Click Here for Printable Guidelines

Contest Entry Rules and Procedures

  1. Any 6th–8th grade student may enter the junior level contest and any 9th–12th grade student (up to one contest post-graduation) is eligible to enter the senior level contest. The submission must be composed in the calendar year leading up to the contest entry.

  2. Each student may enter only one composition in each category, but students may enter as many categories as they desire.

  3. Entries are completed electronically via the online nomination portal. A separate entry form will be completed for each composition. The entry fee is $15 per composition. The Composition Contest entry fee(s) will appear on the educator login dashboard along with the other ILMEA fees for the school.

  4. All entries must be submitted on or before November 1, 2019. Electronic submission will be closed after that time.

  5. All remixes must be under five minutes in length and utilize some portion of the audio supplied by ILMEA at Due to copyright restrictions, remixes can only use the provided audio samples and original sounds created by the composer. By entering the contest, the student and their sponsoring teacher understand that the audio samples can only be used for the ILMEA Composition Contest and cannot be used for any other reason. Failure to comply with these regulations would put you in violation of copyright. For all information related to the remix category, visit the website linked above.

  6. ILMEA reserves the right to use student compositions for publicity and/or display of exemplary work. This use may include an audio file of the composition included on an official ILMEA compilation recording and the posting of an audio file of the composition on the ILMEA website for a period of one year.

  7. Winners will be notified in early December (based on timing of results generated by the adjudication panel). Several winning compositions will be selected for performance during the Awards Ceremony and Showcase Concert at the 2020 Illinois Music Education Conference at the invitation of the JSGM Division President. If invited, a winning composition must be presented in its original form without additions or changes.

  8. The JSGM Division President has the authority to disqualify any compositions that do not comply with the contest rules.

Submission Guidelines

All entry-related materials (scores, file names, etc) should be identified ONLY with the title of the piece and the student's school-assigned ID number. (Examples of correct file names: HappySong1023456.pdf or simply 1023456.pdf) Since ID numbers can only be used once, a student submitting multiple entries can do so by adding a zero to the end of their ID number with each subsequent submission. To ensure anonymity in judging, the only place a student's name should be included is in the nomination portal.

The following materials are required for submission:

  • Score - PDF format (for all categories except Computer-Based Composition, Avant Garde and Electronic Dance Music; Commercial/Pop entries should include a lyric/chord sheet in lieu of a score). All measures should be numbered.

  • Audio recording (mp3, aiff, etc) - Whenever possible, with the exception of Computer-Based Composition, Avant Garde and Electronic Dance Music, should be performed using real voices/instruments rather than computer-generated sounds.

  • All files (audio recording and score where applicable) should be contained in a Google Drive folder named with the composition title and student’s school-assigned ID number. To include the folder in the student’s submission, select the folder in Google Drive and click the “Share” button. In the box that opens, click “Get Shareable Link.” Click the link sharing menu and make sure “On - Anyone with link” is the selected share setting. Copy the provided link and paste into the appropriate box in the nomination form.