The Ulysses S. James Composition Competition
2017-18 Composition Competition
The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic (WMP) is a 65-75 member orchestra that performs in Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia (www.wmpamusic.org). For its eleventh annual composition competition, the Philharmonic requests submission of scores as described below. One composition will be selected for performance during the 2017-18 season.
The competition is open to composers of any age and whose permanent residence is in the Eastern States (ME, NH, VT, NY, MA, RI, CT, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, MI, OH, IN, WV, VA, KY, TN, NC, MS, AL, GA, SC, and FL). Compositions are to be received
The competition winner will receive a prize of $1,000 plus performances of the winning composition by the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. Deadline for submissions is in early August. Check this website for the exact date.
How to Apply
2017-18 Guidelines Available soon. They should be similar to last season's guidelines, available below.
2016-17 application guidelines are available for download below.
Congratulations to Thomas M. Sleeper, winner of The Ulysses S. James 2016-17 WMPA Composition Competition for his composition, Symphony #1.
When I select a composition for Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, it has to create in me a great desire to perform it. The composition that does so has to somehow create a strong sense of direction, of movement, and simultaneously, be compelling harmonically and melodically so that an audience can appreciate it on the first hearing. It was very clear to me when I was making a selection that Tom Sleeper's Symphony #1 was such a composition. Professor Sleeper's orchestration is especially intriguing. I think our audiences will be struck by the music as I was when they hear his wonderful creation.
Ulysses S. James
Thomas Sleeper is professor of music and director of orchestral activities at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He is the conductor of the Frost Symphony Orchestra and also teaches instrumental conducting. Maestro Sleeper began his professional career as a member of Fermata, a group of composer-performers who presented an annual series of concerts throughout Texas. At age 22, he was appointed Associate Conductor of the Dallas Civic Symphony and the Southern Methodist University Chamber Orchestra and Opera Theatre. Today Thomas Sleeper resides in Miami, Florida, where he enjoys a busy dual career as a composer. He is the conductor of the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theater, and Music Director for the Florida Youth Orchestra. A strong advocate for new music, Sleeper has conducted the premieres of numerous works by American composers, including Henry Brant, Carlos Surinach, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, and Roberto Sierra. Thomas Sleeper’s original compositions have been performed worldwide by orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Russian National Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic. His Symphony No. 4 and 5 were recently premiered here in the United States.
About Symphony #1: "The First Symphony, premiered in 2007, is like a hard-boiled detective story, or a mystery that doesn’t quite allow itself to be solved. The writing is nothing if not atmospheric, and the language, while not “easy,” draws the listener in through its imaginative qualities. The symphony is in four movements, and the second of these, a moody Adagio, is longer than the other three combined. One could ask, then, if this really is a symphony in the traditional sense. Sleeper describes it as “an architectural structure with strong individual units that work together to create a whole larger than the sum of its parts,” and I think this is a very fair description. This, then, is not a work that impresses one through the development of its themes, but through a series of striking episodes that are brought forward one after another."
FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Meadows-Symphony-Orchestra/Ensemble/210959-4