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.

Young Composer Showcase
Program Director

Dr. Ryan Middagh

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, 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. 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.

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

Have questions? 
Contact DR. MIDDAGH 
 [email protected].

young composer showcase details


Applications open March 15 – September 15

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 a professional performance 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

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.

2022 YCS selectees