Wisconsin Music Teachers Association

Affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association
Choosing Repertoire

WMTA Composer List Information (updated September 2015)

Composers – listed by time period
Composers – listed alphabetically

The Composer Lists above designate musical style periods.  Depending on what track a student enters, the pieces performed may be required to be from different style periods.  This requirement is in place to have the student demonstrate his or her ability to perform material written in different styles.  Therefore, the teacher must use discretion in choosing audition repertoire to be sure that this goal is met.  Please refer to the “Choosing Repertoire” page of the “Handbook and Event Rules” section for specific requirements for each track/level entered.

Many composers’ works are transitional in nature and could be included in more than one style period.  In the interests of consistency, decisions have been made based upon the most commonly agreed upon determination for each composer.  Some composers are listed in more than one style period.  

The WMTA Composer list is to be used as a historical guideline to assist teachers in finding a composer’s time-period.   Not all composers are on this list (especially 20th century and current) due to the ever changing/growing number of composers and compositions.

ANY reputable published composer/composition that clearly falls into a specific time period is allowed – including “anonymous”. But, please note: “popular” music or arrangements of popular music are not allowed for WMTA auditions events.

RECENT ADDITION in 2012: There are TWO 20th century categories:

1. Classic 20th Century: (mostly prior to 1975)
Represents composers such as Kabalevsky, Bartok, Joplin, Khatchaturian.

2. Trans 20th/21st Century: (mostly 1975 to today)
Represents recent composers such as Catherine Rollin, Dennia Alexander, Melody Bober, Robert Vandall and Kevin Olson.

Any questions about composers that are not clearly in one or the other, consult the district chairperson for their input.

Style Periods:

Renaissance                        1450-1600
Baroque                                1600-1750
Classical                                1750-1825
Romantic                              1825-1900
Impressionist                       1890-1910
Classic 20th Century          1900-1975
Trans 20th/21st                  1975-Today

Due to the large number of current/20th century (and beyond) piano/instrumental composers, only 20th century percussion composers are specifically included in the composers list.


District 2
District 2
Dist 2-NM
District 3
Requirement 2 Pieces 2 Pieces 2 Pieces 3 Pieces 3 Pieces
Contrasting Time Periods No Yes Yes Yes Yes


Piano 2 Pieces 2 Pieces None 2 out of 3 3 Pieces
Organ 1 Piece 1 Piece None 1 Piece 1 Piece
Non-Keyboard Optional Optional None Optional 1 Piece
Voice 2 Songs 2 Songs None 2 out of 3 3 Songs



 Piano Organ Non-Keyboard Voice Duet
Arrangements No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transcriptions No Yes Yes No Yes
Simplifications No No No No No
Folk/Spiritual Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Popular/Top 40 No No No No No
Music Theater No No No Yes No


Maximum scheduled performance time: 

Depending on grade level, each student is given 8-15 minutes with the judge (see the table below).  Choose pieces that will fit this time frame, considering that a short warm-up and the judge’s time for writing comments is also included in this short period.

Grades 1 – 6 7 – 9 10 – 12
District 2 8 10 12
D2NM (District 2 Non-Memorized) NA 10 12
District 3 NA 12 15
State Track 10 12 15
District 2 10 12 12
D2NM (District 2 Non-Memorized) NA 12 12
District 3 NA 15 15
State Track 12 15 15


1. Selections chosen be contrasting in nature (mood, tempo, character, articulations etc.)  Please see other information in the table below.

2. Students in grades 1-3 may enter “State track” at the district auditions.  But, these students are not eligible to advance to the Badger competition.   (The Badger competition is for students in grade 4 and older).

3. Repertoire written for a specific instrument and in it’s original form, should be chosen for performance on that instrument.   (Example:  pianists are not allowed to perform an arrangement of a violin sonata or a theme from a symphony).  However, students playing non-keyboard instruments, may choose arrangements and transcriptions. 

Other notes about choosing repertoire:

1. A Baroque style piece by a 20th century composer is considered a 20th century composition. It should not, however, be coupled with a piece from the original style period.

2. Compositions must be published unless the unpublished composition is by a recognized composer. Permission for its use must be obtained from the district and/or state auditions chairperson.

3. Every attempt should be made to perform music written specifically for the performing medium. For instance, for piano, arrangements of folk songs, including spirituals, are the only arrangements acceptable.

4. Arrangements of hymns are not acceptable for piano.

5. Arrangements of popular music are not allowed.

6. Compositions should show as much contrast as possible. Consider differences in tempo, mood, articulation, dynamics, technical demands, etc. It is not acceptable to perform 2 compositions in a jazz, blues, or rock style – even though one might be a slow blues and the other a fast boogie.

Avoid possible disqualification by choosing pieces that are not questionable. If uncertain, contact the district chairperson at least six weeks before application deadline.  In any dispute over repertoire the district chairperson may consult the state auditions chairperson.  The decision of the state auditions chairperson is final.

Repertoire changes to meet requirements may be allowed up to the “freeze” date via “Ovations” online registration program.