The Sudbury Youth Orchestra Composer Competition for Young Women


Please note that the deadline for submissions is being extended to SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2021.


The Sudbury Youth Orchestra is offering a cash prize and performance of a new work to an emerging composer

who is female or who self-identifies as female, aged 14 – 24. The selected composer will write a new piece to be

premiered in the spring of 2022, though the date of performance may be impacted by the state of pandemic

restrictions at that time. The winning composer will be asked to attend the premiere of the new work, with travel

expenses paid by the SYO. The SYO will retain the sole rights to the premiere performance of the new work. The

winning composer will also receive a $1000 prize, with a $500 prize available for the runner up. Applications will be

submitted through an online form, which can be downloaded from This

competition is made possible thanks to a donation from the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Federation of

University Women.


Submission Requirements & Process:

  • Composers wishing to apply should submit PDFs of one or two scores and corresponding two-minute audio samples in mp3 format of existing works. MIDI sound files are acceptable. We will not accept hand-written manuscripts.


  • Applicants should include a brief statement regarding thematic and/or musical ideas that they hope to explore in the proposed new work. The thematic content of the piece is at the composer’s discretion, though exploring themes related renewal, growth, optimism, or hope for the future are encouraged.


  • All material must be anonymous with the composer’s name replaced by a pseudonym. Jury members will receive applicant statements and links to support material, but no identifying information.


  • There is no fee to apply.


The deadline for applications is Friday, September 30th, 2021. Applications and sample scores should be directed electronically to Brenda Arrowsmith, at


Eligibility: this competition is open to women aged 14 – 24 as of January 1st, 2021, who reside in the province of Ontario.


Selection: The winning composer will be selected on the basis of their sample score submission and statement, which will be adjudicated by a panel of judges including the Music Director, Dr. Jamie Arrowsmith, special guest judge Elizabeth Raum, and a member of the community of Greater Sudbury.


Instrumentation: The SYO is a community-based orchestra of early-intermediate level, comprised of orchestral strings, piano and percussion, with musicians aged 12 - 24. Additional instruments such as woodwinds, brass, guitar, or voice are possible depending on the scope of their involvement.


Conditions: The new work will be digitally engraved, with score and parts in PDF format provided to the Sudbury Youth Orchestra.


Duration: the new work should run between 4 and 5 minutes.


Process: The successful candidate will have the opportunity to workshop the piece with the music director during the creative phase leading up to the score submission deadline.



Sample scores must be received by midnight on Friday, September 30th, 2021. The winner will be announced on Friday, September 17th, 2021. Complete score and parts for the new work should be received by mid-January (date to be confirmed with the music director, Dr. Jamie Arrowsmith). The tentative date for performance is Saturday, April 30th, 2022.