Date: October 27, 2011
I am wondering if anyone would like to share their thoughts on composition contests.
Over the years I have entered my share, winning a few and "losing" more than a few. For the most part, I consider
even the misses and near-misses to be positive, in that I have often used the entry deadlines as a source of motivation. Plus, a few
of my contest submissions have been performed and published, so the effort truly was not wasted.
There is certainly a philosophical question here: how does one really judge one piece of art over another? I judged a contest once at a local university, and man, it was tough!
How should a composer react to the rejection? I suppose this could be applied to the quest for publication as well.
What about ENTRY FEES? I try not to let my cynical nature come to the surface on this, but it seems that some organizations put
on contests as means to generate a little extra capital. Am I wrong?
Has anyone ever experienced what they perceive to be a "fixed" competition? Perhaps the winning composer is obviously affiliated with the organization... this has happened to me, and it tends to get under one's skin. But, really, how do you cry foul without looking like a sore "loser"? it's not the loss I find difficult to endure: it's the wasted effort and expense (especially if there is an entry fee).
Have you had a particularly good outcome from a contest? I think my best outcome came from one I did not win, but eventually led to a commission from the sponsoring ensemble.
OK, is that enough? I know, we should be composing and not fiddling around on the computer, but I agree with Jack's dad (all work and no play...).
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