Young Composers Project


About YCP

  • Provides students with the opportunity to experiment and develop a composition while having professional musicians at their disposal.
  • Develops a sense of community among young creative talents.
  • Provides students who wish to pursue professional careers with a firm foundation in the knowledge of orchestral instruments, and a portfolio of compositions to begin their career.
  • Helps to reach the listening public with the works of young composers and help them develop an audience among that public.
  • Fear No Music provides workshops throughout the school year for Young Composers Project participants and presents the completed compositions to the public each spring.
  • Participating students have won numerous state, regional and national honors for their works. Past participants now pursue careers as composers of orchestra music, movie and television scores, musical theater works, folk music and many other forms of music. We are incredibly proud of the contributions former Young Composers Project participants are making to the musical world.

Apply now!

Be a participant in the Young Composers Project!

We are now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 season. Please download and submit the PDF application form.


Q: Who can apply for Fear No Music Young Composers Project?
A: The Young Composers Project is open to composers in 6-12 grades.  Students who are not yet in sixth grade will be considered upon a recommendation from a teacher.

Q: I don’t have any previous experience composing music; can I still apply?
A: Students in the project are most successful when they have some experience writing music, but it doesn’t need to extensive.  If you have questions about whether you have enough background, please contact us.

Q: I don’t own a composing software program. Is there a program YCP recommends I purchase?
A: The two programs that we recommend most frequently are either Finale or Sibelius.  There are different versions of those programs available, depending upon how complicated your scores are.  We’re happy to talk to Young Composer participants and help you find a version that best suits your level.

Q: I like to write my own music, but I mainly improvise at the piano. Do I need to write all of the notes down for the musicians?
A: Yes, it is important that you are able to notate your music for the musicians to read.

Q: What can I expect to happen at a workshop?  How much music am I expected to prepare for each workshop?
A: There are three workshops held during the school year, and the goal is to complete a composition by the third workshop for performance at the final concert.  The workshops are designed so that students can rewrite and develop their pieces over the course of the three workshops.  At the first two workshops the musicians work with the students on their pieces in progress.  At the third workshop, they work on the final version to prepare it for a public performance.

Q: What is expected of my final product?
A: Your piece for the final concert is expected to have individual parts for the musicians to play and a full score for the conductor to use.  The time limit for each piece is six minutes.

Q: Will I receive a recording of my piece from the concert? How can I use the recording to further my passion for composing?
A: Everyone who finishes his or her piece will receive a CD copy of the concert.  Your welcome to use that in any way, and we hope that you will use it to promote your music to other musicians and composers.  We provide information about competitions that you might want to enter your piece in, and festivals where you might want to submit a score.  How far you pursue your passion is up to you, and we’re here to help you any way we can.