The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing’s 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is underway, with submissions now open. The program, which targets high school students with a passion for composing, is now in its third year of fostering and mentoring rising musical talent.
Online applications will be accepted until March 6 at midnight.
Finalists (either single songwriters or duos) will be selected by a panel of professional songwriters and musicians from nationwide regions. Selected students, who will be announced at the end of May, will then be paired with a professional theatre songwriter and music director for a mentorship that will result in a Broadway-stage-ready original composition. Students will work with their mentors first via video conferencing and ultimately in-person over a weekend in the student's hometown.
Following the mentorship, the finalists' songs will be transcribed for an ensemble and orchestra. Recordings of the songs, featuring Broadway performers and musicians, will be produced in New York City.
Partners for the program include Samuel French (a Concord Theatricals company), Disney Theatrical Productions, and National Music Publishers’ Association.