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About this event:

This competition is intended to encourage the writing of original creative compositions.  It is in memory of Alma Grayce Miller, a former NVMTA member who left funds for this purpose.

Application Requirements

1. Fill out the application.  application 2020
2. Submit four clear copies of each manuscript. On the manuscript, write the title of the piece, the composer’s age, and number of years of study.  The composer’s name must not appear on the manuscript.
3. Submit a digital file of the composer playing the composition to [email protected]. Label the entry with the title of the composition only.
4.  Fill out 2 rating sheets. rating sheet 2020

Mail application, manuscripts, 2 rating sheets, and one check per studio, payable to NVMTA, to:

Libby McConnell
1220 Bishopsgate Way
Reston, VA 20194

No late applications will be accepted.  All fees are non-refundable.


Participants must study with an active member teacher of NVMTA or pay the non-member fee (as defined in the bylaws).  Compositions must be in student’s own handwriting or in the form of a computer printout personally produced by the composer.

There is no restriction on the selection of instruments.  There are neither age or grade requirements, nor requirements concerning form, style, or length of composition.


McLean Symphony Concert:  The conductor of the McLean Symphony, Dingwall Fleary, will select compositions to be orchestrated and performed on their 2021 youth concert.  The 2020 youth concert will feature previous years’ composition competition symphony winners.  See http://mclean-symphony.org for more information.

The Jo Lombard Award ($150) will be given by competition judges to one overall outstanding composition. Second ($75) and third place ($50) awards may be awarded by judges at their discretion.

The Willis-Bennett Technology Award ($150) will be awarded to a high school student able to manage the technological work of the competition by creating master CDs for judges and duplicate CDs for participants, all within the time constraints of this event.  Teachers may nominate qualified students for this award until February 1.

The Frances Hollans Award  ($25) will be given to a student, age 12 and under whose competition is judged to be “most creative”.

Honors Recital All entrants will play their compositions at the Composition Competition Honors Recital on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at 7 pm at the Womans Club of Arlington.  Composers of ensembles are highly encouraged to prepare a live performance of their piece for this event.

Each student will receive judges’ comments and a certificate of participation which may be picked up, along with manuscripts, at the Honors Recital or at the May NVMTA meeting. Recordings of all entries will be available online after the Honors Recital.

Teacher Guidelines

Participating teachers must contribute time toward the success of this competition.  Teachers who fail to carry out assigned duties may not enter students in the event in the following year.  Teachers must agree to abide by the Teacher Responsibilities.