Polaris Composition Prize

Call for Scores

Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras (SEMYO) is dedicated to the artistic and personal development of young instrumental musicians. The Polaris Composition Prize is designed to help the young composers of the Southeastern Minnesota region gain new opportunities to be performed and to develop their craft.

Application Fee: Free

Eligibility: High school-aged students (or younger) from the Southeastern Minnesota region who are making satisfactory progress toward graduation. The composer must provide orchestral parts in a timely fashion* and be available to attend rehearsals.**

Deadline: By end of the day December 15, 2023 (11:59 PM in Central Time Zone)

Orchestration: 2222-4220-timp+3-str up to 3342-4331-timp+4-str
Compositions which do not meet the orchestration requirements will not be considered.
Please contact us with any questions you might have.

Duration: Under 5 minutes. Longer works may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.


  • The winning composition will be rehearsed and performed in–concert by SEMYO’s Concert Orchestra, its top ensemble. Performance will take place on May 19, 2024 in Rochester, MN.
  • The winning composer will have the opportunity to work with a local, award-winning composer who will act as a mentor.
  • The winning composer will be awarded $300 in cash.

This is not a competition for a commission. The entered composition will be the only work considered for performance.

* Orchestral parts are due 3 weeks after the winner is contacted with the result.

** Rehearsals are generally on Saturdays from 9:30AM-12:30PM each Saturday that Rochester Public Schools is in session. However, the composer does not have to attend every rehearsal. An agreement will be made between the composer and SEMYO’s Artistic Director prior to awarding of the prize.

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