Press Release: Three Music Students Score Nation's Best in MENC's 2011 Student Composers Competition

Three Music Students Score Nation’s Best in MENC’s 2011 Student Composers Competition

Performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to Highlight MENC’s 2011 Music Education Week

RESTON, VA (June 2, 2011) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the winners of its 2011 Student Composers Competition, which focused on compositions for brass instruments (solo or ensemble). Established in 1990, MENC’s nationwide call for original student compositions exists to recognize talented young composers.

“We received an impressive array of compositions this year,” said Daniel Deutsch, national chairperson of the MENC Student Composers Competition. “The judging decisions were difficult to reach, because so many pieces demonstrated high levels of creativity and craftsmanship. Congratulations to the winners, their teachers, and to all of the students who submitted compositions! Special thanks to the division chairs for doing the initial evaluation and ranking of the pieces: Gary Gackstatter (Southwestern), Lois Veenhoven Guderian (North Central), Jack Jarrett (Southern), Gerry Marsh (Northwest), John O’Reilly (Western), and Paul Siskind (Eastern).”

The winners are listed below. Visit to read their complete biographies, hear their winning compositions, and view the scores.

  • College/Graduate School Winner: Zach Ashcraft, University of Denver, Denver, CO. Composition: Hymn for the Forgotten. Teacher: Howard Weinstein
  • High School Winner: Nathan Lutz, West Chester East High School, West Chester, PA. Composition: Horizon. Teachers: Lorraine Huddy, Charles DePasquale
  • Elementary/Middle School Winner: Victor LaBozzetta, Selden Middle School, Selden, NY. Composition: Time Travel! Teacher: Stephen Normandeau

The musical creations of these exceptional students will be performed by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet in a Millennium Stage concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on June 26 at 6:00 p.m. The performance, part of MENC’s annual Music Education Week in Washington, DC, is free and open to the public. For more information call 1-800-336-3768 or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located in Reston, VA.

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