music education

For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherina Hurlburt at NAfME or (703) 860-4000

Five Students Named Winners of
NAfME 2021 Student Composers Competition

RESTON, VA (October 28, 2021)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Student Composers Competition spotlights original music written by student composers. Students in elementary school, secondary school, college, and graduate school submitted their works to the competition. Selected composers receive cash awards, thanks to the generous support of the European American Musical Alliance (Dr. Philip Lasser, president). All entrants also receive written evaluations of their compositions.

These composers have been selected as the 2021 Student Composers Competition winners:

K-8: “Going Places” by Jasper Zimmerman
Farragut Middle School, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Teacher: Jonathan Riss

K-8 Honorable Mention: “Flying High” by Kennah Brackett
Flagstaff Academy Middle School, Longmont, Colorado
Teacher: Sean Kemp

High School: “Re-Collection (Wenn ich gedenk der Stund)” by Ziyi Tao
Special Music School High School, New York, New York
Teacher: Max Grafe

High School: “Fanfare and Celebration” by Noah Tan
Culver Academies, Culver, Indiana
Teacher: David Weirich

High School Honorable Mention: “The Other Side, I. Righty Loosey” by Aron Stornaiuolo
University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Teacher: Phillip Beidenbender

High School Honorable Mention: “Antecedent Spectors” by Kyle Sapp
West Forsyth High School, Clemmons, North Carolina
Teacher: Patricia Hughes-Ball

Collegiate/Graduate School: “Juice of Dreams” by Joanne Na
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
Teacher: Robert Kyr

Collegiate/Graduate School: “Postal Overture: Concert Prelude for Wind Ensemble” by David Mailman
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

Collegiate/Graduate School Honorable Mention: “Brushstrokes/Neon” by Daniel Swartz
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Teacher: Robert McClure

Collegiate/Graduate School Honorable Mention: “Broken Mind, Beautiful Life” by Matt Arnett
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Listen to all the winning and honorable mention student compositions here. The 2022 Student Composers Competition deadline will be announced at (case-sensitive).


National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice for music education in the United States.

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For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 703-860-4000.

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