composer of the year featured image

composer of the year



The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Ryan Haskins are pleased to issue a “Call for Scores” for the SCSO’s 2023 Composer of the Year Competition.

The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra is committed to educating, developing, and promoting American composers. The SCSO Composer of the Year Competition is designed to annually highlight one talented composer who is currently in the early stages of their professional career. In addition to a One-Thousand US dollars ($1,000.00) monetary prize, the SCSO’s Composer of the Year will receive a premiere performance by the Sioux City Symphony, press/media coverage, scheduled lectures at selected local colleges and universities, and involvement in a variety of other community-related outreach programs.

Composer of the year logo


  1. Applicants must be US Citizens in the early stages of their professional careers.
  2. Submitted work may have yet to receive a performance or a reading by a professional orchestra. (school/conservatory performances do not count as professional readings/performances)
  3. Work should be five (5) to fifteen (15) minutes in length.
  4. Not eligible are concertos and choral works.
  5. Instrumentation must not exceed: 2 fl [1.2/pic], 2 ob [ 1.2/eh], 2 cl [1.2/bcl], 2 bsn [1.2/cbn], 4 hn, 2 tp, 2 tbn, 1 b-tbn, 1 tuba, timp +2, pf/cel, str


  1. Score must be submitted in PDF format
  2. One (1) computer-generated score of a work written within the last five (5) years
  3. A recording is required (MIDI is acceptable)
  4. One (1) current curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s current address, telephone number, email address, and proof of US Citizenship
  5. A short bio of the composer in PDF format (150 words max)
  6. A brief description of the work and notes detailing performance history, if any, including all dates and names of performing ensembles.
  7. Entry Fee of Twenty-Five US dollars ($25.00) payable via link below

The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra is not currently accepting entries for Composer of the Year due to COVID-19. This page will be updated when we re-open the process for entries.

All materials must be submitted via email:

After the selection panel reviews all entries, the Composer of the Year will be chosen. Their work will be performed on Saturday, November 18, 2023, by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. The Composer of the Year will travel to Sioux City and be a part of the rehearsal process for the premiere of their work, in addition to other scheduled community outreach activities.

The selection panel will include Music Director Ryan Haskins, composer Clint Needham, and other artistic team members.

Finalists will be interviewed (via phone) by the committee and are expected to speak succinctly about their work and their compositional process and offer any additional concepts that may help an audience engage with their work.

Applicants will be notified of the results by Monday, July 3, 2023.

Upon selection, the Composer of the Year must provide the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra with a complete set of parts (at no additional cost to the SCSO) that conform to the American Composers Forum Music Copying Guidelines.


The Sioux City Symphony will provide the Composer of the Year with one (1) round trip flight to Sioux City, IA.


The Sioux City Symphony will provide the Composer of the Year with hotel accommodations and local ground transportation during their residency in Sioux City.


The Sioux City Symphony will award a monetary prize of One-Thousand US dollars ($1,000.00) to the named Composer of the Year (recipient is responsible for all US taxes associated with prize money).




Applications must be received by Monday, May 15, 2023


US Citizens / Composer in the early stages of their professional career


Twenty-Five US dollars ($25.00) 

(Payable via PayPal link below)


One (1) work per applicant will be considered

The composition must be between five (5) and fifteen (15) minutes in duration


Copy of passport or birth certificate



2 fl [1.2/pic] , 2 ob [ 1.2/eh], 2 cl [1.2/bcl], 2 bsn [1.2/cbn], 4 hn, 2 tp, timp +1, pf/cel, str


Named SCSO Composer of the Year

One-Thousand US dollars ($1,000.00) 

Premiere performance by the SCSO (November 18, 2023)


One (1) score in PDF format to be emailed to the address below

Recording is required, MIDI is acceptable

Short bio in PDF format (150 words max) emailed with score and entry fee



Email the following to

___ One (1) computer-generated score in PDF format

___ Recording of piece – MIDI is acceptable

___ A brief description of the piece submitted                   

___ Short composer bio (150 words max) in PDF format

___ Curriculum Vitae including current address, telephone number, and email address

___ Proof of US Citizenship (scan)

All materials are to be electronically submitted to
(Submission Deadline: Monday, May 15, 2023)

___ Entry Fee –  Twenty-Five US dollars ($25.00) (payable to the SCSO via

***Submitted compositions that do not conform to these guidelines cannot be considered for the inclusion of this Call for Scores. 

***The decision of the selection panel is final and also reserves the right not to award a prize in a given year. 

***Honorable Mention will be awarded at the discretion of the selection panel.


Click here to download printable PDF






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