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Creativity in Music Awards


The purpose of the Creativity in Music Awards is to support music students who pursue inventive projects.
Initiative objectives include:
•    Cultivating and recognizing creativity in our student population
•    Marrying artistic excellence with creative potential
•    Fostering a safe space for innovation and experimentation
•    Developing critical / independent thinking
•    Developing written communication skills
•    Broadening student understanding of success
•    Exploring beyond traditional music school requirements


The 2018/2019 focus celebrates creative projects. These include:
•    Degree recitals
•    Chamber music performances
•    Student organized studio performances
•    Educational events
•    Non-required performances (on or off campus)
•    Other student-driven events involving musical performance and an audience

Proposed projects must be completed by April 1, 2019.


A maximum of six finalists receive a 30-60 minute consultation and up to $250 to support related project expenses. Finalists compete for three top awards:

1st prize - $1500
2nd prize - $1000
3rd prize - $500

Judges have discretion over which awards to offer and the amount of each award. They may opt to present less than the maximum depending on the quantity and quality of proposals.


Eligible applicants include all full-time music majors, undergraduate and graduate. Proposals may come from individuals or teams involving at least one music student.


1. Required info meeting (Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, 4:45 p.m., Room 106)
Competition overview, Q & A.
2. Proposal due (Nov. 7 by 5:00 p.m.)
3. Finalists announced (Nov. 27)
A maximum of six proposals advance to the final round. Each is awarded up $250 for event support in addition to a 30-60-minute consultation with a Spark advisor.
4. Event
Perform and video your event between Nov. 28 and April 1.
5. Project Summary due (Apr. 02 by 5:00 p.m.)
6. Winners announced (Apr. 15, 1:10 p.m.)
Finalists and top three winners announced during the School of Music Awards Day.

Final Report

All finalists must submit a final report consisting of two parts:

Part 1 - Brief Video (2-4 min) summarizing the project.

Part 2 - Concise written responses to the questions on the Final Round submission form, including:
a. Project summary: Description of how the project developed and when it was completed.
b. Lessons learned: What did you learn from this project? Any surprises?
c. Next steps: How will future choices be influenced by what you learned in this project?


Initial round applications: Spark team
Finalist round: Music professionals not involved with USC School of Music


Members of the Spark team are available to consult about project design and the application process. If you have questions or would like to meet with someone, please email

Applications are to be completed using the online submission process.
Late proposals or project summaries will not be accepted.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.