man and young woman huddle over a piano.

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

National Endowment for the Arts and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. In collaboration with Concord Theatricals, Disney Theatrical Productions, and NMPA S.O.N.G.S. Foundation.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is opportunity for high school students to develop and showcase musical compositions that could be a part of a musical theater production.

Learn more about how to participate at

2023-2024 Challenge

The 2023-2024 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge kicked off in fall 2023. Over the fall and winter, students had access to online masterclasses and coaching sessions, among other songwriting tips. Students submitted a draft of their songs and received personalized constructive critique from successful musical theater songwriters. Students then had the option to revise their songs before entering their compositions for final judging. Overall, more than 100 submissions were received by students from 34 states. A panel of leaders in the musical theater field reviewed the submissions and scored them based on published criteria.

Collage of the winners of the 2023-24 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

See excerpts of the winning song submissions and more information about the winners.

2024 Events

Each of the winning songs will be professionally orchestrated. Winning students will come to New York City this June where they will work with mentors and music directors to hone their orchestrations while learning about process, technique, and production. The final compositions will be performed by Broadway artists in a concert on Monday, June 17, at 7:00 p.m. ET, available to watch live and on-demand on this webpage.

In addition, all of the winning songs will be compiled into a songbook and print-at-home edition by Concord Theatricals and released at a future date. Each winning student will receive a scholarship of $2,500, provided by the NMPA S.O.N.G.S. Foundation.

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge began as a pilot program in 2016 in three cities (Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN, Seattle, WA) before going national in 2017/2018. We invite you to check out the final songs from our previous years' winners from the 20212020, 2019, 2018 and 2016 competitions.