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CSYO is delighted to announce its first composition challenge in which we invite budding composers to write short vignettes for full orchestra, to be workshopped on 1st April 2024. Selected composers will have their works recorded and performed in the summer 2024. It is our belief that new composers should be championed and supported whilst providing our young musicians with opportunities to work with composers to gain a deeper understanding of the creative process. 

We would love to hear from you if you are keen to take part and planning to submit. Please register your interest at the link below. Submission details will be sent out via email to those who have registered interest.

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The Brief

Composers are invited to compose a short vignette for full orchestra* (see instrumentation below) lasting c.1 minute and no more than 3 minutes. Submissions must be received by Monday 18th March 2024 and compositions will be workshopped with the orchestra, our conductor Christopher Gayford, and guest composer, on Monday 1st April

Although we are keen to provide an opportunity for all composers that submit, in the event of a high volume of submissions, CSYO reserve the right to use a selection process for the workshop day.

The Details


•   The competition is open to composers of all ages and nationalities.

•   There are no geographical restrictions for participation but attendance in Sheffield on 1st April is required.

•   Composers may only submit one entry.



  • Composers are invited to write vignettes for full orchestra. Composers are encouraged to write short works (lasting no longer than 3 minutes) focussing on character and mood as opposed to compositions focussed on structural development. 

  • Must be an original composition not previously published or performed

  • The vignette must be written for the forces specified (please note the maximum divisi allowed in the strings).



*Orchestral instrumentation:


                           3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons

                           4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba

                           Percussion (bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, glockenspiel, xylophone, 3 timpani)

                           1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses (max divisi 2)


                              Submission Deadline: Monday 18th March 2024

                              Shortlisting Period (if required): 18th March - 25th March 2024 

                              Live workshop with CSYO: Monday 1st April 2024, Sheffield

                              Selected compositions taken forward to the summer sessions announced: Monday 8th April

                              Summer performance and recording: Friday 2nd August 2024

Intellectual Property and Rights:

•   Composers retain the copyright to their compositions.

•   Applicants waive all rights for publication, broadcasting, and recording of any premiere performance.


Once you have registered your interest to take part you will be contacted via email (please mark as safe) to submit a score and set of parts of the work. An audio file of your piece would be useful but not essential.


•   File Format: Composers must submit the score and set of parts in PDF format only. Please ensure that the PDF is clear, legible, and formatted appropriately for orchestral notation. The pages should be numbered.

​•  You will be required to also include a brief biography and short synopsis of the work

•   Deadline: All submissions must be received by 18th March 2024. Late submissions will not be considered.

•   Technical Assistance: If you encounter any technical difficulties during the submission process, please contact Gemma at for assistance.

•   Backup Copies: It is advisable to keep backup copies of your submitted composition in case of any email transmission issues.


Agreement and Acceptance:

By submitting an entry, composers acknowledge that they have read and agreed to abide composition challenge rules as set out in this document.

We look forward to receiving your compositions!

Get in touch

If you have any questions please do get in touch.

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