Composition Competition

  • Violettes Youth Composition Competition & Songwriter Contest

    Violettes by Becky Presents

    our 4rth Annual Youth Composition Competition & Songwriter Contest

    Register now HERE. There is a $15 entry fee**.  Send Score and MP-3 or You tube by Feb. 14, 2017 to  (Registration after Dec. 31 goes up to $20) Note that you can register by paying early, but submit entry on Feb. deadline.           Thank you.

    There are separate categories for composition and songwriter entries. Each is divided into 2 age levels for judging and prizes. Thanks to sponsors Violettes by Becky for Gig bags and Cash, Board Member Bennye St. Claire for obtaining Songwriter Grand Prize TBA, Performers Music and Sheet Music Plus for Sheet Music Gift Certificates for prize donations. Thanks to all volunteer judges!

    • Bios for Composition and Songwriter Judges can be found HERE.
    • Judging Criteria for both Composition and Songwriter entries posted at bottom of this page.


    Composition Theme: Being Me Now!
    A song is sometimes the melody, sometimes the lyrics and sometimes the heart. However your song comes thru, let it fly. Share your reflections and introspection.

    1. Entries must be amateur composers/songwriters who are ages 10 thru 18 on Feb. 14, 2017. For judging, Junior Division will be ages 10 thru 14 and, Senior Division will be ages 15 thru 18. (Students must still be in High School).
    2. Compositions/Songs must be between two and five minutes in length.
    3. Collaborative work accepted (partner must be in same age group). It will be the responsibility of the entry writer to divide the prize. No songs under professional contract may be entered.
    4. Submissions must consist of a score, and an MP-3 (or MP-4 or Memory Stick) or video. For ages 10 thru 14, score is not required, but will be given more weight in judging.
    5. Top 30 entries in each division will be judged by two independent professional musicians. Students of judges may not enter. (In the case of over 30 entries in a division, Violettes will use a committee to choose the top 30). Each student in top 30 will receive at least one feedback critique from judges.
    6. Register to enter by Feb. 14, 2017. Registration after Dec. 31, 2016 goes up to $20. You can register and pay early, then send entry on deadline.
    7. Compositions/Songs are due by February 14, 2017. Submit to Violettes "Contact us" email or
    8. Winners will be announced on April 15, 2017.
    9. Registering for the competition means that you agree that your work is original and that you hold all rights to the composition/song.
    10. Entry constitutes permission to use winner's names, likenesses, and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation.
    11. Submission constitutes entrant's agreement to release, indemnify and hold harmless Violettes and judges from and against any claim, including, without limitation, of copyright infringement or other misappropriation, arising from any acts or omissions in connection with the contest or its operation. 

    12. If you are interviewed by the press as a result of this competition, you are required to tell the press, they must mention and thank the company, ", Gifts for Music Lovers" in the press release for the generous competition.

    **If you can not afford the entry fee, we can waive your fee. Also, please note that this competition is a labor of love, and the fee does not begin to cover the labor involved. Support us if you can with purchase from Violettes by Becky. Everyone needs to give gifts. Thanks.

    Please keep informed by signing up for the Violettes Newsletter.


    Prizes for Composition & Songwriter Competition 


    Please try to patronize our wonderful sponsors.

    * We especially thank our new Board Member, Bennye St. Claire who helped obtain songwriting judges and who is securing songwriter grand prize.

    Bennye J. St.Claire - President - Texas Universal Management has been in the country music industry since 1976. He has worked with such artists as The Oak Ridge Boys, Eddie Raven, Gena Roberts-Hamilton (Country Gospel Singer), Gayla Earline (Gospel Singer), and others too many to mention. He has managed several up and coming vocalists. He also acts as a booking agent for South Bound Train, The Jason Helms Band, T.Kaye and Sweetfire and others.

    Violettes by Becky is a creative company hiring visual artists and serving youth music programs. We sell musical-instrument-shaped purses and gig bags. Please support our work. Violin, Guitar and Piano and Ukulele Purses are unique gifts from Fill them with concert tickets...Violin Purse, guitar Purse, Piano purse, ukulele gift, composition competition, writing a songViolin, Piano, Guitar and Ukulele Purses or Gig Bags make Awesome Gifts!

