Both WMTA and MTNA sponsor composition events. Click the tabs below for information on each competition.


The WMTA Competition for Young Composers aims to provide an outlet for the compositional creativity of students in the state of Wisconsin and an opportunity to receive critical feedback on their works.

This competition is sponsored by WMTA and there is no advancement beyond the state level.



This competition is open to any student living in Wisconsin and studying composition with a member of WMTA (dues must be paid by entry deadline).  If a teacher has not paid his or her dues by the entry deadline, the student may enter by paying a $100 non-member fee.

There are three age divisions, determined by the entrant’s age as of January 1 of the competition year:  Elementary (5-10), Junior (11-14), and Senior (15-18).

The Senior division is limited to students still in high school. College students may not participate.

Students are not restricted from entering the MTNA Composition Competition in the same year.

Students may submit only one entry per year, and must submit a new composition each year he/she enters, regardless of the age division.  Students may not re-submit a composition.

Previous first-place winners may enter new compositions in the same age division again in subsequent years for comments and points only, but will not be eligible for any prize until they enter the next age category.



All entrants will receive ten (10) points and a certificate of participation, and written comments by the judge about their compositions.  Points earned will be kept separate from other instrumental areas.

Winners of each age division will receive five (5) additional points.

Winners will also receive a cash award: Senior-$100, Junior-$75, Elementary-$50.

Runners-up (chosen at the discretion of the adjudicator) of any age division will receive a cash award of $25 and four (4) additional points.

Honorable mentions, if chosen, will receive three (3) additional points.



Click here to print more information: WMTA Young Composers Comp Information 2017

Compositions may be for any combination of instruments or voices.

Compositions for prepared piano are not permitted, at the request of competition hosts and piano companies providing instruments.

A composition that makes use of a copyrighted text must be accompanied by a written statement from the copyright holder giving permission to use the text. If the text is in the public domain, a statement signed by the student and teacher indicating this fact must accompany the entry.

Measures of the composition must be numbered, preferably at the beginning of each stanza, and page numbers must be included.

Entrants should submit one (1) copy of the score along with their application and fee.  The only identifying information on the score should be the title and entrant’s age category. Do not include the name of the student or teacher on the score.  Each score will be assigned an entrant number by the State Composition Chair.

Entrants are encouraged to submit an audio or video recording of their composition with their music score in support of their application, although submission of a recording is not required to enter the competition.

First-place winners of each division will be invited to have their work performed at the Winner’s Recital during the annual WMTA State Conference (late Oct/early Nov.). This performance can be done live or through a number of alternative modes, such as electronic realizations and video and/or audio recordings.  The only instrument that will be available for the students’ use at the Winner’s Recital will be a piano.  The student is responsible for all performance arrangements of his or her composition at the Winner’s Recital.



Please follow this link to view and print the registration form: 
WMTA Young Composers Comp Application Form 2017 (deadline: June 20, 2017)

Application Deadline: Participants must submit their applications and scores via USPS or other mail service. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 20, 2017 and must contain all necessary information – the application form, music score, supporting audio/video recordings, and the entry fee. If scanned and emailed, the email must be sent before midnight on June 20, 2017.

Contact the Competition Chair, Dr. Peggy Otwell,, 262-352-0333, with any questions.


2016 WMTA Young Composers Competition Results

MTNA Composition Competition for Young Composers
Deadline: Sept 16, 2015 (3:00 p.m. EST)

All WI students are welcome to enter this wonderful “young composers” event. The competition has 4 levels:

Elementary (age: 5–10 as of January 1, 2016): $50 entry fee
Junior (age: 11–14 as of January 1, 2016): $70 entry fee
Senior (age: 15–18 as of January 1, 2016): $100 entry fee
Young Artist (age: 19–26 as of January 1, 2016): $100 entry fee

This is an MTNA national event: Students enter first in their state division. Winning representatives for each level, Elementary, Junior, Senior, and Young Artist, are selected by independent judges from the state entries and are advanced to the regional event. Winning representatives of that division are then advanced to the national finals at the MTNA National conference (in San Antonio, TX, April 2-6, 2016).

All students must first enter the state division, so the September 16, 2015 application and submission deadline is important to observe. Regional and national representatives are advanced automatically to the next levels of the competition. There are no monetary awards at the state level for this event, but the national awards are substantial, and are listed on the MTNA website (Composer Competition Guidelines).

The state competition results will be posted in late October. The regional competition results will be posted in early December. So, by the end of this year, your student will know if he or she has been advanced to the national finals at the MTNA conference.

All submission information and applications must be completed online at the website. Here is the link to “Composition Guidelines: on the MTNA the website:

MTNA has recently changed the submission requirements for this event, so be sure to read through all of the event information on the MTNA website before submitting any forms or compositions for the state division competition. Please do not send hard copy applications or score submissions to the WMTA coordinator. But if you have any questions, please feel free to call or email Peggy Otwell, WMTA composition events coordinator.

Thank you!

Peggy Otwell
WMTA Composer Competitions Coordinator
Phone 262-352-0333 (home studio/voice mail)