Calling all high school songwriters! The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing are accepting submissions to the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge.

is national contest is for high school students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musicals. The goal of the program is to engage the musical theater field in nurturing the next generation of songwriters. https://www.arts.gov/national-initiatives/songwriting. 

The application is simple and can be completed online. The deadline is April 6, 2020 at midnight ET.

The Arts Endowment and the Wing welcome back Disney Theatrical Productions, Concord Theatricals, and the National Music Publishers’ Association as Songwriting Challenge partners. 

Key dates and details for the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge are:

•    After the submission deadline of April 6, 2020, the Arts Endowment and the Wing will convene panels in different regions of the country to review all submissions. Each panel consists of experienced songwriters and musicians who select one winner or a duo from its region in a blind competition. Those winners will be announced at the end of May 2020. 

•    Beginning in June, the winners work with their coaches remotely using video conferencing software followed by a weekend workshop later in the summer when the coaches travel to the winner’s hometown. To see workshops in action, go to the workshop landing page for the 2019 winners. At the end of the workshop, the song is transcribed for an ensemble and the winner has the opportunity to select the instruments and voices that make up their ensemble. 

•    The recording sessions take place in the fall when the artists come together in New York City to make the best recording possible. Go to the recording sessions landing page for audio, photos and other materials from the 2019 sessions. Lead vocalists last year included Derek Klena (Jagged Little Pill), Gizel Jimenez (Wicked), and Jessie Shelton (Hadestown) among others.