MSOE Composition Competition

Announcing the 2024 Middle School Outreach Ensemble Composition Competition! Winners will have their piece performed during the 2024 MSOE Concert.

We would like to invite all music students to participate in the 2024 MSOE Composition Competition. The competition is open to ALL middle school and high school students who are enrolled in their school music program, as well as CSU Music students.


Eligibility: a current student enrolled and in good standing at a Colorado middle school or high school music program; a current CSU music student; a CSU Music Alumni or a MSOE/Trying-on-Teaching alumni

2024 Social Justice Theme: Democracy and Civic Engagement

  1. Aligns with CSU and College of Liberal Arts “Year of Democracy” initiative

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Single works must be no longer than 3 minutes in length
  2. Notated scores written using an electronic software (e.g., Noteflight, Finale, Sibelius, etc) that are in 3-4 general parts intended to eventually be scored for either string orchestra or concert band will be accepted
    1. Score must use standard music notation
    2. Score must be accompanied by an electronic recording
    3. Score must be accompanied by a short written narrative (500 words max) describing the connection of the score to the Social Justice Theme
  3. The difficulty of the parts for both string orchestra or concert band should not exceed a Grade 2 level. See the resources below for guidance.
    1. String Orchestra –
    2. Concert Band –
  4. Submissions are due via email on Sept. 15 (
    1. Email message must clearly state how the person creating and submitting the score meets the stated eligibility criteria

Review Process:

  1. An initial review of submissions will be conducted to determine which scores meet the minimum requirements as listed above (Due Sept. 15)
  2. Submissions that meet minimum requirements will be reviewed by a panel of at least three musicians and a maximum of three scores for each genre (string orchestra and concert band) will be advanced to the final round of consideration. (Announced October 1)
  3. 1-2 string orchestra and 1-2 concert band scores will be selected as winners to be performed by the MSOE program in April following year (Announced October 10)

Support for Winners

    1. Each composer will receive three composition lessons (October, November, and December) with a CSU faculty member or designee to develop and orchestrate their score, create parts, and make any other necessary modifications to support a successful performance.
      1. Note: all scores and parts must be in their final stage of creation by January 15 and delivered electronically to the MSOE Program Director
      2. Each composer will be invited to visit the MSOE program at least once, collaborate with a conductor who is preparing their work, and speak to the audience at the annual MSOE Showcase Concert that occurs in April each year on the CSU campus.