    Judging Criteria

    • Judging Criteria for the Compositions will include up to 5 points assigned to each of the following 3 categories: 1. Originality/Creativity, 2. Technical Proficiency 3. Orchestration and Overall Effectiveness
      (Note that the majority of entries are entered on just one instrument).
    • Judging Criteria for the Songwriter Competition
      will include up to 5 points assigned to each of the following categories:
      1. Emotional Impact, 2. Individuality and Creativity, 3. Meaningful Lyrics, 4. Melody

    Points will be deducted for going over the 5 minute time limit for each entry.

    Gifts for Musicians


  • Music Competition Highlights - More Violettes' Senior Winners


    Composition and Songwriter Competition Bios (#2 in Series)

    Songwriter Contest; Guitar Purse, Music Competition The rest of Becky.


    We have incredible students enter the Violettes by Becky Youth Music Competition.  

    Here are Senior 2nd place winners (only because I can't afford too many ties)!

    Advertisement Note -Though the mission of Violettes by Becky is to support childrens' music education - Becky puts in long hours, obtaining prizes with endless phone calls and emails, looking for (free) places to post announcements with endless calls and emails, organizing entries, conferring with judges, sending out notes for results, making certificates, mailing prizes, mailing thank yous to judges and donors, writing press releases for all winners... The competition is great fun, so please support the fun by buying from Violettes. Everyone needs to give gifts. You can also help by sharing  (and "Liking" ) Violettes posts, or better yet, photos of products, on social media. We are on facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even a little bit on Tumblr. Also, you can have your class pitch in to buy an end of the year thank you gift for your music teacher or conductor. Several students have done this in the past. See



    For Competition Rules, See this Link.

    Senior Songwriter Competition, 2nd Place winner: 

    Hanah Breck-Moore, 15 from Winnsboro, Texas

    Songwriter Contest, Music Compeititon Hanah Breck - Contest Winner

    Hanah Breck-Moore attends Winnsboro High School. She with her brother Christopher Hollis and sister Hailee Kristee are members of her 4 piece band, “Scatter Proof Band”. They play country, pop blues, and classic rock. Hannah sings and plays rhythm and lead guitar. She together with her younger sister co-write and compose songs. She also plays clarinet in her school marching band, and is a member of the Drill Dance Team.  “Singing, playing & writing music is my passion. I love the stage, the reaction of audiences, & playing with my band.  I like to cook, ride my horse, swim, skate, & be with my friends.  I want to be a famous singer and musician "tomorrow".   Music is what I plan to do with my life. It makes people Feel.  It brings back memories, & puts smiles on faces, gets many up dancing, & singing along.”



    Senior Composition Competition, 2nd Place Winner:

    David Ghesser , 17 from Tarzana, California 

    David Ghesser was our 1st place winner last year. He studies piano with Larisa Rakhmanova and composition with Liviu Marinescu. He has been playing piano since he was 9 ½, and composing for 4 ½ years. He enjoys writing contemporary classical, Jazz and most recently, pop! David's favorite composers include, Beethoven, Mesiaen, Bartok and Grisey, and his favorite Jazz imropovisers are Early Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Mike Garson. He will major in composition at UCLA next fall.

    We hope you enjoyed some of the fruits of our Music Competition.


  • Violettes 2nd Youth Composition and Songwriter Contest Awards

    Violettes by Becky Presents Awards

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dear Students, Parents and Teachers,

    It was such a pleasure to listen to each of the compositions/songs. Congratulations to all who entered! The level of entries was very high, and the number of entries more than doubled from last year. This contest is meant to encourage you. The judges' feedback is meant to be helpful, so I hope you find it that way. (I don't have all the judges comments yet, so I will be emailing them with your certificates over the next 2 weeks.)

    We all must thank the wonderful volunteer judges : The 2 Songwriter judges, David Lauver and Tammie Dischner are both singer/songwriters who have won both Regional and National Songwriting Competitions. (Blog featuring Ms. Dischner coming soon). Senior composition judges are Esteban Alvarez and Richard Prior. Junior composition judges are Julie Fischer and Paul Brody.

