Creative Sonoma

HS STUDENTS - Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

Posted by National Endowment for the Arts ; Posted on 
HS STUDENTS - Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge


This national contest, now entering its fourth year, 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.

The Songwriting Challenge provides winners with a coaching team consisting of a mentor and music director (both musical theater professionals) to hone the student’s original song into a Broadway-ready composition. Their song is then recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City. Final songs are premiered on iHeartRadio Broadway, distributed on streaming music platforms and compiled into a songbook created by Concord Theatricals.

Who should apply?
Any student enrolled in High School (grades 9-12) who demonstrates talent and a passion for writing musical theatre songs that could be part of a musical theatre production (your song can be in any style or genre of music though!).

What Kinds of Applications are Competitive?
Competitive applicants (individuals or writing teams) are those who can showcase their unique songwriting voice in their written narrative and demonstrate their talent through an audio submission of a song with clear characters and a strong story to tell.

What Students Receive through the Songwriting Challenge: 

Students will be matched with a mentor and music director who are working professionally in musical theatre. 
Together, students, mentors, and music directors will meet via Zoom to workshop and further develop their song into a Broadway-stage-ready composition.
The students’ final songs will be recorded professionally by Broadway vocalists and musicians. They will be released as a digital album on all major streaming services, and broadcast on iHeartRadio Broadway. 


The application cycle will begin in the Spring of 2021. 

April 6, 2021 – 2021 Application “official” launch 
May 17, 2021 – Deadline to apply! 
End of July 2021 – Public Announcement of 2021 winners*
*Note – all applications submitted will be notified regardless via email by 7/31/2021.  
August 2021 – Students paired with mentors and music directors  
August – September 2021 – Students and mentors workshop and develop songs via zoom.  
October – November 2021 – Students’ songs professionally recorded for studio album 


Learn more HERE.