NCVS Composer Competition


The NCVS is seeking original composition submissions for the Young Violists Competition finalists (high school age or younger) to perform on Sunday March 8, 2020 as part of the competition finals requirements.  

Work must be an original, unperformed composition for solo viola without accompaniment, under 4 minutes and appropriate for very excellent high school players.  Please do not just place an alto clef on a work for another instrument - we seek to encourage people to compose for viola specifically. Winning composer waives PRO rights for the competition performances.  Composer keeps ownership and all other rights.
Restrictions: No age or other limits to submit.
Fee to submit: None
Prize: $100 and recording of several excellent young players performing the work.  
Deadline: Oct. 30, 2019 
Winner announcement: by Jan. 1, 2020

Submission details: Submit a PDF of the score, including your name and contact information to:  All submissions (with names blocked out) will be sight-read and evaluated by professional violist board members of the NCVS and voted on the full board.  Please make a note on the score if you’d like to get comments from them. Submission materials will be deleted after the winner is chosen.

Questions: Contact Katrina Wreede at:



The 2018-19 winning composition was “Out of Mud”, by Denise Ondishko. It is inspired by the Buddhist concept of recognizing that the lovely lotus flower grows out of the mud but is never muddy.  Dede hopes all performers and listeners experience the fulfillment of beauty, joy and happiness.  Link to purchase the sheet music and hear audio is here, performed by Daria D'Andrea
Denise (Dede) Ondishko, Ph.D. is an American composer who writes across a wide variety of genres, including orchestra, wind ensemble, mixed choir, solo voice, and works for saxophone with computer-synthesized tape. Ondishko began composing at the age of 14 at The Walden School and went on to receive degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University (BFA) and Eastman School of Music (MM, PhD). She studied with Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Barbara Kolb, Allan Schindler, Paul Dvorak, Leonardo Balada and H. David Hogan. Ondishko is now retired and living with her husband in Palm Springs, California where she is able to devote herself to writing music.

The NCVS sought and received original composition submissions for the Young Violists Competition finalists (high school age or younger). A winning composition was chosen to be performed by each finalist as part of the competition finals requirements. The 2019 Finals took place in San Francisco at the Capp Street branch of the SF Community Music Center on Sunday March 10, 2019.