GTCYS Call for Scores

2019-2020 GTCYS Call for Scores Competition

The 2019-2020 Call for Scores Competition has ended. Please check back for updates in future seasons!

To increase 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 our Call for Scores competition for the 2019-20 season.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and their work will be performed in the spring of 2020. Domestic travel expenses and lodging will be provided for the winning composer to attend the performance, pending composer availability. Competition prize includes copying, preparation, and reproduction of all scores and orchestral parts required for performance(s).

Eligibility:  Open to all composers, though we especially encourage submissions from composers traditionally underrepresented in orchestral music (female, non-binary, composers of color, etc.). Submitted works must be original and unpublished (or self-published) but may be previously performed. No entry fee required.

Content:  The winning submission will be performed by an appropriate GTCYS orchestra, chosen from our younger full symphony orchestras (Sinfonia West, Sinfonia East, Concertino, or Camerata). The winning composer will have an opportunity to consult with the ensemble conductor in the preparation of their work. Should the winning composition be published at a later date, it must carry the designation: Winner, 2019-20 GTCYS Call for Scores Competition. Submission materials will not be returned and will remain the property of GTCYS.

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

Composition requirements:

  • Difficulty of works should be suitable for musicians between the ages of 10 and 14 years old, generally corresponding with orchestral repertoire Grades 2 to 3
  • Instrumentation should not exceed the limits above
  • Key signatures (concert pitch) must not include more than 2 flats or 3 sharps
  • Violins should be written no higher than third position
  • Clarinets and Trumpets should be pitched in B-flat; no auxiliary winds permitted

Selection Process:  The selection panel will consist of GTCYS Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, conductors of relevant GTCYS orchestras, and various other musicians drawn from the vibrant Twin Cities musical community. Winner will be chosen based on musical merit, pedagogical strength, suitability for younger full orchestras, and adherence to the guidelines listed above. GTCYS reserves the right to announce that a winner does not exist if entry requirements and adequate musical quality are not fulfilled.

To Apply:  The 2019-20 Call for Scores is now closed. Please check back for updates in future seasons.


December 13, 2019: Scores and applications due
January 15, 2020: 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 and cello 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 $100,000 in need-based scholarships for tuition and lessons this year. Learn more at www.gtcys.org.

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