orchestraThe American Prize in Composition, 2019-20

The American Prize in Composition recognizes and rewards the best composers in America of works for orchestra, chorus, concert band, chamber ensemble, pops, or theater music (opera-musical theater, theater, film, dance) that have been read or publicly performed.

REVISED preliminary DEADLINE for postmark or emailing of application(s):

Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Automatic extensions to Monday, June 3, 2019 for those who need more time and request it in advance of the June date by emailing




NOW—you have the option to pay application fees online—or by check or credit card.


NOW—you have the option to fill out the application on your computer and email it directly to the office—or write by hand and send by mail.


NOW—you have the option to provide online links to selections of your recorded music, or send recordings by mail. (Scores must still be provided by mail, however,—see individual contests for why.)



The American Prize is more than monetary. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners are announced to national arts media and on our websites, where winners are profiled. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners earn the right to use The American Prize logo and official seal on printed programs and other documents, and on the web.

SEMI-FINALISTS: All semi-finalists receive official certificates.

FINALISTS and RUNNERS-UP: All finalists and runners-up receive certificates and written, unbiased evaluations from our distinguished national panel of judges. When winners are announced on The American Prize blog, RUNNERS-UP are also profiled on the blog with their photos, biographies and website links.

WINNERS: A single winner in each category and/or division is selected. Winners receive certificates, written evaluations, personalized press releases sent by us to local media and other contacts you provide as part of your application, and cash prizes up to $500, depending on the year, the category and the number of entrants.
Only with your explicit permission, excerpts of winning performances may be posted to The American Prize channel on .

The judges reserve the right to award citations and honorable mentions as warranted, and to combine categories when necessary. The decision of the judges is final.

CLICK the competition names below for APPLICATION FORM and REQUIREMENTS.

categories: accepting applications in band, orchestral, choral, chamber music and opera/theater/film.

categories: professional composer, student composer—also separate "pops" division

categories: professional composer, student composer—also separate "pops" division

categories: professional composer, student composer—also separate "pops" division

categories: professional composer, student composer—separate VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL contests

categories: professional composer, student composer