festival’s activities. The winner also will be invited to speak at the Festival on a topic relating to his or her music. Other guests featured at the three-day Festival include the Principal Guest Composer, Stacy Garrop, Guest Artists Joseph Lulloff (saxophone) and Yu-Lien The (piano), and composers participating in the Music Now concert. Since its beginning, more than 200 established and emerging composers - including eighteen winners of the Pulitzer Prize and five winners of the Grawemeyer Award - have participated in the Festival.

Contest Guidelines

Cash Prizes:
First Place - $1,000

There are no restrictions regarding the age or gender of the applicant. Contestants must be citizens or legal residents of the United States. Winners of the competition within the last five years are not eligible. Compositions must be unpublished or self-published and the composer of the winning entry must provide full score and parts by August 30, 2022.

Standard chamber orchestra scoring (2[pic]2[Eh]22, 2210, timpani, 1 percussion, piano, harp, and strings 6-4-4-3-2). Scores that will not be considered include significantly reduced scores and scores with soloists or extra instruments. Arrangements of full orchestra pieces will only be considered if the arrangement is submitted as the competing work.

Compositions may not exceed 15 minutes in length.

Materials for Submission:
A composer may send one anonymous score in PDF format with a corresponding anonymous recording (MIDI realizations are acceptable). Large, neat, proofread parts must be available upon request. The composer’s name may not appear on the submitted materials.

There is a non-returnable entry fee of $20 U.S. currency per entry.

A panel of judges will be chosen by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Each judge will be a performing instrumentalist, conductor, or composer and each will evaluate all scores separately and make a short list of works to be considered further. The judges will then meet with the Music Director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra where the short list of works will be discussed and a final decision made. The judges will not make available any written or verbal commentary.

All scores must be received by June 15, 2022. Winners will be announced by August 1, 2022.

Application Process:

  1. Completed Online Application Form
  2. File submission:

    • One anonymous full score in PDF format (please omit name of composer)
    • A corresponding anonymous recording with title of composition (please omit name of composer). MIDI realizations, mp3, and m4a files are all acceptable. Please do not send wav or aiff files.
    • Electronic documents can be emailed to Paul Bro at or shared as file links via Dropbox/Google Drive/iCloud or other such services.
  3. Application Fee: Please submit your application fee using the ICO website

Additional Information:
Dr. Kurt Fowler
School of Music
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809