Composition Competition


Austin Classical Guitar is pleased to announce the 14th annual Guitar Ensemble Composition Competition. The goal of this contest is to encourage composers to create inspired and exciting new music for young and non-professional guitar ensembles. Middle school, high school, collegiate and community guitar ensembles from all over the region will come together to premiere the winning entry in Austin as part of ACG Fest 2020.

Prize – $500, and a premiere performance by the ACG Fest Orchestra on April 25th, 2020.


  • US-based composers only
  • No age restrictions
  • Work must be unpublished and not previously performed in public

Guidelines for submissions

  • Work must be playable by intermediate level ensembles
  • In 4 parts for standard 6-string classical guitar – divisi is acceptable
  • Approximately 4-6 minutes in duration – multiple movements allowed
  • Standard tuning and scordatura of 6th string to D acceptable. No other tunings will be accepted.


  • Successful entries balance musical integrity and technical demands
  • It is helpful to have skill levels separate on each part. For example: Part 1 and 2 most advanced, Part 3 beginner, Part 4 intermediate
  • Complete dynamics, articulation and rubato on each part with appropriate page turns
  • For reference, see previous recent winning entries: Gale by Michael Keplinger,  November Blues by Mark Anthony Cruz, Fugata Y Danza by Carlos Rios, and Nebulae by Olga Amelkina-Vera

What to Submit

  1. A cover letter including: Name, address, telephone, and email address
  2. CD or MP3 recording of the entry. Live or MIDI recordings are acceptable
  3. One copy of full score and each part. Scores and parts must be anonymous; they may not contain anything allowing identification of the composer.
  4. Application fee: $25 per submission – make checks payable to “Austin Classical Guitar” or pay online here (please indicate “Composition Competition application fee” on payment form)

Deadline is January 13, 2020 – Send by email to or by mail (post-marked by January 13, 2020 addressed to:

Austin Classical Guitar
5900 Balcones Drive, Suite 240
Austin, TX 78731

Judging and Rules

Entries will be judged anonymously by Austin Classical Guitar with consideration not only of compositional integrity but playability and practicality of performance. The winner will be announced by email to all contestants by Feb 1, 2020. The prize will not be divided. The decision of Austin Classical Guitar will be final.

The composer of the winning composition should plan to be present at ACG Fest to receive the prize following the premiere of the work. If possible, ACG will assist with bringing the composer to attend.

Austin Classical Guitar makes no claims on any of the entered compositions beyond the right to premiere the winning composition. Scores will not be returned. Submission of an application to participate in the competition confirms that the contestants unconditionally accept all the rules as established in this announcement.

Questions? Please contact Joseph Williams.