    We also need to thank our generous prize donors: Digitrax Entertainment, SoKnox Studios,     JW Pepper (Sheet Music), Sheet Music Plus, and Performers Music. In addition, we thank our generous anonymous donor for the $1,000 Scholarship.

    Scoring: With the competition growing, we will post an official scoring method for next year. Previously, I left it up to the judges for individual scoring, but we had a rough time choosing winners in several catagories. Deciding whether instrumentation, form, creativity, length ... takes priority was impossible in cases. In one case, we had to resort to age to help break the several way tie!

    Next week, Violettes will post photos, bios and more music of winners.

    Songwriter Contest Awards:

    Senior - 1st Place presented in video by Violettes by Becky ( from Redondo Beach, CA)
    (I hope you don't mind the video announcement).

    -------------2nd Place Hanah Breck-Moore (Winnsboro, Texas)
    -------------3rd Place Hayden Kesterson (Knoxville, TN)

    Junior - 1st Place Ankitha Gopal (Campbell, CA)
    -------------2nd Place Aria Abhyankar (Richardson, Texas)

    Special School Team Award: Dr. Eisenberg and students Carlos Gomez, Anisa Napier,
    Taziyah  Briant-Prieto and Bryce Fraites. (New York)


    Composition Competition Awards:

    Senior - 1st Place Winner presented in Video by Violettes by Becky (from Oyster Bay, NY)
    (I hope you don't mind the video).

    -------------2nd Place David Ghesser (Tarzana, CA)
    -------------3rd Place Scott Etan Feiner (Roslyn Harbor, NY)
    -------------Honorable Mention Davis Zamboanga (Dublin, CA)

    Junior - 1st Place Meagan Drinnon (Vero Beach, Florida)
    ------------2nd Place Tie Nathanael Fleming (Harrisville, Pennsylvania)
    ------------------------------------and Helena Abney-McPeek (Chicago, Il)
    ------------Honorable Mention: Theo Harsham (Newton Highlands, MA)

    Composition Competition, Songwriter Contest Violettes by Becky thanks judges, presents School Award....with Hand made Quilt Squares.


    Please don't forget to support when you need awesome gifts!

    This also supports our Composition Competition and Songwriter Contest


    For competition Guidelines, See this LINK.

  • Fun Volunteer Judges for Junior Composers

    Thanks to our Junior Composers' Judges

    Our 2 volunteer Composers' judges for the Junior Division of the Violettes Youth Composition Competition are fun Music Professionals who love working with children. Both Julie Fischer and Paul Brody have worked extensively with children in their music careers. Bio Information about each is the subject of this blog.

    Ms. Julie Fischer

    Composers Julie Fischer                           Junior Composers Judge

    Ms. Fischer has always been able to hear harmonically. She harmonized parts to violin music since she was 4 years old! After some formal theory training, she sat at the piano for hours and pretended she was Bach...As a child, she won the Reflections Contest and composed music for Rumpelstiltskin.

    She took many composition classes at the New England Conservatory (NEC), and loves working with children.

    Julie Fischer is a violin and viola teacher and performer. She has over 20 years of experience teaching kids and adults of all ages and levels. She has taught in university, conservatory, community music school, and private studio settings. She currently teaches privately, at the Music Institute of Chicago and is on the chamber music faculty of the Midwest Young Artists.

    She has appeared as soloist with multiple orchestras, a few being the Pacific Palisades Symphony, Evanston Symphony, and Kishwaukee Symphony.


    Graduate Diploma-New England Conservatory -2005; Masters of Music-New England Conservatory-2004; Bachelors of Music-Cleveland Institute of Music-2002

    Significant teachers and mentors:

    Lucy Chapman, Donald Weilerstein, Almita and Roland Vamos, Thomas Wermuth, Paula Fischer

    Awards and achievements:

    Julie was previously a member of the Azmari Quartet, in Residence at Northern Kentucky University, where she was a Violin Professor from 2007-2009. Julie was a three time prizewinner at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and a 2 time winner of the Walgreens National Competition. She has performed at the Perlman Chamber Music Program with Donald Weilerstein, and was also teaching assistant to Donald Weilerstein at NEC.

    Favorite practice tip:   Practice only on the days you eat!

