Announcing the Program Mentors and Cast for Challenge Accepted! A Concert Presenting the Winners of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge 

Concert Will be Webcast Live from New York City
Text reading: Join us for Challenge Accepted! Monday, June 17 at 7pm ET. A concert presenting the winners of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students. Streaming Live from NYC. NEA and NAMT logos

New York, NY—A special concert next week will feature live performances by Broadway artists of the seven winning songs from the 2023-2024 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre for high school students to develop and showcase musical compositions that could be a part of a musical theater production. Musical theater fans will have the chance to see these fully orchestrated arrangements performed live by Broadway artists such as Telly Leung, Desi Oakley, and Shereen Pimentel, during Challenge Accepted! A Concert Presenting the Winners of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students on June 17 at 7 p.m. ET at the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City. The concert will also be available through a livestream at and

The winning songwriters—one duo and six individuals—were selected by a panel of leaders in the musical theater field from more than 100 submissions and hail from seven states:

  • Gwendellyn Doerfler (Dewitt, MI)
  • Ale Fonseca (Miami, FL)
  • Sydney Gray (Fairhope, AL)
  • Tabitha Moore (Valley Stream, NY)
  • Isabella Nguyen & Maya Johnson (Little Rock, AR)
  • Luisa Paraguassu (Mooresville, NC)
  • Owen Yeh-Lee (Palo Alto, CA)

Each winning song was professionally orchestrated by a team that included:

  • Dylan Glatthorn (music supervisor)
  • Anessa Marie (music director & orchestrator)
  • Teresa Lotz (orchestrator)
  • Jesse J. Sanchez (orchestrator)

Each winner was also assigned a songwriter who served as a mentor to help them hone their orchestrations while learning about process, technique, and production. The 2024 mentors are: 

  • Joey Contreras
  • Timothy Huang
  • Zeniba Now

At the June 17 concert, each winning songwriter and their mentor will introduce songs, which will then be performed by a cast featuring:

  • Senzel Ahmady (Tour: Aladdin)
  • Dominic Dorset (Tour: Frozen)
  • Timothy Huang (Costs of Living, NAMT Fest '15)
  • Amy Keum (KPOP)
  • Ashley LaLonde (Tour: Hamilton)
  • Telly Leung (Allegiance, Godspell)
  • Desi Oakley (West End: Waitress)
  • Stephanie Machado (CBS: Evil)
  • Katryna Marttala (Hot Girls Write Musicals)
  • Zeniba Now (2024 Woman to Watch on Broadway)
  • Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story)

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. The 2023-2024 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is held in collaboration with Concord Theatricals, Disney Theatrical Productions, and NMPA S.O.N.G.S. Foundation.

MEDIA RSVP:  Media who wish to attend this event should contact Liz Auclair ( and Emily Vortherms (

About the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is designed to inspire high school students to write songs that could be part of a musical theater production, using 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. Learn more about past winners and hear their final songs at The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is open to high school students from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and U.S. territories. For more information on how to participate and to access songwriting tools and resources, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States.

About the National Alliance for Musical Theatre

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization serving the musical theatre community. Its mission is to be a catalyst for nurturing musical theatre development, production, innovation and collaboration. Their 220+ members, located throughout 33 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, developmental organizations, higher education groups, presenting companies and independent producers. Among the 300 musicals launched by NAMT's Festival of New Musicals are Benny & Joon, Come From Away, Darling Grenadine, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gun & Powder, HONK!, Interstate, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Ordinary Days, Striking 12 and Thoroughly Modern Millie.


NEA: Liz Auclair,, 202-682-5744 and Carolyn Coons,, 202-701-3977

NAMT: Emily Vortherms,