BCMTA Student Composition Competition








The intent of the Composition Competition is to foster creativity and provide students the opportunity to submit original music for evaluation  by experienced teachers or professional musicians with a background in composition.

For each year, the Composition Chairperson will determine the number of qualified judge(s) to be assigned. Up to two qualified judges will review student compositions and provide written evaluations for the students. Content and musicianship will be taken into account when judged. Criteria, such as the following, typically, are considered:

  • Creativity and originality
  • Formal organization of material, variety, unity, etc.
  • Logical use of rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic ideas
  • Idiomatic writing for instrument(s), voice, etc.,
  • Observance of the basic skills in music notation


In the spirit of competition, a minimum of three (3) entries in each Division is required in order for that particular Division to participate in the competition.


  • Judges may, but are not required to, award the following awards for the Division Winners:
    • Elementary:  FSMTA Levels Primary – Level 4 (or the equivalent of):  $25.00
    • Intermediate: FSMTA Levels 5 – 8 (or the equivalent of):  $50.00
    • Advanced: FSMTA Levels 9 – 12 (or the equivalent of): $75.00
  • BCMTA will showcase Division winning compositions at its annual Fall Open House.

All entrants will receive a Certificate of Participation



Marie Budinsky-Maher, Chairperson Composition Competition


(954) 933-6440




Division FSMTA Level: Entry Fee:

Elementary Primary-Level 4 $15.00

Intermediate Level 5-8 $20.00

Advanced Level 9-12 $25.00


In addition to the entry fees listed above, a Studio Fee in the applicable amount as determined by the Board of Directors for BCMTA must be remitted. See the Studio Entrant Listing for information relating to the Studio Fee.

  1. All Entrants must currently be studying with a BCMTA teacher. All correspondence and communication relating to this competition will be solely between the teacher and the Chairperson.
  2. A student entrant may submit only one original composition. A student may not reenter a composition in the current year BCMTA Composition that had been entered in any previous years’ BCMTA, other local MTA, State MTA, Divisional MTA or National MTA, Composition Competition.
  3. A composition may be in any style and for any medium and meet the following:
    1. Elementary:  minimum of 16 measures
    2. Intermediate: minimum of 32 measures
    3. Advanced: minimum of 48 measures
  4. The performance time may not exceed 10 minutes. Multi-movement works are allowable, but must not be more than 10 minutes in total length.
  5. With the exception of prepared piano, any style or instrumentation is acceptable, but if chosen as a winner, student must provide musician for its performance at BCMTA’s annual Fall Open House
  6. Two (2) legible copies of a fully realized score, completely notated by the composer, are required. (Please do not send original manuscripts.) The manuscript must be in the composer’s handwriting or in the form of a computer printout input and produced by the composer. If the manuscript is in the form of a computer printout, the composer must provide a copy of a portion (first 8 measures) of the original handwritten sketch to demonstrate the ability to hand notate the musical elements found in a composition.
  7. The manuscript copies must be labeled with the name of the composition, the PEN NAME of the student and the Division (Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced). The name of the teacher or any other identifying reference must not appear on the score.
  8. All measures of the composition must be numbered.
  9. The composition may not include copyrighted text unless written permission from the copyright owner has been granted (a copy of permission must be enclosed). If the text is in the public domain, a statement signed by the student and teacher indicating this fact must accompany the entry.
  10. A CD on which there is a recording of the student entry, whose label contains only the PEN NAME (no actual names) of the student, the title of the composition, and the entrant’s category, may accompany the manuscript at the local level.
  11. Division winners may not re-enter at the same level in subsequent years
  12. No change may be made to the manuscript once it has been submitted with the application. Any composition that does not meet the Submission Requirements will be disqualified.
  13. Neither Broward County MTA, Florida State MTA nor the National MTA is responsible for lost or damaged manuscripts, parts or CDs. Consistent with the practice of the National MTNA competition, submission materials will not be returned to entrants
  14. Division winners are expected to perform their compositions at the annual BCMTA Open House which is generally scheduled for September. If their composition is for chamber ensemble or voice, it is expected that the winning student will engage the necessary musicians for performance at the Open House recital. (Teachers may perform a student’s composition at any level.)