Emerging Composer Finalists

  • Daniel Capon
  • Beau Cassidy
  • Philippe Ferec
  • Rory Finn
  • Zachary Moore
  • Benjamin Moy
  • Lewis Parle
  • Jan Rossa
  • Daniel Slatkin
  • Michael Bryan Stein

Youth Composer Finalists

  • Dzidzor Amorin
  • Samuel Boyce
  • Daniel DiMarino
  • Isabella Dussias
  • Robby Good
  • Ben Henault
  • Leo Major
  • Cameron Moody
  • Giovanni Piazza
  • Spencer Vanderkley

Sponsors and Prizes

We’re grateful to the sponsors of the Marvin Hamlisch Contest for their support of youth and emerging composers:

Grand Prize (Emerging and Youth Categories) — Finale version 25, valued at $600 (US)

Finale is the world-wide industry standard in music notation software. Anywhere music appears on the printed page, Finale lilely created those pages. Finale helps the choir to sing, the band to march, the students to learn, and the orchestra to raise the excitement level in the latest blockbuster movie.

Part of what sets Finale apart is its unique ability to create anything on the printed page. Where other software offers paint-by-numbers solutions, Finale offers complete freedom and flexibility. As a result, musicians around the world rely on Finale to create, edit, audition, print, and publish the widest variety of musical scores.

Finale also offers breathtakingly realistic music playback, and more ways to share music with others.

Today’s Finale represents the latest evolution in music notation software, making Finale’s signature freedom and flexibility easy for everyone to use.


Click on the sponsor logos above for full descriptions and links to the prizes


The Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest is open to youth, student and emerging composers.

There are two categories: YOUTH and EMERGING.

To be eligible for the YOUTH category, a composer must be under 18 years of age at the time of the contest’s registration deadline (January .

To be eligible for the EMERGING category, a composer must meet the following criteria:

  1. 18 years of age or older
  2. Must be enrolled in a school program
    Composer may not have earned $10,000 (US) or more in combined fees and professional revenue (including creative, production or package fees or royalties), excluding academic scholarships, in the two years preceding the competition.

Both categories are open to composers from any country.



Registration Opens:
December 4, 2017
Registration Closes:
January 31, 2018
Scores Due:
April 13, 2018
Finalists Announced
May 25, 2018
Marvin Hamlisch Award Winner Announced:
June 15, 2018


Enter by
January 31, 2018
Youth Category
$25.00 (US) by January 31, 2018
Emerging Category
$40.00 (US) by January 31, 2018
Film Music Foundation Scholarship Waiver
Available by nomination to YOUTH (under 18) composers for whom the entry fee is a barrier to participation
Free by January 31, 2018

Marvin Hamlisch’s Legacy

Photographed by Len Prince from the exhibition: Remembering Marvin Hamlisch "The People's Composer"

Photographed by Len Prince from the exhibition: Remembering Marvin Hamlisch “The People’s

A prolific and revered composer, Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) won nearly every major award: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globe awards, as well as a shared Pulitzer Prize for his music for “A Chorus Line” (awarded to the show’s writing and production team). His contributions to the world of film were extraordinary: He created music for more than forty films and received Oscars for his remarkable adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music in “The Sting” and his classic score and song for “The Way We Were.” He created scores for renowned filmmakers Woody Allen, Robert Redford and Steven Soderbergh, and he even wrote a classic James Bond theme (“Nobody Does It Better” from 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me”).

CINE was honored to present Marvin Hamlisch with the first-ever CINE Legends Award at the 2012 CINE Awards Gala in Washington, DC, where he dazzled the audience with a medley of his legendary work. Mr. Hamlisch agreed to announce the creation of CINE’s first Film Scoring Contest and serve as a guest judge for the inaugural contest. Sadly, he passed away before the contest’s launch.

With our great thanks to Terre Blair Hamlisch and his estate for their generosity, we are proud to pay tribute to our kind and gifted friend by renaming the contest in his honor.

