Sponsored in part by
SMP Press at Sheet Music Plus
SF State School of Music
Composers and Schools
and through the generous support of Evelyn Nussenbaum and Fred Vogelstein

SFCMP presents

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players Music Composition Scholarship for high school students
Application Deadline: Mar 01, 2019
Score Reading and Feedback by: San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is pleased to announce our 2019 High School Music Composition Scholarship. One San Francisco Bay Area high school music student will win 5 hours of mentoring sessions with an advising professional composer, a private score reading by San Francisco Contemporary Music Players of the student’s work, feedback from the musicians, and a video recording of the reading.


Students can apply by submitting a video (2 min max) and a copy of a score that is in progress.  The video will describe the motivation behind the music as well as provide an idea for where the music is going and why the student would like to take part in this educational program.  Through five mentoring sessions, the draft score will be developed into an excerpt, a section, or a full piece that is ready for a reading session with a professional ensemble. The composer will assist the student with the development of the piece, notation, and print preparation. The scholarship panel is looking for a student with a passion to compose and a desire to learn.


  • The score must be written for 3 instruments from our ensemble: Visit the following link to learn about the Players: https://sfcmp.org/category/players
  • The duration of the draft score must be a minimum of 30 seconds but no longer than 3 minutes.
  • The score can be any genre of music e.g. rock, classical, jazz, etc.
  • The score must be unpublished and never performed by a professional ensemble.
  • A student may include an additional part for electronics; however, if a student writes for electronics, s/he must provide the equipment for performance and perform the equipment him or herself.


  • 5 mentoring sessions with the advising composer during the period of June – Aug, 2019. (The advising composer will be selected based on the winning student’s musical interest). Sessions will be a combination of online and in person.
  • A professional score reading session and feedback with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in early October 2019.
  • Feedback of the performed piece by the advising composer and the musicians.
  • A video recording of the reading session.
  • A pair of season tickets to SFCMP’s upcoming season


  • Students enrolled in high school during the spring term of 2019.
  • Students whose permanent address is in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA or Sacramento-Roseville Combined Statistical Areas
  • Students available for 5 hours of mentoring sessions during the time period of July-Sept 2019. Sessions will be a combination of online and in person.
  • Student available for a reading session in San Francisco with the ensemble in early Oct 2019.

Mar 01, 2019 at midnight. Winners will be notified by April 1.


Send an email to director@sfcmp.org with the following information:

Please provide the following information in the email:

  • Use the Subject line “Scholarship 2019 entry”
  • Address the email to “Dear Scholarship Committee”
  • Provide applicant’s information: student’s full name, grade level,  phone number, email address
  • Provide the name and phone number of the person giving the recommendation.
  • Provide the name, email address and phone number of one of the student’s guardian(s)

Please attach the following information (in .PDF format):

  • Attach the score
  • Attach one letter of recommendation
  • Attach one high-res image of you (informal is okay!)
  • Attach a bio (max 150 words)
  • Attach one letter from a guardian stating approval of the mentoring sessions and approval to submit the video
  • Attach a video or provide a link to the video (max 2 min.)

For questions about this application please contact Lisa Oman, Executive Director at 415-633-8802 or email director@sfcmp.org

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it possible to submit a music composition for piano or other instrument and transcribe it during the mentoring sessions?

Yes, but not encouraged. Try writing for the ensemble, and the composer will help develop the piece.


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

Now in its forty-eighth year, SFCMP is one of the most active ensembles in the United States dedicated to contemporary music. Led by Artistic Director Eric Dudley since 2018, SFCMP plays an important role in the regional and national cultural landscape. The most long-standing, continually-performing, new music ensemble outside the East Coast,  SFCMP has greatly contributed to the art form and the new music sector. SFCMP is a recent award winner of the Fromm Foundation Ensemble Prize, and a ten-time winner of the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. SFCMP has performed more than 1,200 works by over 600 composers; Over 300 of these performances have been premieres, and the organization has commissioned some 80 new works from composers such as John Adams, John Cage, Mel Powell, Du Yun, and Julia Wolfe. SFCMP has been presented by leading cultural festivals and concert series including San Francisco Performances, Los Angeles Monday Evening Concerts, Cal Performances, the Stern Grove Festival, the Festival of New American Music at CSU Sacramento, the Ojai Festival, and France’s prestigious MANCA Festival.

SFCMP evolved out of Bring Your Own Pillow concerts started in 1971 by Charles Boone. Three years later, it was incorporated by Jean-Louis LeRoux and Marcella DeCray who became its directors. Across its history, SFCMP has been led by eight Artistic Directors and seven Executive Directors with continuous support and oversight by an active Board of Directors.

Learn about previous scholarship winners