GTCYS Call for Scores

2018-2019 GTCYS Call for Scores Competition

In an effort to grow the repertoire for younger symphony orchestras and expose students to a greater diversity of composers, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) is excited to announce a Call for Scores for the 2018-2019 season.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and their work will be performed in the spring of 2019. Domestic travel expenses and lodging will be provided for the winning composer to attend the performance. Competition prize includes copying, preparation, and reproduction of all scores and orchestral parts required for performance(s).

Eligibility:  Open to all composers. Submitted works must be original and unpublished, but may have been previously performed. No entry fee required. Composers from populations underrepresented in orchestral music are strongly encouraged to apply.

Instrumentation:  2222/2221/timp+1perc/str

Content:  Submissions will be performed by GTCYS Sinfonia West and/or Sinfonia East, ensembles consisting of students predominantly in grades 5-8. The winning composer will have an opportunity to consult with the ensemble conductor(s) in the preparation of their work. The pieces should generally correspond to a difficulty of Grade 2 or 3, and have maximum length of five minutes. Should the winning composition be published at a later date, it must carry the designation: Winner, 2018-2019 GTCYS Composition Contest.

Other considerations:

  • Submitted works should use key signatures (concert pitch) with no more than 2 flats or 2 sharps
  • Violins should be written no higher than third position
  • No auxiliary instruments or doubling in winds and brass
  • Examples of past Sinfonia West repertoire can be found here.

Selection Process:  The selection panel will consist of GTCYS Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, Sinfonia West conductor Kent Musser, Sinfonia East conductor Ernesto Estigarribia, and other members of the vibrant Twin Cities musical community. Winner will be chosen based on musical merit, pedagogical strength, and suitability for younger full orchestras. GTCYS reserves the right to announce that a winner does not exist if entry requirements and adequate musical quality are not fulfilled.

To Apply:  Submit resume, biography, copy of score, and recording (MIDI or live, if available) to Paul Schimming, GTCYS Orchestra Librarian, at; or mail to the following address:

Paul Schimming, Orchestra Librarian
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies
408 St. Peter Street
The Historic Hamm Building, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55102


January 2, 2019: Scores and applications due
Week of January 21, 2018: Winners announced


The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) transforms young musicians of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds by breaking down barriers to music instruction and providing exceptional year-round orchestral experiences. One of the largest youth orchestra programs in the United States, GTCYS serves more than 1,000 students ages 8-18 through nine academic-year orchestras, two summer programs, and Harmony violin instruction program. This year, GTCYS students will share 25 concerts and inspire 17,000 community members through our educational activities and performances. Committed to making our programs accessible, GTCYS will award more than $85,000 in need-based tuition and lessons scholarships this year. Learn more at

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