2024 New Rag Contest  – Contest FULL *no new entries being accepted
Friday, May 24 @ 6 pm  

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*NOTE: The composer may be asked to submit an original score OR recording to make sure their work conforms to the format of a standard ragtime composition before official entry into the Contest.

ELIGIBILITY:  Contestants of any age are eligible to compete.

ENTRY FEE: The entry fee is $50 and is not refundable unless the contest is canceled.

TIME LIMIT:  A five-minute time limit applies from a tune’s start to finish. 

PRIZE: The prize for the New Rag Contest shall be $500 and a trophy.

PERFORMANCE: A competitor may play a composition themselves or designate another piano player to do so for them beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday following a drawing for the order of play. The competition will continue until all have been heard, with the single winner being announced by the judges following the close of the competition. Composers who are not in attendance must solicit a performer and provide the printed score to the performer no later than one month in advance.       NOTE: *Contest personnel will no longer be available to play New Rags.

SPECIFICATIONS: To qualify, the composition entered must be an original Rag, with three or more themes, that has not been previously published, recorded for sale, or previously played in this contest. Composers are limited to one entry per year.

STYLE: The selection should adhere as close as possible to the authentic form, melody, rhythm and harmonic language of the ragtime era. Three to four sections are compulsory, each containing distinct contrasting themes.  New works should also contain familiar rhythmic features normally associated with ragtime such as syncopation and regularly accented accompaniment. Composers are permitted creative latitude with regard to melody and harmony while, at the same time, adhering to the historic definition of a “rag.”

JUDGING: The contest provides qualified judges familiar with the music and capable of judging the composer’s success in writing Ragtime music. Each composition will be judged on originality, musicality and audience appeal. A written score of the music is not required by the judges.

ENTRY DEADLINE: The New Rag Contest is strictly limited to a total of ten (10) competitors. Walk-on entries will be allowed provided there are fewer than 10 advance entries.

ENTRY SUBMISSION: The Contest Coordinator, Bobby van Deusen, will answer rule and contestant questions at this address: [email protected]. On line entries will be instantly processed and assure registration. Mailed entries are subject to delays, and no entry will be considered official until the appropriate fee is received, with checks made out to the University of Mississippi – May Piano Contest. The address for mail-in entries is Old-Time Piano Contest, c/o Ian Hominick, University of Mississippi Dept. of Music, PO Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848.

2024 Online Entry Form
Pay Registration Fee