Opportunity for teen musicians in MN


Teen musicians: what original melodies and textures can you imagine for piano, violin & cello? A solo, a duet, a trio? All the combinations are available to you in this year’s Minnesota Varsity composer category, and we’re eager to hear what you create!

Minnesota Varsity showcases the top high-school musical talent from Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s terrestrial broadcast area (includes parts of MN, WI, ND, SD, ID and the UP of Michigan). Teens in these regions are invited to compete in Minnesota Varsity as performers or as composers.

For seven seasons ACF has partnered with Minnesota Public Radio to offer this distinctive composition contest. Students submit one original piece for the selected instrumentation, which changes each year to offer new creative challenges. The composer mentor and panel of performers play through all the submissions and select five students who advance to the featured round of the competition, where they participate in a full day of coaching and workshopping their pieces, plus recording interviews at MPR’s Studio M. This season we’re excited to welcome nationally celebrated composer Edie Hill as our program mentor! After edits are turned in and reviewed, two composers are selected for the Showcase Concert: a live radio broadcast from Ted Mann Concert Hall, which is later available to stream on the MPR website.

Composers ages 14-18 and grades 9-12 are invited to submit one original score (3-7 minutes in length) for any combination of the specific instruments listed below. To participate, read all the rules and apply online here: https://www.classicalmpr.org/topic/minnesota-varsity


  • Monday, December 3 @ 9:00am:the final deadline to submit your composition. Late entries are NOT accepted.
  • Saturday, 2/23/2019:Mentoring Day in Saint Paul
  • Saturday afternoon, 5/11/2019:Showcase Concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall


You may compose/submit a trio for all three players; a duet (piano and violin; cello & violin, cello & piano); or an unaccompanied solo for piano, violin, or cello. Music for any other instruments will not be accepted for this year’s competition.


Click here to watch composition videos about each instrument, and to go behind the scenes with MN Varsity showcase composers.

With questions, contact:

Kris Kautzman
Manager of Community Partnerships
75 5th St. West, Suite 522, Saint Paul, MN 55102
kkautzman@composersforum.org | 651.251.2842

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