Creating Original Music Project (COMP) K-12 Competition

Creating Original Music Project - Junior High Winners

COMP, the Creating Original Music Project, comprises two programs directed at younger composers:

  • A statewide competition that recognizes Missouri students (K-12) who compose original works in a variety of musical styles. Winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes.

  • The Missouri Summer Composition Institute (or Summer COMP), an exciting opportunity for some of Missouri’s young composers to come together for one week of learning and interacting with other creative minds. Participants will receive composition lessons from MU faculty and compose a piece to be premiered at the end of the week by a resident ensemble. The Institute is open to students entering grades 9-12 and entering college freshmen.

    Creating Original Music Project - Senior High Winners

The Creating Original Music Project is sponsored by an annual gift of $50,000 from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was created by the Sinquefield Family to support a variety of charities. The Board of the Foundation is made up of Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield and their children Randy, Luke, and Kate.

Eligibility

Young Composers: Missouri Students from Grades K-12, including those home schooled, are eligible to submit an original piece to the Creating Original Music Project.

Public School Music Teachers: Each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school's music teacher. Schools that win prizes from the program must provide the opportunity for their young musicians to perform their pieces in their schools.

Not-for-profit Community Organizations: Community agencies, churches, after-school programs, etc. may sponsor their young musicians in partnership with the student's school music teacher.

Private studio teachers and other musical mentors: Private teachers and other musical mentors may sponsor a young musician in partnership with the student's school music teacher.

Types of Compositions

All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation of already composed pieces will not be accepted. Music teachers and/or musical mentors may only assist students in notating or recording the pieces. The organizing committee encourages mentors and teachers to support young musicians and critique their work, though it must be the students' own and original composition.

Levels of Competition

Elementary, Kindergarten through grade 5

  1. Songs with words - students may submit notated or recorded entries.
  2. Instrumental pieces - students may submit notated or recorded entries.

Middle, Grades 6 through 8

  1. Fine art music - only notated entries accepted. Examples include string quartet, piano solo, art song for voice and piano, etc.
  2. Popular music - recorded or notated entries accepted. Examples include rock, country, folk, hip-hop, alternative, etc.

High School, Grades 9 through 12

  1. Fine art music - only notated entries accepted. Examples include string quartet, piano solo, art song for voice and piano, etc.
  2. Popular music - recorded or notated entries accepted. Examples include rock, folk (bluegrass, folk songs, old-time music, etc), country, hip-hop, alternative, etc.
  3. Jazz - recorded or notated entries accepted. Examples include big band, combo, etc.
  4. Other - composers are encouraged to choose one of the above categories. If unable to do so, they should choose "other." "Other" category pieces will be placed in a preexisting category at the discretion of the C.O.M.P. director.

Folk (bluegrass, folk songs, old-time music, etc.) submissions are now included in the popular music category. Sacred compositions (examples include church choir, gospel, hymns, etc.) are acceptable and should be submitted in the category (from those listed below) that most closely matches the musical style.

Application and Guidelines

All entries must be original music written by the student. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted. The composition may be written for NO MORE than eight performers, and may be between 1 - 5 minutes in length for the junior division (elementary and junior High) and 3 - 8 minutes in length for the senior (high school) division. No prize will be awarded to schools not listed on the application. Only one submission per applicant is allowed. Pieces composed during the MU Summer Composition Institute (Summer COMP) are ineligible.

Music teachers and/or musical mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces. Mentors and teachers are encouraged to support young musicians and may critique their work, though the submissions must be the students' own and original compositions. Each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of her/his school's music teacher.

Competition information for Teachers

Welcome teachers! We're excited to have your students participate in our program this year. Here are some guidelines about the program for you to keep in mind as you help your students prepare to submit their applications. Only three submissions per category per school will be accepted. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest. All entries must be original music written by the student. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted. The composition may be written for no more than eight performers, and may be between 1 - 5 minutes in length for the junior division (elementary and junior High) and 3 - 8 minutes in length for the senior (high school) division. Only one submission per applicant is allowed. No prize will be awarded to schools not listed on the application. Pieces composed during the MU Summer Composition Institute (Summer COMP) are ineligible. .   In the case of pieces with multiple composers, each contributor must submit a separate application form. All of these forms must accompany the submission in the same envelope.

Please make sure there are no identifying marks other than the title of the composition on the submitted score or recording. Do not put the name of the composer(s) or school on the score or recording

Awards

Winning composers and their schools will win cash prizes. More information on awards will be posted soon.

Performance

Winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project Festival held in April each year at the University of Missouri. All winning composers are expected to attend the festival for the performance of their original pieces. In addition, schools that win prizes from the program must provide the opportunity for their young musicians to perform their pieces in their schools.

Judging

Judges will rank the compositions from first to last in each category. If they believe that none of the compositions in a given category merit an award, they will be free to say so. The comments, ca. three to five sentences, will be shared with the applicant, but not the rankings.