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Music Unites the World Songwriting Contest

Education Through Music-LA (ETM-LA) is excited to announce its first-ever Music Unites the World Songwriting Contest. The purpose of this contest is to produce an inspiring, high-quality, original song to be premiered by students at the annual Music Unites the World Festival, a two-day event bringing together student performers from many of our 36 partner schools in Los Angeles County. For more info on ETM-LA’s mission, visit


The winner will be commissioned to write a song to be premiered at the Music Unites the World Festival March 14, 2019 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. The winning piece will be sung by approximately 40-50 treble & alto singers (grades 4-6), accompanied on piano.


The winner will be invited to attend the premiere where the winning composer will receive a $1,000 cash prize.  In addition, the composer will meet and work with the choir and director.  Music industry professionals, educators, celebrity film composers, and other leaders will be in attendance.  Past festival celebrity coaches include Academy Award and GRAMMY Award-Winning Producer Randy Spendlove; Composers Blake Neely (Flash, Arrow), Christophe Beck (Frozen), Joseph Trapanese (Straight Outta Compton), Joseph Kraemer (Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation), Harry Gregson-Williams (The Meg, Shrek), Producer Sebastian Krys (Shakira, Luis Fonsi, Juanes), Singer-Songwriter Judith Hill (The Voice, Prince), NOMAD (Babyface), Consultant CeCe Sammy (American Idol), and Solo Vocalist Lisbeth Scott (Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia).


  • Preliminaries: Composers submit portfolios of two to three (2-3) sample works demonstrating ability to write for young treble voices (SA). Published or unpublished works are acceptable. A panel of judges comprised of experts in choral composition and music education will determine the winning composer/songwriter who will advance to 
  • Selected Composer: The chosen composer will meet with ETM-LA to discuss vision, lyrics and connection of the new piece to the “Music Unites the World” theme. 
  • FEE: $10 early bird fee if submitted by Oct. 18; $15 regular fee price if submitted between October 19 and November 2. All fees are non-refundable.
  • November 2: Applications due. Apply using the online form on the right.
  • November 7: Three finalists will be selected;  their portfolios will be submitted to the panel of judges who will select the final winner.
  • November 10: The winner will be notified and and will meet with ETM-LA to discuss vision for the song.
  • December 15: The winner will send the song/composition manuscript to ETM-LA for comments and feedback.
  • January 7: Composition deadline!  The completed song will be submitted to ETM-LA for students to begin preparation for the 2019 Music Unites the World Festival.
  • March 2019: Winning song will be premiered by ETM-LA Choir at the 2019 Music Unites the World Festival at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA on March 14, 2019.


  • Competition is open to composers who are at least 18 years old at the time of the application deadline.  
  • All copyright, and royalty rights of the winning piece remain with the composer.
  • Winning composer grants use of commissioned piece to be performed and recorded at the Music Unites the World Festival, March 14, 2019.
  • The winner will be responsible for any room, board, or other travel expenses associated with attending the Music Unites the World Festival.

Songwriting Contest Guidelines

ETM-LA reserves the right to not select a winner.

ENTRY DEADLINE: 11/2/2018 11:59 PM PT

Registration Fee – $15