General information



Open to any UC Davis Music Department graduate student. Also open to undergraduate composers who have taken composition for at least two quarters (in Music 103 or 199) and who are currently enrolled in one of these composition classes. All participant composers must attend all the concerts and a minimum of two rehearsals of the UCDSO this season.

Instrumentation + standard doublings | | 2 percussionists | strings

Works with a solo instrument or voice (i.e., concertos) will not be eligible. No harp, piano, or electronics. Available percussion instruments: cymbals (3) – temple blocks (3) – wood blocks (3) – marimba (1) – vibraphone (1) – snare drum (2) – bass drum (1) – tam-tam (1) – toms (2) – whip (1) – maraca 
(1) [if you wish to use additional percussion instruments make sure to check first]


Works should ideally be between 4-6 minutes long. If a work is longer than 6 minutes, it may or may not be read in its entirety. If a section from the whole needs to be chosen for the reading, the composer will be responsible for choosing the required section.

Score / Parts Preparation

It is okay to submit a “C score” or a “transposed score,” at the composer’s discretion. The composer should indicate whether the score is in concert pitch or transposed. Scores should be double-sided, bound, 11×17 and clearly legible.

For the chosen works:

Parts should be made so that musicians can read them properly from their stand (not too small). They must be bound with realistic amounts of time left for page turns. Winds/Brass/Percussion will need one separate part PER MUSICIAN. Strings will need one separate part PER STAND. If selected for a public performance, the composer will be responsible for providing additional parts for all the strings.

Transposition of parts:

Bass clarinet parts should be notated in treble clef written a major ninth higher than sounding.

Bb-clarinet parts should be notated a major second higher than sounding.

A clarinet parts should be notated a minor third higher than sounding.

Piccolo should be written an octave lower than sounding.

Alto flute should be written a fourth higher than sounding.

English horn parts should be written a fifth higher than sounding.

Double bass and contrabassoon should be written an octave higher than sounding.

Marimba and vibraphone should be written at sounding octave (non- transposing).

NOTE & DISCLAIMER: A piece may be removed from the readings if parts do not meet these guidelines. The details specified here are binding and complete. Non-compliance means immediate disqualification.


Preparation Session

A composition faculty member must review all final scores (and parts) prior to their submission. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange a time to meet with a faculty member.


Submission of scores (SCORES ONLY, no parts) from all applicants: by TBA.

Music Department Main Office
Room 112, Music Building
Attn: UCDSO Composition Award/Readings
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

  • Selection Panel announces* the chosen works on a date TBA
  • Submission of complete materials of the 2–3 chosen pieces (printed score and parts + a CD with all the PDFs): by TBA

A hard copy of the full score and a complete set of parts (plus a CD/DVD including all the parts as PDFs) should be submitted at the general music office to the attention of the UCDSO by TBA

Failure to complete their submission by these dates will disqualify a candidate.

—All sessions will be recorded—

Readings: TBA (2–3 works maximum)

Final Announcement

One work will be selected* by the composition faculty and the music director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra for public performance on June 1, 2021.

* The panel reserves the right to not choose any scores if their quality is deemed insufficient.


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