Junior Composers Competition

Deadline to receive submissions: February 1st

NJ Junior Composers Chair: Lisa Casia




Entrants must be United States citizens and members in good standing of NFMC, either as a Junior Club/Junior Associate Group member or as an Individual Junior Member. A teacher need not be a member of NJFMC, but the student must then join the national NFMC as an Individual Junior Member before or at the time of registering for the contest. This contest starts at the state level. Teachers submitting for their students through NJ must also be a current member of the NJ Chapter with dues paid up to date.  National Individual student Junior Members submitting through NJ must also reside in NJ in order to participate and have their current membership dues up to date.

TYPE OF ENTRY: Compositions may be for keyboard, voice, other instruments, or any combination.



To enter this contest, four items are necessary:

  1. Composition score in PDF format produced using notation software or legibly hand notated. They must have the title, composer’s name, age as of February 1, 2024, and class in the upper right corner of each sheet of the composition. If there are lyrics, the name of the lyricist must appear in the upper left corner. In order to get credit for a vocal line as an additional instrument, students must notate a melody for the singer, not merely write lyrics between the staves of a piano score. The scores must then be converted or scanned to PDF and submitted in that format online at the NFMC registration portal. ***Label the PDF file in this manner: Class #, Last name, first name, title of composition. For example: 4, Doe, John, My Composition Name.
  2. Audio Recording of student composition in MP3 format only. Label these recordings in the same manner as the score: Class #, Last name, first name, title of composition.
  3. Submit online payment here. The NJ state fee is $35 and the national fee is $5 for 2024.  (Select Competition Entry Fees and enter $40 as the Unit Cost.) Individual entrants whose teachers are not members of NJFMC must pay an additional $13 to enter to the total.   *There will be an added charge of $25 for all materials not received by February 1st. All fees must be paid at time of registration. 

  4. Submit online materials and fill out online application by clicking on the appropriate levels below. Student age as of March 1 of the current year determines the class.


Students will receive the state judge ratings on or around March 15. The state judge will include comments about the composition that are meant to help the students advance in their composing skills. The state judge will choose two entries from each age class to progress to the regional level by March 1. At the regional level, no comments from the regional judge are given, only selection of student winners occurs. The top two students in each of classes I and II and three students in each of classes III and IV will be given cash awards of $100 and their entries will be sent to the national level on April 1. The national judge will complete his/her work by May 1 and will determine winners with applicable cash awards. Only rankings, not comments, will be given by the national judge.

***Ties are not permitted at any level of the contest.



Although the Junior Composers Contest is no longer a part of Junior Festival, students may work towards Federation Cups in the same manner as entrants in Festival.

Note to Teachers: Contact your state Festival Cup chair, Debbra Nemeth Taryby, for further information about the award of cups.


Points awarded for the Junior Composers Contest are: