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 to apply. 

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.

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Young Composer Showcase Program Director


Dr. Ryan Middagh is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Blair School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

An active jazz composer and arranger, Middagh has received numerous commissions from musicians and ensembles throughout the United States. He has written for numerous Grammy-winning artists, DownBeat award-winning educational ensembles, and his work has been recorded by prominent collegiate and professional ensembles. Some notable collaborations include arranging for Victor Wooten, Wycliffe Gordon, David Paich, Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, and Middagh’s Blair School of Music colleague Jeff Coffin. Several of his works are published by UNC Jazz Press.

Equally skilled as a soloist, collaborator, and bandleader, Dr. Middagh performs at jazz festivals around the world, including tours and performances on behalf of the U.S. State Department. While at home, he is a top-call studio musician in Nashville and performs in a wide array of genres. Dr. Middagh has music-directed, arranged, and performed for two educational chamber concerts for the Nashville Symphony. In addition to leading his own jazz small groups, he has recently started the Ryan Middagh Jazz Orchestra, which features some of Nashville’s finest musicians and acts as a vehicle for his new compositions and arrangements. He has released two albums as a leader and is currently writing and recording his first professional big band project.

Dr. Middagh is an artist and clinician for Yamaha Saxophones and D’addario Reeds.

Have questions? 
Contact Dr. Middagh
 [email protected].

YCS Associate Coordinator


Ayn Inserto is a groundbreaking composer who is emerging as one of the preeminent voices of her generation. She received her Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition from the New England Conservatory and is a winner of the IAJE/ASCAP Emerging Composer Commission honoring Frank Foster and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers’ Awards. She was picked by Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz composition as his protege.

Ayn’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Dizzy’s Club (Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC), the Berklee Performance Center, JEN Conferences, Reno Jazz Festival, Billy Higgins Jazz Festival, New England Conservatory of Music, Brown University, Montreux Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, McGill University, Senigallia, Italy, Terni Jazz Festival, the Sant’ Elpidio Jazz Festival, and the Fano Jazz Festival.

Inserto has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the NYO Jazz Ensemble, The Jazz Education Network, ASCAP/IAJE, the Commission Project for JazzMN, Madison Technical College, Amherst College, Cal State University East Bay, Los Medanos College, Foxboro High School, Harvard Jazz Band, Marin Catholic High School, Fairfield High School, and Jennifer Wharton. She has given masterclasses and clinics at the Panama Jazz Festival, Brown University, IMEP Paris College of Music, International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Seoul Jazz Academy, Tokyo School of Music, Singapore Polytechnic, Arcevia Jazz Seminar, Rossini Conservatory of Music, and the Sydney Conservatorium.

Inserto has served as a panelist for the Jazz Improv Convention with Dr. Billy Taylor, the Tribute to Bob Brookmeyer at New England Conservatory and the International Society of Jazz Composers.  She also has been a clinician for the JENerations Jazz Festival, an adjudicator for the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts Composition Fellowship, JEN Young Composers’ Showcase and the International Alliance for Women in Music Jazz Composition Contest. She also has been a mentor for the Women in Jazz Organization.

Her big band, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, has recorded three albums with special guests Bob Brookmeyer, John Fedchock, George Garzone and Sean Jones.  The ensemble has garnered many positive reviews such as Downbeat Editor’s Pick, The Boston Globe 2018 Best Jazz Albums, Top Ten Recordings of 2018 (Cadence Magazine) and the Jazz Journalists Association Best of 2018 (Large Ensemble) List. She currently resides in Boston where she is a Professor of Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music.

young composer showcase details

All applications are due by June 1st, 11:59pm EST.


Applications open February 1 – June 1

Here are some great reasons to apply:

  • All entrants will receive written comments from professional reviewers.
  • A total of 4 -6 students compositions will be chosen for performance at the JEN Young Composer Showcase Presentation during the conference.
  • JEN will pay for YCS Selectees’ travel and hotel to attend the conference and hear/conduct a professional performance of their composition during the annual conference (if applicable).
  •  All YCS selectees will also participate in mentoring sessions before and during the conference with some of the best jazz composers working today!

JEN Members

February 1 – June 1

Application Deadline is June 1st, 11:59pm EST 

  • Application Forms and Criteria are available online until closed.
  • Application requires JEN membership and payment of a $29 Application Fee in order to be considered.
    • If you are a student in financial need, please send an email to JEN at [email protected] to request a waiver of 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 September 1.
  • Previous year’s selected composers are ineligible to participate.

Application Requirements

  • JEN membership.  A current JEN membership is required for the entire YCS experience (application, selection, conference attendance) in order to be eligible to apply.  Not a member?  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 through the GetAcceptd application website (link is in the member portal and accessible once you join JEN).
  • $29 Application Fee – This fee is required at the time of application.
    • 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.
  • 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.

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)

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.

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.
  • 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 YCS Selectee, plus one additional conference badge for the legal chaperone accompanying a student under the age of 18 at conference time (if applicable).
  • Additional Chaperone Registration badges may be purchased online HERE 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.

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 – Make a recording of your composition

  • File types accepted include: MP3, OGG, M4A, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC
  • Label your audio files as follows:LastNameFirstNameJENYCSAudio
  • If your composition is longer than 7 minutes, please cut to fit the 7-minute length requirement.

charlotte lang

Swiss/Dutch saxophonist Charlotte Lang was born in 1996 in Basel and studied the bachelor and master program at the JAZZCAMPUS Basel under the guidance of Domenic Landolf and Daniel Blanc. She is currently studying the Master of Music in Global Jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston under the artistic direction of Danilo Pérez. In addition she is part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.


From 2015 to 2018, Charlotte she was a member of the Swiss National Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel. Since 2020, she became a member of the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Bundesjazzorchester Deutschland), under the direction of Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens. She also plays is the Austrian FJO (Frauen Jazz Orchester→Women Jazz Orchestra of Austria).


In 2021, Charlotte founded her own Quintet the „Charlotte Lang Group“, for what she is composing, arranging and booking. In the fall 2023, her first album will be recorded and hopefully released by a renowned label.


Charlotte plays in the “Swiss Jazz Orchestra” and the “Zurich Jazz Orchestra”, the two professional Big Bands of Switzerland.

Charlotte recently got the unique opportunity to write a monthly blog for the Swiss Jazz & Blues Magazine called JAZZTIME, to tell readers about her time at abroad and specifically her time at Berklee. Her graduate program lasts only until the summer of 2023. She hopes to stay in the United States to enlarge her network and build her musical career.