The Montage Music Songwriting Competition is open to teen musicians age 13-18 in the Salt Lake area, for all styles of music. Students can enter an original composition or arrangement of a published work. Prizes include cash prizes, recording studio time, and private composition sessions. Finalists will perform in a concert on Thursday, May 28 at Highland High School in Salt Lake City.

Please check back soon for listing of specific prize levels. Awards include cash prizes, recording studio time, and free composition lessons.

The Montage Music Songwriting Competition exists to further Montage Music’s mission of fostering creativity and empowering youth in the Utah community. This songwriting competition is open to teens in grades 7th through 12th, as well as home-schooled students ages 13-18. No specific music background is required to enter. All students living in the Wasatch Front (within driving distance of Salt Lake City) are welcome to enter.

Entries: Students may enter 1 solo piece and/or 1 ensemble piece. Note that each entry requires the $25 fee (fee per entry, not per student). Both original compositions as well as arrangements of published works are welcome. All musical styles are welcome – classical, jazz, new age, pop, electronic, etc.

Fee: There is a $25 fee to enter the competition. Proceeds from the competition will provide financial assistance to disadvantaged music students in the Salt Lake area.

Application requirements:
1) Completed entry form on the FilmFreeway website here. The only required fields are the title of the piece and then the description of the piece in the "Description" field. You are welcome to write a brief personal statement about your piece for the judges to read.

2) Submitter Information - it is very important that you include your contact information (primarily phone/email) so we can contact the finalists. There is a field for this to be entered when you add your project. See the explanatory video for help.

3) Category selection for the entry (judges reserve the right to alter the category)

4) $25 application fee (payable securely through this website)

5) Recording of student piece. This can be either an audio or a video recording. Studio recording is not required, but good audio quality is essential. You should upload your file to Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. and then share the link with us. You can also use YouTube or Vimeo if you would like. If you have a video file, that can be uploaded directly to FilmFreeway, but they do not accept audio files so you'll need to upload that to Google Drive or Dropbox.

5) Transcription of the composition or arrangement (optional, but encouraged). You can upload this as a PDF with your entry.
a. Please note: we will not disqualify an entry if the student has not transcribed the piece. However, we strongly encourage the student to work with a teacher or friend as needed to create a transcription, as preference will be given to entries that include transcriptions. Consult a music teacher for recommendations.

6) If the song includes lyrics, a copy of the lyrics must be provided. Lyrics should be appropriate for a community audience. Please upload a PDF of your lyrics with your submission.

All participants will receive feedback from the competition judges on their piece.

Finalists will be notified by Saturday, May 21. The finalist concert/competition will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the Highland High School auditorium (2166 S 1700 E Salt Lake City). The winner will be selected at the concert.

Judging criteria: Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
• Originality (25%) – Does the song show the composer’s unique sound? Does it evoke a response in the listener? Is it memorable within the context of its style?
• Composition technique (50%) – Does the piece follow composition techniques of good melodic writing, harmonic variation, color and imagery, mapping/structure, instrumentation (if multiple instruments used), and so on? Are the lyrics meaningful and expressive? Additional stylistic criteria may apply.
• Performance (25%) – Is the composition performed artistically? Is it technically sound? Is the performer comfortable on stage?

Please note that the composer/songwriter is not required to perform the piece to enter; however, both the composer and performer (if separate individuals) must meet the eligibility criteria to participate.

Judge Panel: Judges consist of local band, orchestra, and choir directors, as well as local private music teachers. We currently anticipate that each student composition will be reviewed by two judges.

Foundation proceeds: As noted, proceeds from the competition will benefit the Montage Music Foundation, which provides financial assistance to needy music students in the Salt Lake area. Applications for financial assistance will be accepted in September 2015.

About us: Montage Music is a piano composition studio founded in 2015 by pianist and composer Jason Lyle Black. Jason teaches piano composition lessons to teens in the Wasatch Front, and provides a fun, meaningful creative experience for his students. You may recognize Jason from his recent “Frozen Piano Medley – Dueling Piano Siblings” viral video, which has been viewed over 7 million times, and has been featured on the Huffington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Yahoo, and Good Morning America. Jason has also been published by Hal Leonard corporation (the largest music publisher in the world), and is a member of the Utah Music Teacher's Association. Visit us at