Do you write your own original music? 

Get your music heard at the Music for Youth National Festival 2017 

Apply Now

Final deadline for submissions is 10am, Monday 27th March 2017

To celebrate music by some of the best, most diverse and talented young musicians from across the UK, Music for Youth’s New Music Stage, sponsored by the Royal Albert Hall, will present six pieces of new music by young artists at its annual National Festival 2017 in Birmingham this July.

The selected new works will be performed live to the public at the five-day youth music festival in some of the UK’s most iconic venues and receive valuable feedback from our professional Music Mentors.

The six pieces will be selected by a panel of music experts and artists, and will represent a range of musical styles and a variety of performing groups. All of which will be written and created by young musicians between the ages of 12 and 21 years.

In addition, one of the composers/creators will receive the Sound and Music New Music Award as part of Music for Youth’s National Partnership Awards. Sound and Music is the national charity for new music.

Who can take part?

We want to hear from any musician, aged between 12 and 21, who writes or creates their own music. This can be anything from song writing for your own indie band, to a new piece for a symphony orchestra. All submissions must have been written after January 2016.

We are keen to receive submissions from schools, organisations, and groups on behalf of young musicians and writers.

New Music Stage involves public performances, so in addition to submitting a new work, you will need to know who will perform your music. Performers should also be aged between 12 and 21. They could be the composer and their friends, a group from your school or organisation, or an independent group you’ve worked with before.

What are we looking for?

·         New, original music 

·         A piece that creatively expresses an interesting idea through your chosen style of music

·         Music that covers any genre and style, and any line-up of musicians with two or more performers

·         Submissions should be a maximum of 10 minutes long

·         Short submissions are equally welcome

We will take your age into account when choosing pieces for the showcase. 

The list below gives you a general guide as to what we will be able to programme within the Music for Youth National Festival. This is not genre specific as we want to showcase the widest possible range of new music.

·         Music for voice (vocal groups; small/large choirs)

·         Instrumental music (small/large groups, amplified and/or acoustic)

·         Mixed groups (any combinations)

·         Electronic/digital

·         Songwriter/bands

How to apply 

You can apply through this link, and you will need to have some information ready in order to submit.

We need to know about you (and/or your organisation), your music, and who will perform it. So, please be prepared to submit the following:


·         Your name, age and contact details (and/or details of the writer/composer if you are from an organisation submitting on behalf of them)

·         A short personal statement about you, your musical background/influences, your submission (max. 250 words)

·         A recording/demo of the piece

-  Upload an original track/sound file to Soundcloud, YouTube or Vimeo, max. 10 mins duration

·         Information about the line-up and who will perform your song/piece at the Music for Youth National Festival

-   Name of group/band leader

-   Age range of performers

-   Number of performers

-   Contact details of lead organiser

-   If the group/band leader and/or any of the performers are under 16 years, you must provide contact details of the organiser.

-   Please note that you must have confirmed this group’s availability to perform at the National Festival July 2017 before making this application. The National Festival 2017 will run from 4 to 8 July 2017.

Submit if available

·         A video of a performance of the piece (YouTube or Vimeo link)

·         A lead sheet/chord chart/score/musical map of your piece as appropriate

Apply Now

Final deadline for submissions is 10am, Monday 27th March 2017

What happens next?

After the closing date, a group of professional composers and artists will review all of the submissions received on behalf of Music for Youth and Sound and Music. They will choose six pieces to be performed across Music for Youth’s five-day National Festival in Birmingham this July 2017. Performance stages include Symphony Hall, Town Hall and the CBSO Centre. The six pieces will be programmed as part of the main festival programme, which attracts 10,000 young musicians from all over the UK.

Whilst we are of course looking for innovation and excellence, we are also keen to present a variety of music and will aim to offer opportunities to musicians representing a range of musical backgrounds and ages.

Applications close 10am, Monday 27 March 2017. 

Music for Youth will contact all programmed applicants by Friday 5 May 2017.

The recipient of the New Music Award will be announced in September 2017 as part of the Music for Youth National Partnership Awards Scheme announcements. The recipient of this award will receive a bespoke package of support from Sound and Music, and will have further performance opportunities for their showcase piece.

Take a look at what previous participants have had to say about their experience:

New Music Stage 2015 - Young composers have their say from Sound and Music on Vimeo.

Music for Youth’s New Music Stage 2017 is produced in partnership with Sound and Music, and is sponsored by the Royal Albert Hall.

The Royal Albert Hall is a major sponsor of Music for Youth, and is committed to championing music education at all levels.

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