Vincent C LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition

This competition is now closed until summer 2018.

The Arapahoe Philharmonic is pleased to announce that composer Jonathan Bingham has been named winner of the 2017 Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition and Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic for the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 concert seasons.

Jonathan BinghamComposer Jonathan Bingham is a native of Southampton, New Jersey. He began his composition studies in 2009 under Anthony Randolph at Howard University. Additionally, he studied at the Siena Summer Music Festival in Siena, Italy, where several of his chamber works received their premieres, and at the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In 2014, he relocated to New York City and began his graduate studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School under the tutelage of Justin Dello Joio. While there, he composed several works including his String Quartet No. 1 for the JACK Quartet, his (Untitled) for the NYU Contemporary Ensemble and his Episode for Orchestra, which went on to win the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition.

In addition to his contributions to the concert hall, Mr. Bingham composed the score to the film Happenstance by director Jeanette Sears, provided string music for the hip hop song American Dream by recording artist Scuzz Ortegé and orchestrated for rapper Thee Phantom’s The Entertainer, which received a Carnegie Hall debut. He currently resides and continues to compose in New York.

We are grateful to the Collage Giving Fund for sponsoring the Composition Competition.


The Arapahoe Philharmonic of Littleton, Colorado (a Denver suburb), in support of its ongoing mission to give recognition to young talent in the classical music field, announces the opening of its Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition for 2016–2017.

This competition is for composers under the age of 35 who are not yet regularly employed in the composition field. The winner will be named Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic for two seasons (2016–2017 and 2017–2018). The orchestra will perform the competition-winning composition during the May 19, 2017 concert (repeated on May 20, 2017 at another venue) and will commission a new composition to be performed on a Masterworks concert during the 2017–2018 concert season.

To qualify, the composition must be no longer than 10 minutes in duration and must be written for an orchestra not to exceed: 3(2+piccolo)-3(2+English horn)-3(2+bass clarinet)-3(2+contra) / 4-3-3-1 / strings, percussion (timpani + 3; standard orchestral equipment only), one piano, one harp. The composition should not feature a soloist. Short solos from within the ensemble are acceptable. If you have questions, please contact Erin Acheson, Executive Director, at erin@arapahoe-phil.org.

The 90-member Arapahoe Philharmonic has been a valuable cultural asset in the Denver metropolitan area since 1953. In addition to its regular season of six masterworks concerts, the orchestra offers many services to the community, including concerts for elementary school students, coaching students from area high schools, the T. Gordon Parks Concerto Competition and the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Collegiate Conducting Competition, which alternates annually with this Composition Competition.

The inaugural Composition Competition was held during the 2014–2015 season. Edgar Girtain, from New Jersey’s Rutgers University, was named as the orchestra’s first Composer-in-Residence.

Application Process/Entry Submission Requirements
Applicants must submit:

  • One PDF of a representative composition. This is a blind application process. No name or identifying marks, other than title, should be marked on the score.
  • An mp3 recording (live or midi) may also be submitted. Include only the title of the work as it appears on the corresponding score.
  • Online application form.
  • Scan of ID (driver’s license or passport) to confirm eligibility to apply. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or provide written authorization from applicant’s U.S.-based school (Designated School Official) confirming that the applicant can receive award for composition/commission.
  • Resumé and/or brief biography of no more than 250 words.
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee.

All applications must be submitted online. Completed submissions will be accepted beginning June 1, 2016, through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2016. No late or mailed entries will be accepted.

The competition judges will evaluate all eligible applications without exception. Decisions of the judges are final. Applicants will be notified by email of the results no later than July 15, 2016.

Three finalists’ works will be selected to advance to the final round consisting of an open rehearsal/reading of the works on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, from 7:30–10 p.m. Audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite composition and results will be considered alongside results from the competition judges and orchestra members. Composers of the selected works are invited, but not required, to attend this open rehearsal. The Arapahoe Philharmonic will not provide financial assistance or compensation for travel, lodging or meals.

Competition Awards

The winning candidate will be named Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic for two seasons (2016–2017 and 2017–2018). The winning composition will be performed during the May 19, 2017 concert, which will also be repeated on May 20, 2017 at a second venue. A cash award of $500 will be presented by check at the May 19 performance.

The Arapahoe Philharmonic will commission a new large-scale orchestral work (20 minutes in length) to be premiered during the 2017–2018 concert season. The AP will provide a $1,500 commission fee for this work.

A travel stipend of $500 will be provided to the winner each season. At the winner’s request, a homestay can be arranged and provided. Every effort will be made to provide winner with ground transportation and some meals, but we cannot guarantee they can be provided.

Competition Eligibility Rules

  1. The Competition is open to composers 35 years of age or younger as of July 1, 2016.
  2. Applicant must be a legal resident of the United States or have written authorization from the Designated School Official at his or her U.S.-based school confirming eligibility to accept the cash awards.
  3. Applicant should be a student composer and not yet regularly employed in the composition field, represented by a major editor or performed regularly by professional orchestras.
  4. Entry in this competition constitutes the contestant’s authorization to use his or her name, photographs and biographical information for publicity purposes.
  5. By entry in this competition, applicant certifies that all licensing and rights for performance, audio and video recording of the submitted work and commissioned work is legally authorized with no financial liability to the Arapahoe Philharmonic.
  6. The Arapahoe Philharmonic reserves the right to dismiss any applicant if his or her application is found to be ineligible or misleading in any way. Such disqualification may be made at any time, up to and including the date of the scheduled performance. A disqualified applicant will forfeit the residency experience and no refund of fees or expenses will be given. The Arapahoe Philharmonic will have sole discretion to award the opportunity to an alternate candidate.
  7. Current Arapahoe Philharmonic members and staff, and their families, are not eligible to apply.

First Place Winner’s Obligations

  1. The First Place winner will be named Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic for the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 concert seasons. An audio and video recording of the composer’s performed works will be made. These recordings become the property of the Arapahoe Philharmonic. The winner will receive a copy of each.
  2. The First Place winner is required to attend rehearsals during the concert week involving composer’s works (Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.), in addition to the concert(s). Performance date of the commissioned work during the 2017–2018 season will be mutually agreed upon by Music Director and candidate.
  3. A digital photograph of the First Place winner is requested for publicity purposes. The image should be a minimum of 2” x 3” at 300 dpi. This photograph must be free of duplication restrictions. Please include a photo credit if one is required.

 


Past Winners of the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition

2014–2015 & 2015–2016: Edgar F. Girtain IV

Read about Edgar

Edgar GirtainEdgar Girtain is an emerging American composer whose music is frequently performed at universities and concert halls around the world. Hailed by The New York Times as “immediately captivating,” his work has earned praise for its lyricism, versatility of style, and command of color. He has been commissioned by the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, Arapahoe Philharmonic, Sinfonietta NOVA, Voorhees Chapel Choir, and John Rojak of the American Brass Quintet. He holds a B.M. in Music Education and an M.A. in Composition from Rutgers University. Learn more at www.edgarfgirtainiv.com.

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