    Mr. Paul Brody

    Composers Paul Brody                     Junior Composers Judge Photo credits: Elena Graupe

    Paul Brody is an American composer, writer and trumpeter based in Berlin. Currently he is working on a commission to produce a radio feature for West German Radio using his composition and sound design techniques. His sound installations have been featured in major art venues such as the 2014 Transmedialle Festival of Digital Art and Culture and the 2012 Heimat exhibit at the Jewish Museum Berlin. He has also produced and composed music for a full length feature for NPR about music, sound, and public space in Berlin called, The Fringe Sound of Berlin, to be aired at the end of the year.

    He has a number of solo CDs with his jazz and klezmer oriented projects. Paul Brody's Sadawi has three albums on John Zorn's Tzadik Label. The New York/Berlin based group has toured extensively, and played festivals in cities such as Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Berkeley, Mink, Warsaw, and Cracow. His 2014 debut album on the legendary Enja Records, Behind All Words, won the German Recording Prize for composition under the category of "Music that Crosses Borders."

    More bio info  for Mr. Brody can be found at : Paul's Bio

    Violettes would like to thank our Volunteer judges for their enthusiasm and volunteer spirit.


    For Competition Guidelines, See this LINK.

  • Composition Competition has Phenominal Judges

    Youth Composition Competition, Judge Bios -Senior Division

    Violettes' 2nd Annual Composition Competition for Youth has a phenominal line up of judges. Excerpts from the senior composition judges bios are below. All judges are volunteers, and we are extremely grateful for their "giving back" attitudes.

    Please support our work with purchases of Gift Ideas for Music Lovers, perhaps in the form of a Piano Purse.

    Last year, for the composition competition, we were lucky to have Grammy Award winning Maestro Lucas Richman to give careful review of the students' scores. We also enjoyed the creative comments from Composer/Writer/Klezmer-Jazz Band Leader Paul Brody.

    This year our Volunteer Judges for the Senior Division Composition entries (ages 15 thru 17) are Richard Prior and Esteban  Alvarez. For more detailed bios, please see their web sites.

    Richard Prior, Composition Competition Judge

    Youth Composition Competition; Richard Prior Volunteer Judge for Violettes' 2nd Annual Composition Competition, Senior Division

    Award-winning conductor and composer, Richard Prior is Senior Lecturer in Composition and Director of Orchestral Studies at Emory University where he holds the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Chair and conducts the Emory University and Youth Symphony orchestras. In addition to his conducting duties at Emory University, Prior is also conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra (GA) where he holds the Georgia Power Conducting Chair.

    His musical training began in his native England, where he received degrees in composition and conducting from Leeds and Nottingham Universities. He has taught at several universities and colleges in the United States and at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University where he was the 1997 Visiting Fellow in Music.

    From music written as a high school student performed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II to his professional debut in 1988 at London’s Westminster Abbey, Prior’s music has been performed, recorded, and broadcast widely in Europe and North America.

    The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra commissioned …of shadow and light… (incantations for orchestra) which premiered in October, 2013. Subsequent critical review called the work “forbidding and dramatic”, “stunning” and “jubilant and exuberant”; the piece identified Prior as “perhaps the most gifted of the Atlanta composers” citing his mastery of orchestration, lyricism and musical drama. The ASO will present three performances of his Symphony No. 3 in their 2014-2015 Season under the direction of Robert Spano, a work also featured at the finale of Northwestern University’s 2013-2014 Season under the direction of Victor Yampolsky. Reviews and commentary from the Chicago/Midwest premiere called Prior “a symphonic sorcerer” and “one of the most badass composers of all time”.

    Esteban Alvarez, Composition Competition Judge

    Youth Composition Competition Volunteer Judge for Violettes' 2nd Annual Composition Competition, Senior Division

    Esteban Alvarez was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. His passion for music began at the age of 9 when his father brought home a small electronic keyboard. Fascinated by this, Esteban started to play by ear and to compose simple melodies. A year later Esteban began his music studies with Prof. Omar Arroyo. Under his teaching Esteban became proficient at the Electone Organ and electronic keyboard, as well as enhancing Esteban's skill to improvise and multi-tracking recording. At the age of 18 Esteban began his studies in Physics as well as Music at the University of Costa Rica, where he learned the basics of classical music. At the age of 20, he was selected to arrange and conduct the music for the Escazu Folk-Music band at the SIVO Music Festival celebrated in Central Europe

