I know of no other educational program in America quite like the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Project.  It is remarkable enough that students are afforded an opportunity to hear their first works brought to life by a professional orchestra.  Even more impressive is the fact that the TSO nurtures the young composers with lessons in orchestration, form, and notation throughout the school year.

– Dan Coleman, TSO Composer in Residence

Program Information:

The Young Composers Project is a year-long course where students learn to compose for orchestra while working alongside other young composers, orchestral musicians, conductors and contemporary composers. Musicians ages 8-18 explore the creative process of composition in the classroom and out: they attend TSO dress rehearsals and concerts, meet guest artists and composers, and work with TSO musicians. As the culminating final project, in May the TSO performs their original composition in a public reading session and students receive a live recording of their newly created work! Now in its 27th year, the TSO Young Composers Project has produced more than 400 new works by young composers.

Register for 20-21 Young Composers Project!

2019-20 Class Schedules and Resource pages:

NOTE: All classes will be held remotely through the end of the school year. 

Introductory YCP
Intermediate YCP
Advanced YCP

Learn more:

For more information about the Tucson Symphony Young Composers Project, please contact the Director of Education Alana Richardson at education@tucsonsymphony.org.

Orchestrating the Future: Tucson Symphony’s Young Composers Project

Awards and Recognition:

“This program has had an incredible effect on me.  Not only have I gained a large understanding of all the instruments of an orchestra, but I have discovered a passion for composition.”
—Nicolas Mariscal, 6 year YCP participant, 2009 winner of ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award

In 2009, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Foundation (ASCAP), honored Nicolas Mariscal with a Morton Gould Young Composer Award.  Only 39 awards were given this year from a field of 680 applicants.  Nicolas had just completed his fifth year in the TSO’s Young Composers Project.  Ben Nead, a second year participant, was a finalist.  The award provides recognition and cash awards to gifted young composers of concert music.