ASO announces Stand Beside Her Essay Contest

ASO announces Stand Beside Her Essay Contest

Akron Symphony Orchestra
February 5, 2020
The Akron Symphony Orchestra is currently accepting submissions for its Stand Beside Her Essay Contest, where students in grades 9-12 may write an original essay on influential women composers.

ASO announces Stand Beside Her Essay Contest

Please Note: The Akron Symphony Orchestra has made the difficult decision to postpone the Stand Beside Her Essay Contest until the 2020-21 season. While everyone was hopeful that we would be able to continue with the Essay Contest as planned, it is more important at this time to pursue the social distancing recommended by medical professionals and government officials to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has transformed our country.

The Akron Symphony Orchestra is currently accepting submissions for its Stand Beside Her Essay Contest for high school students.

During the 2019-20 concert season, the Orchestra is celebrating the influential work of six women composers/artists as part of the Stand Beside Her project in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote.

The Stand Beside Her Essay Contest challenges students in grades 9-12 to write an original and creative essay about influential women composers from a provided list. The maximum word count is 1,000 with a minimum of 700, not including citations and bibliography. A list of composers to choose from, along with some additional resources, is available for download here.

Essays will be judged on the demonstrated understanding of the subject matter, originality, and the quality of the writing.

A $500 prize will be awarded to the winner, who will also receive four complimentary tickets to the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s May 16 concert. Two runner-ups will receive two tickets each to the May 16 concert. The winner, both runner-ups and their guests will also receive a backstage tour prior to the concert as well as a reception in the Green Room at E.J. Thomas Hall.

Winners will be notified on May 1.

  • The contest deadline is April 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (EST).
  • Essays can be no more than 1,000 words but must be a minimum of 700 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.
  • Essays must be the original work of the student.
  • Essays must describe the influence of a female composer from the provided list, including how and why they made an impact on their community or the arts in general.
  • Essays must have a minimum of three sources.
Essay Submission
  • Students have the choice of either submitting their essay online (preferred) or of mailing their essay. All students must complete and submit a registration form online for student and school information.
  • Mailed in essays must be postmarked by April 15, 2020.
  • Students must complete the online Registration and Submission Form

If you prefer to mail in your essay, please send it to:

Stand Beside Her Essay Contest
c/o Akron Symphony Orchestra
92 North Main Street
Akron, Ohio 44308

If you have any additional questions, please email Development Manager Kimia Ghaderi at