MMEA Composition Contest

Back in June I put two compositions in the mail, sending them in for the MMEA Collegiate Composition Contest. Surprisingly this is the first composition contest I’ve ever entered.

The first composition I sent is O Cool is the Valley Now which was performed in April for the Chamber Ensemble category.

The other composition I sent in is Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, a newly revised version of my Three Short Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, in the Solo Instrument category. I decided that rather than calling them separate short pieces I would combine them and call them movements of a larger piece. I also added a fourth movement so that the tempi of the four movements would correspond to the classical sonata. This work is much shorter than a classical sonata is, with each movement lasting only a little more than a minute, but that’s why I called it a sonatina instead. The movements also aren’t in the classical forms, but that’s okay because it’s the 21st century and most modern sonatas haven’t been written using those forms in a century, at least. This piece is written using the twelve-tone method. It uses one tone row throughout all four movements, but it’s amazing how much contrast is achievable. I also made a concentrated effort to make the piece not be as harshly dissonant as much of the world’s twelve-tone music. Some brief moments (particularly in the second movement) even sound tonal!

I talked to one of the people in charge at MMEA, and she said that they had had some difficulties, but now they were mostly figured out, and we would probably hear back in January sometime. Also, there isn’t really much of a prize, other than a certificate, bragging rights, and something to put on the résumé. Oh well. We’ll see. I’m crossing my fingers.