NAfME Announces the Winners of NAfME Student Composers Competition

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) announces the winners of the 2013 NAfME Student Composers Competition. Students of Association members  from 23 states submitted compositions. Compositions included  instrumentation ranging from solo harp to bass clarinet, marimba, and trumpet, to big band.

The compositions were adjudicated by a panel of NAfME composer/educators, and their evaluations were shared with each student composer.  Thanks to the generosity of the European American Musical Alliance and the Double R Foundation, the winning composers will receive a cash prize of $150 each and a performance of their composition at the 2013 NAfME National In-Service Conference in Nashville, Tennessee,  October 27-30.

The winners in the 2013 competition are:


Elementary/Middle School

Elizabeth Wang, Gelinas Junior High School, Setauket, NY     Teacher –  Daniel Deutsch

Calvin Lu, Marlboro Middle School, Marlboro    NJ  Teacher – Felicia Ruffman

Alistair Coleman, Thomas Pyle Middle School, Bethesda, MD  Teacher –  Susan Mathis


High School

Nicholas McConnell, Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ  Teacher – David Gordon

Michael Chung Hon Cheng, Clements High School, Sugar Land, TX – Teacher – Ann Witherspoon

Alexandra Bartol, T.S. Wootton High School, Rockville, MD Teacher – Valerica Maican

Gabriel Montague, Newton North High School, Newton, MA  Teacher – Todd Young

Andrew Herring, Central Dauphin High School, Harrisburg, PA  Teacher – Matthew Ceresini



Ryan Diefenderfer, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Christopher Harris, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY


The winning compositions will be performed at 5 p.m. on Monday, October 28 in the Young Composers Concert, which is a part of the NAfME National In-Service Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.  Featured performers include several faculty members from the Middle Tennessee State University School of Music, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the MTSU University Chorale, and the MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, as well as the composers themselves.

Immediately following the concert, a special discussion with the young composers titled “Composers Meet Composers” will take place.  The session will be led by Dr. Daniel Deutsch, chair of the NAfME Council for Music Composition.


Susan Lambert, September 18, 2013. © National Association for Music Education