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Call for Young Composers: International Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music

An image in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's (FASO) Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music.

The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) is pleased to announce its International Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music for students. This composition competition is dedicated to the promotion of Philippine folk music and was established in honor of FASO’s 10th anniversary. All participants must submit an original composition for full orchestra (no vocals) that incorporates a theme(s) from any Philippine folk song(s). The composition must be between 3 and 5 minutes.

A distinguished panel of judges will select a winner, who will be awarded a $1000 prize. The second place winner will receive a prize of $500. The winning piece will have its world premiere at FASO’s 10th anniversary concert in Los Angeles in November 2018.

Composition scores, demo recordings and application form are due July 31, 2018 at 11:55 p.m. PST. Demo recordings and composition scores should be submitted via email to pr@fasofoundation.org. See below for more details on submission logistics.

The following is a list of composition competition rules and requirements. The application form can found here and at the bottom of this page.

Rules and Requirements

  • This international composition competition is open to composers of all nationalities registered in a college, university or film school as of 2018. Students graduating from their respective programs in 2018 are welcome to participate.
  • Multiple composers may collaborate on one competition entry as long as each composer satisfies the previous requirement above.
  • The composition may not have vocals.
  • The composition should not have been commercially released, posted publicly on content-sharing websites (e.g., YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo etc.) or performed in public as of the deadline. A composition will not be accepted if it has won first prize in another competition(s). Compositions that originated as school projects or that have been performed in school recitals may be submitted.
  • The composition must use standard symphonic orchestra instrumentation. For your reference, FASO has the following instrumentation: 2+picc, 2d1, 2+bass, 2 – 3, 3, 3, 1, timp, perc, hp, str.* You may include Philippine instruments (e.g., kulintang, angklung, rondalla instruments, etc.), but it is not required.
  • The composition must incorporate theme(s) from any Philippine folk song(s). Clarification on what we mean: Of course, Philippine folk songs with established melodies already exist. The composition component in this competition is the arrangement of those melodies. There are many opportunities to be innovative and creative in the composition process. The composition may be in any style, genre or form. Some examples:
    • A straightforward orchestration of a folk song melody
    • Medley of themes
    • Variations of a theme
    • Mashup of multiple themes
  • The composition’s score in PDF format and a demo recording in MP3 format must be emailed to pr@fasofoundation.org on the same day that the online application form is submitted. You may use one or a combination of the following for the demo recording: live instrument performance, MIDI mockup, synthesizer, playback from notation software (e.g., Finale, Sibelius etc.). Keep in mind that the quality of the demo recording will have no impact on the evaluation of the composition. The duration of the recording must be between 3 and 5 minutes.
  • The participant must submit an application fee of $15. Fee payments can be made online on the application form. Credit card and PayPal are accepted.

Judging Criteria

A distinguished panel of judges will score and judge competition entries according to criteria provided below.

Creativity (40%)
Creative use of music composition elements including, but not limited to form, genre, groove/feel, melody, counterpoint, harmony, rhythm and textures.

Orchestration (40%)
• Instrument parts are in playable range and are readable for college-level and professional musicians
• Lines and harmonies are effectively orchestrated
• Effective use of dynamics and articulation
• Effective utilization of the orchestra families
• Effective focus, balance and separation between multiple layers

Impact (20%)
• The composition is identifiable as Philippine folk music in an orchestral setting
• All audiences can relate to the piece (via subjective assessment by the judges)

Questions? Email pr@fasofoundation.org.

* Click here for an explanation of shorthand notation.

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