BMI Student Composer Awards

$20,000Award Amount
2Number of Awards
2/25/2023Submission Deadline

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The BMI Foundation, since its inception in 1985, has undertaken various programs designed for nourishing young and emerging talent to become better songwriters, composers, and publishers.

The Student Composer Award is one such initiative that supports the study of music by young classical composers. It’s offered to students who are 27 years or younger as of the submission cutoff date.

The foundation, currently led by Deidre Chadwick, is playing a crucial role in supporting other nonprofits working for the same cause.

Key Information of BMI Student Composer Awards

Study Details

Area of Study


Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study


Award Amount


Number of Awards


BMI Student Composer Awards Timeline

January 2023

Application Opening Date

Applications usually open in early January. Check the website for more accurate dates closer to the time.

February 25, 2023

Submission Deadline

The deadline for applications is around the end of the month at 11:59 pm EST. Keep an eye on the website for changes to the schedule.

May 2023

Scholarship winners announced

Winners will be announced in May. Notifications to successful candidates will go out via email/ phone.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: Middle School – Doctorate
  • Maximum Age: 27
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Essay
  • Video Submission

How to ace the BMI Student Composer Awards


2 C’s: Creativity and clarity

The composition must be an original piece of work revealing creative freedom in a clear expression.


Organization is important

There is an emphasis on the coherence of ideas. The composition should come off naturally and unhindered. A mix and match of melodic and harmonic idioms are bound to fail.


Speak with past winners

Consult alumni for an understanding of what the jury requires or expects from successful candidates. This would allow you to exercise creative freedom only within the set confines.


Follow the rules

There are numerous points contained in the submission guidelines, including how to prevent copyright violations. Religiously follow all the dos and avoid the don’ts clearly illustrated.

How the BMI Student Composer Awards is Judged

The selection committee comprising three judges assesses applications based on their creativity, academic finesse, and suitability of employed instruments. Other considerations include age disparity, where younger candidates of equal caliber are given priority.

Why We Love the BMI Student Composer Awards


Exclusively for musicians

A targeted opportunity is always worthwhile since it paves way for a community of shared objectives. There is a healthy competition between students of similar backgrounds.


Numerous awards are offered

The sponsor offers several awards to top-performing musicians making sure talent doesn’t go unnoticed.


Chance to interact with music publishers

The scholarship allows successful candidates to connect and collaborate with the most creative minds in the music industry. Artists can secure future sponsorships too.

5 Facts About the BMI Foundation


The foundation has several affiliated donors

The BMI Foundation is operating with the support of affiliated songwriters, composers, and civil society members who hold a special interest in classical music.


All staff members are volunteers

The Foundation’s employees are working in an honorary capacity without any compensation. This shows their commitment to the future of music.


Combination of programs offered by the foundation

In addition to the BMI Student Composer Award, the foundation is also running numerous fellowships and commissions focusing on various strata of the society.


BMI is supporting other nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations following in the footsteps of BMI are generously funded through annual grants.


Six award winners for 2021

The foundation awarded 6 music students in 2021 as part of its Student Composer Program. Additionally, two students received honorable mentions.

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