Find out more about the amazing life and career of Marvin Hamlisch and watch clips of his work at www.marvinhamlisch.us.

How it Works

For over 60 years, CINE has honored student and emerging talent in film and video.  But we know that media is much more — so in 2012, we created a unique, innovative contest to recognize emerging film composers.

The contest is simple: Composers are given footage to score. Scores are anonymously evaluated, and all composers receive judging comments. The 10 top-ranked scores in each category are named as finalists, and a winner is selected by a distinguished jury of noted film-music professionals.

The winners of the Marvin Hamlisch Award in the Youth and Emerging categories will receive a trophy presented at CINE Celebrates in New York, NY.

Questions? Click here for Hamlisch Contest FAQs.


Our evaluation system is built on transparency and accountability. Every score is anonymously reviewed by composers whose professional credentials are available to view, along with their feedback, at the conclusion of the process.

Reviewers score each production using our designated criteria, providing notes on the strengths and weaknesses of each score.

Productions with the highest numerical scores in each category are submitted to the distinguished jury, who evaluate using the same criteria. Their scores are used to identify a Marvin Hamlisch Award winner and two runners-up in the category, with jurors given ultimate discretion over the final selections.

CINE is committed to complete transparency in our awards selection process. All submissions are judged anonymously, and no current Marvin Hamlisch Contest contestant is allowed to review in any capacity.

Distinguished Jurors

Our Distinguished Jury is an accomplished group of screen-music professionals who have produced exceptional work. We are grateful to them for sharing their time and expertise, and for their commitment to helping us honor emerging composers.

The 6th Annual Marvin Hamlisch Contest Jury (2018 Contest) includes:


Lolita Ritmanis
Emmy Award-winning composer (Batman Beyond)

George S. Clinton
Multiple BMI-award-winning composer and Emmy nominee

Daniel Carlin
Emmy Award-winning music editor, supervisor, conductor and Director of Screen Scoring at University of Southern California


Alison Plante
Composer and Chair of Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music

Ronald Sadoff
Composer, music supervisor and Director of Programs in Film Scoring and Songwriting at NYU Steinhardt

Vasco Hexel
Composer, conductor, arranger and area leader in the Composition for Screen program at the Royal College of Music

Review Criteria

Reviewers and jurors evaluate scores using the following criteria, developed in conjunction with our partner film scoring programs. Reviewers and jurors will also briefly comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the score. Composers will receive their comments  at the end of the contest.



This score is effectively orchestrated and realized in a manner that displays musical proficiency.


Technical Proficiency

Understanding the limited resources available, this score is of a high sonic quality and displays proficient use of technology.

Dramatic Connection

This score elevates the film, responds to the visuals, and enhances the emotional elements of the story.



This score is distinctive and demonstrates creativity.

Overall Excellence

This score makes a strong, memorable positive impression.

Past Award Winners

The Marvin Hamlisch Contest was created to honor and champion emerging media composers. Past contestants are creating great music throughout the industry.

The Marvin Hamlisch Award is not just a trophy. CINE creates opportunities for emerging media makers and composers. The winners, runners-up and finalists of the Marvin Hamlisch Contest are invited to CINE Celebrates receptions in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, where they can network with filmmakers and producers throughout the industry. Emerging composers are invited to network with student and rising media makers through the new CINE Connects platform.

We’re grateful to Terre Blair Hamlisch and the team of MarvinHamlisch.us for their support of the contest and emerging composers.

Inaugural Contest Winners (2013)
Seth Tsui and Ken Pierson

2nd Annual Contest Winner (2014)
Paul Devlin

3rd Annual Contest Winner (2015)
Carlos Simon

4th Annual Contest Winners (2016)
Robert Neumair (Emerging Category)
Lawson Madlener (Youth Category)

5th Annual Contest Winners (2017)
Chris McGuire (Emerging Category)
Chance Anderson (Youth Category)