    As a composer, Esteban has written music for small ensembles, orchestra, large ensembles, and chamber groups. In 2007 and 2008 Esteban wrote the songs for the National Peace Program of Costa Rica, and the Organization of Costa Rica & Nicaragua. These songs received special awards by Dr. Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of Costa Rica at that time. In 2008 Esteban traveled to Guatemala, Qatar, and Nepal to represent Costa Rica performing in National Music Festivals, as well as speaking about peace and education. In 2009 Esteban was awarded with the UNT-DC scholarship to work in the Congress of the USA, as well as to serve as a Cultural Attache intern for Costa Rica embassy in Washington D.C.

    After completing his master's degree, Esteban relocated to Austin (Texas), where he became a permanent member of the renowned local band "The Brew" as a musical arranger and pianist. Due to his performance and achievements, the Department of Homeland Security entitled him with an O-1 Visa (a nonimmigrant visa for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics).

    Esteban has also been nominated "Good Will Ambassador" and guest Artist to the International Peace Foundation, based in Hong Kong. Esteban has appeared several times in solo concerts during 2012 and 2013 in Hong Kong.


    As composition competition judges, these two gentlemen will write constructive comments on the student entries and decide between them the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place senior winners.

    Remember that 1st prize for this competition is $1,000!


    For Competition Guidelines, See this LINK.

  • Music Composition Competition by

    Music Composition Competition for Youth held by

    Notable Judges Validate Children's Music Competition Entries in Addition to the 1st Annual Competition Itself

    Our two volunteer judges both have extensive experience working with children in their music endeavors. Though they both come from classical beginnings, they currently represent very different musical arenas, and therefore have different judging perspectives. An enormous thank you to these judges who took great care in commenting to each student.

    Judge Number 1: Grammy Award winning Maestro Lucas Richman is Music Director and Conductor of both the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) and the BSO in Maine. Read further about him at

    Judge Number 2:  American Composer, Writer and Trumpeter Paul Brody is based in Berlin. He appeared in an April 2014 German Time Magazine for his latest album The Rose Auslander Project with his band, Sadawi, and has numerous recordings by the Enja and Tzadik Record Labels. He has written and produced programs for NPR and WDR and SWR in Germany, as well as hosted his own radio program in Berlin. He has toured the world extensively as a jazz and klezmer musician.

    So you want to know the winners??? ViolettesbyBecky sorted thru the judges comments to decide the final placement decision and honorable mentions.  Keeping in mind that I didn't want winners to all be the same instrument (there were numerous pianist entries), it was a tough call. Choosing placement between creativity and technicalities was not easy. However, the 1st place $100 prize winner was unanimous. I want to thank and encourage each and every child for their awesome efforts. A Certificate and judges comments will be forwarded to each of the students. 1st Annual Youth Composition Competition Winners:

    1st Place: $100 David Ghesser for Piano Composition

    2nd Place: Helena Abney-McPeek for String Quartet

    3rd Place Tie: Leon Yu and Griffin Koelbel for Piano Compositions

    4rth Place: Juliana Lynch for her Beautiful Voice and Song with Piano

    Honorable Mention: Jill Collis for her fiddle tune and Ben Noah Shifrel for Piano Composition and Becky’s pick for presentation, Christopher Moore


     Note to students and parents - I notice the judges leaned to the older children for awards. Please spread the word of music-themed gifts so that this competition can grow and afford to have more prizes for age groups and genres. We are continually updating our Personalized Presents section under "Music Gifts and Cool Crafts".

    Check back to our blog in the future. We will feature music entries and bios  of these wonderful children in future blogs. Also, there will be press announcements in your local papers. Thanks for your support.

    Violettes supports Music for Children causes and is currently working on a fundraiser for the Knoxville nonprofit Joy of Music School who provides music lessons and instruments to needy children.


    Becky Chaffee


    Giving Back to Children’s Music Causes

    For Growth in Brain Development, Spirit and Health

    Remember to like us on facebook! And sign up for our Newsletter, either on facebook or on our website to receive news of future Competitions.

    Becky's Music Competition

    "I am inspired by my awesome Composition Competition Students!"

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