New guidelines are being set for the Florida Orchestra’s Student Composition Competition open to all Florida universities and colleges with a music composition department.

Next season, The Florida Orchestra will open its Student Composition Competition to all Florida universities and colleges with a music composition department, encompassing about a dozen schools, the orchestra said in announcing new guidelines for the 2018-19 season.

Music Director Michael Francis and a panel of TFO staff and musicians will choose the winning work, which the orchestra will premiere on the final TFO Masterworks series concerts May 24-26, 2019. The winner also will receive a $1,000 honorarium.

The competition underscores TFO’s commitment to education and to music as a living art form, focusing on Florida talent. “We’re showing that as the third biggest state, we have an incredible artistic voice,” Maestro Francis said. This year’s winner, Shattered Clock Fanfare by David Browne of Florida Atlantic University, was featured on the Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony concert on May 18-20 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

The first round of the selection process will be blind, and the committee will have no knowledge of the composers or their schools. Up to four finalists will be chosen for a ‘reading session,’ in which The Florida Orchestra will play through each finalist’s work, on March 19, 2019.

General guidelines include:

Each university or college may submit up to two works for TFO’s consideration. The orchestra suggests each school hold an internal competition, but it’s up to the school.

The competition is open to any composition major, regardless of specific discipline (i.e. classical or jazz), or degree program (i.e. bachelors or masters).

The work should be between three and six minutes in length.

Important dates include:

December 21, 2018: Deadline for schools to submit complete student score(s) and accompanying recording, resume and artist statement for consideration

January 11, 2019: Finalists announced

March 19, 2019: Florida Orchestra reading session of finalists’ works at University of South Florida School of Music

March 22, 2019: Winning composer/composition announced

For information, visit

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