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4th Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers!



The Whale by Miseung Kang

Pianist and composer Miseung Kang is from Seoul, Korea. She was exposed to classical music thanks to her mother being a cellist. She began learning piano and cello from a very young age.

After studying classical composition at Sungshin Women's University in Korea, Miseung entered Berklee College of Music in 2012 and started playing jazz. In 2013 she became a jazz composition major and graduated in 2015.

  Holding On and Winter Walk were chosen for the Best of Jazz Composition concerts at Berklee.  Her arrangement of Raincheck won the annual Billy Strayhorn competition. This resulted in a chance to work with the West Point Army Band who performed the arrangement at the Berklee Performance Center. The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra performed the arrangement at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2015.

Honorable Mention

Smoking Monkeys by Lauren McKinley


Lauren McKinley is an active jazz pianist, composer, and percussionist, currently in her first year of graduate school at the University of North Texas, pursuing a MM in Jazz Studies with an emphasis in composition and arranging.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Eastern Washington University, earning degrees in Composition and Percussion Performance with an Undergraduate Jazz Certificate. While at EWU, Lauren won first place in the 2013 EWU Concerto Competition, the Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Arranger award in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and received EWU’s Frances B. Huston award. As an undergraduate, she also competed as a semi finalist in the 2014 Southern California International Marimba Competition, and the 2014 Great Plains International Marimba Competition.

Lauren's compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the Inland Northwest, including a commissioned piece for the Spokane Jazz Orchestra's "Hollywood Jazz" concert in March of 2015.

The contest was created to encourage the composition and performance of the highest possible quality jazz ensemble literature playable by high school, college and professional bands alike.

** The next contest will be launching in early 2017!

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington Arts Commission, 4 Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and The Seattle Foundation.

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