School of Fine and Performing Arts

Silver Melted Into Sound

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About Silver Melted Into Sound

May 3, 2024
Wright State Dayton Campus

Silver Melted Into Sound is a music festival for concert band, vocal ensemble, and string orchestra designed to support the programming of diverse composers. This year's event will be held on May 3, 2024, on the campus of Wright State University.

Performing Ensembles will have 20 minutes on stage in Schuster Hall or in the Festival Theater to perform for feedback from a panel of adjudicators. This 20-minute block will include time to enter and exit the stage. Directors may decide how they wish to use their performance time from the following options:

  • Perform one large work by an underrepresented composer
  • Perform two works, one of which must be by an underrepresented composer
  • Perform three works, two of which must be by an underrepresented composer
  • Underrepresented composers are defined as people of color, women, or other marginalized gender identities

After their performance, ensembles will receive a performance clinic on the repertoire of the underrepresented composer. Students will also meet with guest artists and composers for an interactive discussion about the importance of having many voices represented in music literature and the value of performing works by underrepresented composers.

In the News

2024 Resident Composer

The announcement of the 2024 resident composer is coming soon.

Musicians and Artists

Nathan Nagir

Nathan Nagir's Bio

Bradley J. Esau

Bradley J. Esau's Bio

Shelley Jagow

Shelley Jagow's Bio

Jerry Noble

Jerry Noble's Bio

Ginger Minneman

Ginger Minneman's Bio

Gretchen McNamara

Gretchen McNamara's Bio

Amy Kollar Anderson

Amy Kollar Anderson's Bio

Bill Jobert

Bill Jobert's Bio


$50 Registration Fee per ensemble

Registration Deadline: April 22, 2024

Silver Melted Into Sound Composition Contest

Composition Contest Rules and Regulations

In alignment with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Grant awarded to the School of Fine and Performing Arts in 2022, the music festival Silver Melted into Sound again calls for compositions designed to increase repertoire written by underrepresented composers, including people of color, women and other marginalized genders, or persons with a disability and/or draw attention to minority poet Julia de Burgos.

The composition must be written for one of the following ensembles and at the performance level of a high school, Grade 3 ensemble:

  • Concert Band – standard instrumentation
  • String Orchestra
  • Chorus – SATB

The composition must be inspired by the poetry of Julia de Burgos.

  • Priority will be given to people who consider themselves to be part of an underrepresented population.
  • There is no entry fee.

Entry Information

  • Entries must be received via email to by April 8, 2024, and will not be considered without registration using the link above. In your email submission, please include your name and your diversity qualifications. 
  • Entries must include a PDF score and a .mp3 or .wav sound file of the composition.
  • The winning composition will be announced at the Silver Melted into Sound Music Festival on Friday, May 3, 2024.
  • The winning composition will receive a $250 cash prize sponsored by Theta Eta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and a world premiere performance by a Wright State University music ensemble during the 2024-2025 academic year.

Two Julia de Burgos poems (PDF) have been pre-selected for use in this Composition Contest.

Essay Competition


High School and College Students involved with a music program at school or in your community. 

Submission Information 

Submit an essay of 500-750 words answering the question: 

  • How does music influence your thoughts about  diversity, inclusion, and social justice? 

 Entries should be emailed to no later than February 28, 2024.

Writers should include the following information with their email entry:

  • Full Name
  • Year in school
  • Name of school
  • Email address (parent/guardian email is acceptable)
  • Phone number (parent/guardian phone is acceptable)
  • Brief description of how you are involved in music in your community

Winning Essays will be announced April 5, 2024.


One winning essay from each category of high school and college writers will receive a check for $100* presented during the Silver Melted Into Sound Festival on May 3, 2024.  Essays will be displayed during Silver Melted Into Sound and printed on the Silver Melted Into Sound website.  
 *Essay Awards sponsored by Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity at Wright State University 

2023 Festival Recap

Photo Gallery

2022 Festival Recap

Composition Winners

Congratulations to the winning compositions from the 2022 Silver Melted into Sound Composition Competition. All entries were adjudicated by Wright State faculty members, with finalists selected by composer Katahj Copley.  All four pieces will receive programmed performances at Wright State during the 2022-2023 school year. In addition, the Silver Medallion winner has received a stipend.

  • Silver Medallion Winner: Elillian Daugherty – "I Wake in the Morning to Sing with the Larks" For String Orchestra
  • Aster Kanke – Tone Poem in G Major "Rain Songs" – for string orchestra
  • Victoria Malawey – "Invitation to Love" for SATB Choir
  • Whitney Perez – "Sing with the Lark" – for SATB Choir

Photo Gallery

Collaborative Partnerships

Silver Melted Into Sound and the celebration of diverse artists have created partnerships across the Wright State University campus. Collaboration of ideas and the sharing of resources have come from faculty, students, and administration to make this event a reality.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Born in Dayton, Ohio, on June 27, 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African-American literary figures to garner critical acclaim on a national scale. Although he lived just thirty-three years, Dunbar's contributions in a variety of genres left a legacy that endures today.  His poetry has a lyricism and rhythmic pulses that feel like music. With his connections to Dayton and Wright State University, it seemed fitting to draw our inspiration and festival title from a line of Dunbar’s poetry. 

Paul Laurence Dunbar poems (PDF)







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