NEA Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students

Deadline: April 6

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students for 2020 is open for entries.

This national contest is for high school students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musicals. The goal of the program is to engage the musical theater field in nurturing the next generation of songwriters.

The Songwriting Challenge provides six winners with a coaching team consisting of a mentor and music director, both musical theater professionals, to hone an original song into a Broadway-ready composition and then have that song recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City.

Final songs will be distributed on streaming music platforms and compiled into a songbook created by Concord Theatricals. The final recordings of the songs by the 2019 winners are on the recording sessions landing page.

The application is simple and can be completed online.

Pictured – 2019 Songwriting Challenge winner Sophia Schwaner at the piano with her music director Benjamin Rauhala (left) and mentor Max Vernon working on her song “At Sea.” Photo by Christy McKee.