2023-2024 Composition Competition

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the 2023-2024 Composition Competition. Heartland Symphony Orchestra is a 50-piece volunteer, nonprofit, community orchestra located in and serving the central Minnesota area of Brainerd, Little Falls, and the surrounding rural communities. Musicians, from amateurs to professionals, come together once a week from all over the region to rehearse and perform three full-length orchestral music concerts each season in both Little Falls and Brainerd.

HSO invites composers nationwide to submit original orchestral compositions. Winners will receive a $1000 monetary prize, an opportunity to work with HSO and its conductor, and a recording of the concert. Application instructions and forms are found below. Email [email protected] or call 1-800-826-1997 for additional information. The winning score will be performed by the HSO at its Spring 2024 concert series to be presented in two central Minnesota communities: Little Falls (April 6), and Brainerd (April 7).  The winner will also accompany HSO musicians in educational outreach to area schools in each concert area.


  1. Total duration must be between 6 and 10 minutes.
  2. Only one work per composer will be considered.
  3. Leave title and name on the score.
  4. Instrumentation must not exceed:
  5. Woodwinds
    • 3 Flutes (Up to 3 flutes, 1 of which may play or double on piccolo)
    • 2 Oboes (Up to 2 oboes, 1 of which may play or double on English horn)
    • 3 Clarinets (Up to 3 clarinets, 1 of which may play or double on Bass Clarinet. Pieces with E-flat clarinet will not be considered)
    • 2 Bassoons (Pieces with contrabassoon will not be considered)
  6. Brass
    • 4 Horns
    • 3 Trumpets
    • 3 Trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass)
    • 1 Tuba
  7. Percussion
    • Timpani +3 additional percussion players (Available instruments include standard orchestral percussion. Heartland Symphony rehearses and performs at two different high schools. If you are unsure of the availability of a percussion instrument, please contact Heartland Symphony)
  8. Harp/Piano
    • Composers may choose to utilize 1 keyboard or 1 harp part. Only 1 musician will be available to cover this part
    • If the keyboard part is for celesta, the part will be performed on HSO’s electric keyboard. If the part is for piano, it will be covered on keyboard or piano depending on the venue
    • Pieces with 1 harp part will be considered, but please know that HSO performs harp parts on keyboard and the applicant should expect this at the concert
  9. Strings

Application Package Must Include:

  1. Application Form – Please fill out form below and submit.
  2. Application Files – Please upload files below and submit.
    • PDF file of the score
    • One single page biography, detailing your musical studies to date
    • MIDI sound file of the composition


Application Deadline: January 21, 2024

Participant will be notified by January 28, 2024 and the First Prize winner must supply Parts (PDF File) by February 6, 2024. Scores and parts must be legible and ready to play. The Heartland Symphony reserves the right to refuse to read any work that does not adhere to these guidelines.


Email Ryan Webber, the Music Director of Heartland Symphony at [email protected] or the HSO office [email protected] 1-800-826-1997.

HSO 2023-2024 Composition Competition Application Form

HSO 2023-2024 Composition Competition Application Files

    The application package must include the following items. If you are unable to send a file(s) using this form due to the file size, please email remaining file(s) to [email protected] and include 2023-2024 Composition Competition and your name in the subject line.

    *Composer Name


    PDF File of the Score

    One single page biography, detailing your musical studies to date. (pdf or doc)

    MIDI sound file of the composition