COMPOSITION - Festivals, Concerts, Competitions, Projects

CMEA Southwestern Section is devoted to the varieties of ways students may be offered opportunities to compose in K-12 classrooms and in teacher education coursework. Please check here frequently for updates for opportunities for both students and teachers to participate in composition festivals, concerts, competitions, and composing projects.

1. NAfME Composition Contest


The deadline for submissions for 2017 is March 10, 2017. The website will be updated soon!


2. APU-J.W.Pepper Composition contest


A music composition contest for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, in five categories of music, with a cash prize of $1000 per category, public performance and recording by an APU ensemble, a 1 year membership in J.W. Pepper's® My Score® program, and consideration for publication by J.W. Pepper/Wingert-Jones Publications.


NAfME Composition Council

Hickey, M. (2012). Music Outside the Lines: Ideas for Composing in K-12 Music Classrooms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Riley, P. E. (2016). Creating Music: What Children from Around the World Can Teach Us. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

This book provides examples of how to implement each of the Creating Process Components of the 2014 National Music Standards.


Journal Articles:

Deemer, R. (2016). Reimagining the role of composition in music teacher education. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 41-45. doi:10.1177/0027432115626253

Deutsch, D. (2016). Authentic assessment in music composition: Feedback that facilitates   creativity. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 53-59. doi: 10.1177/0027432115621608

Jorgensen, E. R. (2016). Another perspective: The joyous composer. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 71-74. doi: 10.1177/0027432115621864

Kaschub, M., & Smith, J. (2016). The big picture: Developing musical capacities. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 33-40. doi: 10.1177/0027432115622535

Randles, C., & Sullivan, M. (2013). How composers approach teaching composition: Strategies for music teachers. Music Educators Journal, 99(3), 51-57. doi: 10.1177/0027432112471398

Stringham, D. A. (2016). Creating compositional community in your classroom. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 46-52. doi: 10.1177/0027432115621953

Recommended Additional Reading:

Hickey, M. (Ed.), (2003). Why and How to Teach Music Composition. Reston, VA: MENC.

Kaschub, M., & Smith, J. (2009). Minds on music: Composition for creative and critical thinking. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kaschub, M., & Smith, J. (2013) Composing our future: Preparing music educators to teach composition. Oxford University Press: New York, NY. 
Kershner, J., Strand, K. (2016). Musicianship: Composing in Choir. Chicago: GIA.

Randles, C., Stringham, D. (Eds.), (2013). Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra. Chicago: GIA.
Kratus, J. (2016). Songwriting: A new direction for secondary music education. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 60-65. doi: 10.1177/0027432115620660.

Strand, K. (2016). Composition in an integrated arts program. Music Educators Journal, 102(3), 66-70. doi: 10.1177/0027432115626252



FESTIVALS - Outside CMEA Southwestern Section


August 2019

Conservatory Summer Music Camp

Dr. Alexander Koops

Hosted by: Azusa Pacific University

Composition & Technology for Music Educators

Music Tech Café – Young Composers EnsembleTM

Dr. Lisa A. Crawford

2018 Composition Workshop 

Click Here:  Registration

Fall CMEA & APU Music Composition Workshop for students and teachers Oct. 27, 2018

Location: Azusa Pacific University, Munson Chapel, 901 East Alosta Ave. Azusa, CA 91702.

Time:  8:30am-3:30pm.

CMEA and APU are proud to host a one-day composition workshop for K-12 music teachers and students. Our keynote speaker will be the National Association for Music Education Innovations Council Chair, Anne Fennel. Sessions with Lisa Crawford, Alexander Koops, Danielle Collins and Anne Fennell will include practical application lessons for teaching composition in any kind of music class, including general music, band, orchestra, and choir. Composition teaching resources, as well as composition festivals and competitions, will also be shared.


Young Composers Festival (Annual)

May 11, 2019  6:00 p.m.

Azusa Pacific University

Munson Recital Hall


The Azusa Pacific University Musical Studies Department will host the fourth annual young composers festival. This solo and small ensemble composition festival is open to any student age 18 and under and will be adjudicated by guest composer Dr. Lisa Crawford alongside APU faculty composers Phil Shackleton and Thomas Hynes.


Any K-12 music teacher may submit nominations of their top student composers to Alexander Koops, akoops@apu.edu, by March 15, 2016 to be considered for inclusion in the festival. Participating composers are expected to perform their own compositions or arrange with their teachers to find performers for the compositions. Each participant receives feedback on their composition and recording of the performance.


 Music Tech Café – Young Composers Ensemble/APU, as part of the Azusa Conservatory Collaborative Arts Camp: Dr. Koops & Dr. Crawford - June 17-22, 2019

(Teachers can register for the Music Tech Cafe and Students can participate through registering for the Collaborative Arts Camp. Registration form coming soon. Information will also be available at www.azusaconservatory.org)