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  • Welcome to the NAfME Eastern Division Student Composers Concert Application!  Students who submit a chamber or electronic composition or song will be considered for inclusion in the Student Composition Concert at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Rochester, NY.  Selected students will also participate in a post-concert reflection with their fellow student composers and members of the NAfME Eastern Division Composition Committee.


  • Grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and Collegiate.
  • Although composition quality is the primary criterion, NAfME will attempt to represent all four age categories and will seek to program a concert of varied style, genre and instrumentation.


  • Each K-12 student making application must be sponsored by a teacher with an active NAfME membership at the time of application in order to be eligible to submit compositions.  Collegiate students must have a NAfME collegiate membership at the time of application.
  • Compositions or songs must not exceed five (5) minutes in duration.
  • Submitted works may include chamber music (for live performers), electronic music (created and recorded with electronic sounds—no MIDI mockups of acoustic works will be considered), and original songs from any style.
  • Chamber composition submissions shall include a score and an mp3 audio recording of the work. If selected, these works will be performed at the concert either by performers brought by the composer or, if necessary, by performers organized by the NAfME Eastern Division.
  • Electronic composition submissions shall include an mp3 audio recording of the work. If selected, these works will be played at the concert.
  • Songs in any style with original lyrics shall include an mp3 audio recording of the work. If selected, these songs will either be performed live by the songwriter or the recording will be played during the concert.
  • Each applicant may submit a maximum of two compositions, but each submission requires a separate application and payment of the $20 submission fee.
  • If a composition is selected for performance at the Eastern Division Conference, NAfME Eastern Division will assist in recruitment of performers, but NAfME Eastern Division cannot guarantee that a performance will take place.
  • Students whose compositions are selected will be expected to attend the  NAfME Eastern Division Conference.
  • Travel, housing and other expenses for students who attend the NAfME Eastern Division Conference are the responsibility of the students' family and/or sponsoring school.

The committee evaluates the submitted compositions based on three broad criteria:
Compositional Technique includes the following elements, where applicable:

  • Organization of pitch elements such as melody, harmony and counterpoint
  • Organization of rhythmic elements
  • Formal design
  • Accuracy and clarity of notation
  • Appropriate writing for instruments and/or voices

Overall Musical Appeal includes the following aspects:

  • Stylistic coherence, regardless of the particular style
  • Effective handling of unity/variety and tension/release
  • Effective use of dynamics, articulations and expressive marks
  • Interaction of all of the musical elements (atmosphere, mood, direction, flow of the work)

Creativity refers to aspects of the piece that reveal the composer's individual "voice" and distinguish the piece from a musical exercise or a direct imitation of another piece.
If some of these terms are not familiar to you, please discuss them with your teacher or contact the committee chairperson at comp@nyssma.org.
The criteria listed above are not intended as a "checklist" for each student to go through as they compose a piece.  Each work is unique.  The committee attempts to assess each composition on its own merit.

  1. Complete the Submittable Application Form and upload materials no later than December 2, 2022.
  2. Upload the score as a PDF file
  3. Upload an mp3 audio file recording of the composition.
  4. Submit the $20 payment as per Submittable.

For further information, please contact Dr. Rob Deemer, NAfME Eastern Division Composition Chair at comp@nyssma.org.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.