Composition Competition Rules and Guidelines
The competition is open to all composers, regardless of age or nationality. This year there are two categories: Category A (Works for Chamber Ensemble) and Category B (Works for Wind Ensemble). The information below provides details about the separate categories.
- General Guidelines
- Works may include non-interactive electroacoustic elements (e.g., fixed media).
- Works may have been performed before, but should not have been composed before the year 2000.
- An entry fee of $25 must be included with the first score submitted, regardless of category. There is an entry fee of $20 for each additional score submitted, regardless of category. For example, a composer who submits one score to Category A and another to Category B must submit a $45 entry fee. Composers may submit as many works as they like in any category.
- Previous winners in any category of the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition may not enter.
- Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Illinois State University may not enter.
- Attendance at the festival is encouraged but not required.
- In the unlikely event that no entry is worthy of the award in a given category, the University reserves the right to award no prizes or prize money in that category.
- SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2023.
- Additional Guidelines - Category A (Chamber Ensemble)
- Submitted works may be scored for any combination of one to sixteen instrumentalists and/or vocalists.
- Works must not exceed 15 minutes in duration.
- The final round of the competition will be judged by nationally and internationally recognized composers.
- Results will be announced by January 15, 2024.
- The composer of the winning work in Category A will receive a $1,000 prize, and the winning work will be performed by faculty members of the Illinois State University School of Music at the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Normal, Illinois, on March 28, 2024.
- The winning composer must agree to provide parts by January 30, 2024 in order to guarantee performance.
- If the instrumentation of the winning work is for some subset of the guest ensembles’ instrumentations, it may instead be considered by HYPERCUBE or Ensemble Dal Niente for performance at the RED NOTE New Music Festival.
- Additional Guidelines - Category B (Wind Ensemble)
Submitted works should be scored for wind ensemble (minimum 8 players), with the following maximum instrumentation:
5 Flutes (2 dbl. Piccolo, 1 dbl. Alto Flute, 1 dbl. Bass Flute)
3 Oboes (1 dbl. English Horn)
1 E-flat Clarinet
3 B-flat Clarinets
2 Bass Clarinets
3 Bassoons (1 dbl. Contrabassoon)
5 Saxophones (SAATB, SATBBs, AATBBs, AATB, SATB)
4 Trumpets (1 dbl. Piccolo)
3 Tenor Trombones
1 Bass Trombone
Timpani + 6 Percussionists
The composer of the winning work in Category B will receive a $1000 prize, and the work will be performed by the Illinois State University Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Tony Marinello at the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Normal, Illinois, on March 27, 2024.
Doublings or additional instrumentation not listed above may be permissible at the discretion of Dr. Marinello (please inquire).
The ISU Wind Symphony is an advanced ensemble which features the School of Music's top performers. However, judges reserve the right to consider playability in their deliberations.
Works must not exceed 12 minutes in duration.
Works featuring soloists (e.g., concertos) may be submitted with the understanding that the soloist must be supplied at no expense to the ISU Wind Symphony, and that the soloist must be able to attend at least one full rehearsal with the band in advance of the concert date, as well as the dress rehearsal before the concert.
The final round of the competition will be judged by Dr. Tony Marinello, conductor of the ISU Wind Symphony.
Results will be announced by December 15, 2023.
The winning composer must agree to provide parts by January 15, 2024 in order to guarantee performance.
- How to Enter
- Submit an ANONYMOUS PDF and audio file (mp3 or MIDI) of each score via the corresponding link below:
- The submitted PDF and audio files must be free of all names and identifying marks, other than the work's title.
- Pay the entry fee.
- Questions may be addressed to Professor Carl Schimmel at rednote@IllinoisState.edu.
- For details on past competitions, visit our Past Winners page.