Commissioned Sonatina Award


The Marsha Wright Commissioned Sonatina Award

Last year, SMTA launched The Marsha Wright Commissioned Sonatina Award, named in honor of the Festival’s Founder. For the inaugural year, we chose an original composition from an SMTA teacher. In 2020, we will choose an original composition from a student of an SMTA member.

We are looking for an early-intermediate level sonatina in three movements, for solo, duet or trio involving any combination of piano, flute, violin and/or viola. A nod to traditional sonata-allegro form is welcome but not necessary; any brief work in several movements will qualify as a sonatina. What is most important is that all parts be playable by early-intermediate level students.

Deadline for submission of a complete sonatina composition is November 1. The works will be judged anonymously by a panel of SMTA members, who will choose one composer. The winner will be announced December 1. The Marsha Wright Commissioned Sonatina Award is $750.

Send the following by November 1:

  • A brief email to [email protected] stating your full name, email, phone number, and the name of your teacher. Please put “Sonatina Festival commission submission” in the subject line.
  • A PDF file of your original composition, with no identifying information in the document itself. (Compositions will be renamed by random number assignment in order to ensure anonymity before being reviewed.)

The new sonatina will be presented at The Marsha Wright Sonatina Festival in April, 2020. The Marsha Wright Sonatina Festival is supported by a generous gift from Dorothy Woodcock.

Suggestions/guidelines for an early-intermediate level piece:

  • Have a friend who plays the instrument try your composition before you submit it. Flute players need to breathe, violin players use bowing to shape the phrase.
  • Limit the key signature to 1 or 2 sharps or flats.
  • Meters: compound time such as 6/8 is OK.
  • Piano: compare to a Clementi sonatina
  • Violin/Viola: compare to Suzuki Volume 3. First and Third positions; Pitch range: Violin – low G (open G) to the D 2.5 octaves above that. Viola – same only a fifth lower.
  • Flute: Compare to ABRSM Grade 5 or below. Pitch range: low D below staff to high F above staff (just over 2 octave range). Flute is softer in the low register, and louder in the high register.