Young Composer Showcase

The Young Composer Showcase spotlights young jazz composers, giving students an opportunity to have an original composition recognized and performed at an International level.

JEN membership required to be eligible. 

JEN is committed to representing and cultivating diversity in all areas of its operation which includes, but is not limited to its staff, board members, volunteers, presenters, clinicians, performers and audiences. This commitment is present in all programs. We are seeking and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply for the Young Composer Showcase.

$25 applicaton fee

Click below to access application

Applications Closed

Photo by René Huemer

General Information
Application Requirements

Applications Closed

Applications open again

March 15, 2022 – September 15, 2022

JEN Members

Here are some great reasons to apply:

  • ALL entrants will receive written comments from the professional reviewers.
  • A total of 4-6 student compositions will be chosen for performance at the JEN Young Composer Showcase Presentation during the annual conference.
  • The selected composers will receive a travel stipend to attend the conference and hear a professional performance of their music. (if applicable)
  • All YCS winners will also participate in mentoring sessions before or during the conference with some of the best jazz composers working today!

JEN Members

March 15 – September 15

Application Deadline is September 15th 11:59pm EST 

  • Application Forms and Criteria are available online until closed.
  • Application requires JEN membership and payment of a $25 Application Fee in order to be considered.
    • If you are a student in financial need, you can ask an advocate to send a letter on your behalf requesting to waive the application fee.
      Subject line: Request to waive Young Composer Showcase Application Fee
  • Awards will be presented during the Annual JEN Conference.
  • Notification to chosen composers as applicable as early as November 1.
  • Previous year’s selected composers are ineligible to participate.

Application Requirements

  • JEN membership.  Current Membership in JEN is required in order to complete the application process.  Not a member?  Click to JOIN JEN prior to attempting to pay the application fee or to complete the application form. You may join as a JEN Full Individual, eJEN, or yJEN (if age is applicable) member.
  • Prepare your materials to complete the application process.
  • Apply. Complete the JEN Young Composer Showcase Application Form.
  • $25 Application Fee – An invoice will be sent to your email upon completion of the application form.
    • If you are a student in financial need, you can ask an advocate to send a letter on your behalf requesting to waive the fee.
      Subject line: Request to waive Young Composer Showcase Application Fee
  • Your completed application and files will be submitted to the review committee upon receipt of payment.

About the

Young Composer Showcase

Video produced by Mojo Factory Productions

Participation Rules

Applications must be received online by 11:59pm (EST) September 15th. 


Age Group Categories


  • Group 1 – MS/HS (ages 14 through 18) as of September 1st in the current year application is being made.
  • Group 2 – Undergraduate (age 18 and above) as of September 1st, in the year application is being made and enrolled as an undergraduate student for a minimum of six semester hours.
  • Group 3 – Graduate (age 21) and above as of September 1st, in the year application is being made and enrolled as a graduate student for a minimum of six semester hours.
  • Group 4 – Post-Graduate (age 21-30) as of September 1st, in the year application is being made and has completed graduation from an accredited college or university graduate-level music program.


Composition Categories

Students may enter only one original composition in only one of the categories.

  • Small Instrumental Group (2 to 9 instruments, maximum 7 minutes in length)
  • Large Instrumental Group (10 instruments and above, maximum 7 minutes in length)
  • Instrumental Group with vocal solo (maximum 5 minutes in length)
  • Vocal Group (4 – 8 voices a cappella or with rhythm section, maximum 5 minutes in length)



Composition Description

Compositions submitted for the Showcase are expected to be in a jazz or jazz-related style.
Composition, by definition herein, implies an original work. (Arrangements of other copyrighted works are not eligible for submission).

Instrumentation may be varied, small to large, to include any combination of the following:

  • 5 Saxophones (AATTB or SATTB – Baritone has the low A.)
  • 4 Trumpets (Flugelhorns optional choice)
  • 4 Trombones (one of which is a bass trombone)
  • Piano, Bass, Drums and Guitar (standard equipment and amplifiers provided)
  • 8 Voices (SATB, individually mic’d)
  • Up to 3 additional Latin Percussionists
    Percussion instruments available for use and provided by JEN for the conference performance will include: 1 vibraphone; 1 set of congas; 1 set of timbales
    Additional Latin instruments become the responsibility of the composer.

Conference Attendance

Chosen composers will be notified by Mid November or sooner, if possible.

  • Selected works may be performed at the Annual JEN Conference.
  • Composers whose works are selected for performance at the upcoming annual conference are EXPECTED TO ATTEND.
  • A travel/housing stipend will be awarded to each selectee.
  • From the stipend, JEN will book each selectee’s travel and housing.
  • Award selectees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone.
  • A complimentary conference registration badge will be given each selected composer, plus one additional conference badge for the legal chaperone accompanying a student under the age of 18 at conference time.
  • Additional Chaperone Registration badges may be purchased online under the Registration tab under Conference as needed, once accepted.
  • Applicants wishing to bring a spouse will be expected to purchase a Spouse/Partner Registration for the conference and cover the additional cost of housing for their spouse.
  • The Jazz Education Network reserves all rights of use to any Young Composer Showcase audio and/or video content recorded at the conference, solely for not-for-profit promotional purposes with the JEN organization & initiatives.

Preparing Materials for Submission

You will be asked to submit the following materials:

Photo – A photo of yourself.

  • File should be print quality (high).
  • File types accepted include: jpg, gif, and png.
  • Label your photo file as follows: LastNameFirstNameJENYCSPhoto

Bio – Prepare a short 50-word bio in a doc or pdf format

  • Label your Bio as follows: LastNameFirstNameJENYCSBio

Score – A pdf of your score. File types in any other format will not be accepted.

  • Do NOT upload parts. Parts will be asked for at a later date.
  • Label your score files as follows: LastNameFirstNameJENYCSScore

Audio file – An audio file.

  • File types accepted include: MP3, OGG, M4A, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC
  • Label your audio files as follows:LastNameFirstNameJENYCSAudio


Submission Details

Applications must be received online by 11:59pm (EST) September 15th.

  1. JEN Membership is required.

     2. Complete the Young Composer Showcase Application.

 3. Be advised that your application is only complete once the $25 fee is paid.   

If you are a student in financial need, you can ask an advocate to send a letter on your behalf requesting to waive the fee.
Subject line: Request to waive Young Composer Showcase Application Fee

Your application and files will be submitted to the Young Composers Showcase committee upon receipt of payment.

Have questions? Please contact me!

Dr. Ryan Middagh, Young Composer Showcase Coordinator

[email protected]

Photo by Rene Huemer

2022 Young Composer Showcase Selectees


Clint Bleil

Pittsburg, PA

Small Instrumental Group

Ubiquitious Luminiferous

Clint Bleil is a composer and saxophonist from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Clint has degrees in Music Education and Saxophone Performance from Slippery Rock University, and a master’s degree in Studio Jazz Writing from the University of Miami. Clint has received numerous awards in composition and arranging, including a SONIC Award for his jazz ensemble piece “It Matters,” which was performed at the 2019 International Jazz Composers’ Symposium. He also has received a DownBeat Student Music Award in 2019 for his arrangement of “I’ll Remember April,” and the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award in 2021 for his jazz ensemble work “Continue On.” Clint has composed, arranged, and transcribed for multiple different groups and ensembles, including Live From Here with Chris Thile, Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti, and Bob Reynolds. Clint also has experience in the recording studio, where he served as an additional engineer on John Daversa’s three-time Grammy award-winning album American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom. Clint is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College, where he teaches multiple lessons and classes as well as leads the Jazz and Wind Ensemble.


Kate Hamann

Frost School of Music

Instrumental Group with Vocal Solo

Her Colors

Kate Hamann is a trumpet player, vocalist, and composer based in Miami, FL. Originally from Omaha, NE, she attended the Interlochen Arts Academy studying classical trumpet, and is now a senior at the Frost School of Music. While pursuing a degree in Studio Music and Jazz, she has studied with Brian Lynch, Etienne Charles, John Daversa, Stephen Guerra, and is a member of the Frost Concert Jazz Band. In December 2020, she released her debut EP, “When I Grow Up” which features four original compositions centered around themes of childhood, relationships, and self-discovery. Inspired by the artistry of Camila Meza, Braxton Cook, and Marquis Hill, Kate creates music that is enjoyable by all types of listeners regardless of “genre”.

Stephen Harvey

Salisbury, MD

Large Instrumental Group

Projectile Dysfunction

Stephen Philip Harvey (b. 1992) is a composer, musician, and educator based in Salisbury, MD. Harvey performs original compositions and arrangements with his jazz orchestra and jazz octet. His next album, Smash!, is slated to be released in 2022. He is an alumnus of Seton Hill University (’14) and Youngstown State University (‘16).

Josh Karas

Vanderbilt University

Small Instrumental Group

Fantasy in C Minor

Josh Karas is a dynamic, versatile pianist and composer based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is currently pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies with a minor in Business from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. At Vanderbilt, he studies jazz piano with Bruce Dudley and composition with Ryan Middagh. Karas is a member of the school’s Downbeat-award winning Blair Big Band and top jazz combo directed by Jeff Coffin. This past year, Karas composed, arranged, and recorded an album of original jazz compositions called The Root of the Thing. The record is available on streaming platforms everywhere and studio videos can be found on YouTube. He recently performed a sold-out album release show at Nashville’s premiere jazz venue, Rudy’s Jazz Room, to promote the compositions on the record. Looking forward, Karas is excited to begin his freelance career as a pianist and composer in Nashville, Tennessee.

Skylar Tang

San Francisco Bay Area

Large Instrumental Group

What? Why?

Skylar Tang is a fifteen-year-old trumpet player and composer. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently attends Crystal Springs Uplands School. Skylar’s journey with music began when she started playing classical piano at the age of four. She picked up the trumpet for the first time when she was nine. After attending a Stanford Jazz Workshop summer camp two years later, she found her home in jazz. Since then, she has played in various ensembles including both the California All-State Junior-High and High School Jazz Bands, and has been a recipient of the Jazz at the Ballroom Scholarship. Currently, Skylar is a member of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band and Combo and both the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and Next Generation Women In Jazz Combo. In 2021, Skylar was selected to attend the prestigious Vail Jazz Workshop, giving her the opportunity to study with jazz legends such as John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, and more. In her free time, Skylar enjoys going on walks and curating her collection of hats.

Gary Wang

Frost School of Music

Small Instrumental Group

Bill’s Board

Gary (Kaiji) Wang is a composer originally from Beijing, China. Gary is the recipient of both 2021 and 2020 ASCAP‘s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards as well as the winner of 2018 Downbeat SMA in the Jazz Arrangement Category, Outstanding Jazz Arrangement Award for 2021 Downbeat SMA. He has done arranging works for notable musicians such as Toninho Horta and Alan Ferber.


2020 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

  • Nathan Poehlke, University of Oregon — “Feeling Sleepy”
  • Maya Keren, Princeton University – “Wyndmoor”
  • Phillip Ryan Goss, New England Conservatory – “Untitled No. 1”
  • Annie Booth, University of Colorado – “Jolly Beach”
  • Gabriel Severn, Loyalsock Township High School – “Canção Para Fina”
  • Andrew Saliba, San Diego – “Silent Minority”
  • Eri Chichibu, Berklee College of Music – “The Sea – Seven Years Voyage”
    • Paulo Santos, University of Texas Austin – “Twisted Voyage”
    • John Sturino, New York, New York – “Tip City”
    • Yoko Suzuki, Berklee College of Music – “Cat Tricks”

2019 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

  • Bryann Kennard, University of Miami – “Let The Wild Rumpus Start”
  • Martina Liviero, Berklee College of Music – “Pasajeros”
  • Brian Martin, University of Massachussetts – “Lookin’ Forward”
  • Sam Ross, University of Michigan – “Portuguese Bend”
  • Jameson Scriver, Indiana University – “The Good Fight”
  • Elliot Turner, University of Northern Colorado – “What Are You?”
  • Tracy Yang, Berklee College of Music – “Yes and No”
  • HONORABLE MENTION Ethan Moffitt, University of Southern California – “Step by Step”

2018 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click to Meet the 2018 Young Composers and Their Work

  • Lucas Fonseca, Berklee College of Music – “Colloquio”
  • Takumi Kakimoto, Berklee College of Music – “Find Phrygiayn”
  • Kyle Myers, University of North Texas – “Tomorrow Morning”
  • Zachary Rich, University of Northern Colorado – “Community”
  • David Rogers, Vanderbilt University – “Sivan”
  • Gregory Weis, University of Northern Colorado – “Liquid Descent”

2017 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the 2017 Young Composers and Their Work

  • Aida Demoya, Berklee College of Music – “TC For Leo”
  • Anna Jelkéus, University of North Texas – “Above”
  • Heui Lam, Berklee College of Music – “The Unknown Bell”
  • Tobias Meissl, Berklee College of Music – “Deep Tree Fission”
  • Chang Su, University of Northern Colorado – “Forbidden City Garden”
  • Casio Vianna, University of Northern Colorado – “For The Rise Of A New Day”
  • Luca Mendoza, LA Philharmonic – Honorable Mention

2016 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the 2016 Young Composers and Their Work

  • Mike Conrad, University of Northern Colorado – “Gerry’s Timepiece”
  • Andrew D. Herring, Shenandoah University – “27”
  • Nacho González Nappa, Berklee College of Music – “Candombe Juno”
  • Matt Shugert, Indiana University – “Madeline”

2015 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the 2015 Young Composer and Their Work

  • Tom Amend, University of Northern Colorado – “What Do You Say?”
  • Keith Karns, University of North Texas- “The House At The End Of High Street”
  • Chase Morrin, Harvard/NEC – “Three Brahmin”
  • Drew Zaremba, University of North Texas – “Blues For Gabe”

2014 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the 2014 Young Composers and Their Work

  • Lucas Apostleris, University of Massachusetts – “September Again”
  • Enrico Bergamini, Berklee College of Music – “Convergence”
  • Raphael DeLima, Frost School of Music (University of Miami) – “Quebra Cabeças”
  • C. Tyler Dennis, San Francisco, California – “What Would Thad Do?”
  • Aaron Hedenstrom, University of North Texas – “Honeybee”

2013 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the 2013 Young Composers and Their Work

  • Carter Brodkorb, Toronto, Canada
  • Jose Gurria, USC
  • Laila Smith, San Jose, California
  • Dave Stamps, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2012 Young Composer Showcase Selectees

Click Here to Meet the JEN Young Composers

  • Socrates Garcia, University of Northern Colorado
  • Brett McDonald, Rutgers University
  • Emily Merrell, University of North Texas
  • Tyler Mire, University of North Texas
  • Chase Morrin, Harvard University/New England Conservatory
  • Kate Skinner, University of Northern Colorado