In 2018 WAYO initiated a commission for a female-identifying, Australian composer to create a new work. Read all about our inaugural commission recipient here. We are thrilled that this award has gained the support to continue in 2020. WAYO is a not for profit registered charity which, since 1974, has been inspiring young people to achieve personal and professional excellence through their passion for music and engagement with their community. Reaching annual live audiences in excess of 30,000, WAYO pride ourselves on providing unparalleled orchestral training and performance opportunities for young Western Australians and our audiences. The selected composer will be invited to write a ten-minute piece for full symphony orchestra with triple winds, to be premiered by our flagship ensemble (WA Youth Orchestra) in Perth Concert Hall in September, 2020.

Gender imbalance in Australia’s professional music sector continues to be perpetuated by the programming choices of our major symphonic performance organisations. WAYO acknowledges this lack of parity, and is working towards correcting this through a focus on equality at a grass roots level. This commission has been designed to offer a female professional the opportunity to write, rehearse, and perform a large-scale orchestral work in a high-profile performance setting, whilst retaining creative autonomy over her work.

About this award

The piece will be workshopped and conducted by acclaimed Australian conductor, Jon Tooby, during WAYO’s third season from August – September 2020. The award will consist of a cash prize of $5000, significant rehearsal time, live performance of the work at Perth Concert Hall on 26 September to an expected live audience in excess of 1500, and a live recording of the work.

This award is open to all female-identifying Australian composers 35 years and under as of the closing date. There is no application fee. The winning composer will be selected by a panel of industry experts and representatives of the WAYO board. Submissions must be made no later than 1 February 2019. Applicants will be notified of the result by 15 February, 2020.

Submission Requirements

Please submit scores of three original compositions that best show your ability. The selection should be varied, but specifically display your strengths in composing for orchestra or large ensemble.

Submission Requirements

Your submission must include:
– At least one full orchestral work
– Corresponding recordings for each work (midi is accepted but live recordings highly preferable)
– Biography (max. 250 words)
– CV and list of works
– Personal statement/cover letter so we can get to know you better (max. 500 words)

Who is Carol Day?

This award has been established in recognition of long term chair and co founder Carol Day. In 1974 Carol established the beginnings of what would grow into WAYO, and has served faithfully since that time in a variety of roles, including Chair, administrator, acting CEO, motivator, parent, and all rounder. A much admired arts leader and supporter, Carol has been instrumental in supporting WAYO’s phenomenal growth since its inception 45 years ago, and remains a valuable and committed WAYO Board member to this day. Carol also served as Deputy Chair on the Australia Council for the National Music Board for six years as the sole Western Australian representative and was a great champion for Western Australian Arts. She has also held other significant not-for-profit and community directorships. Her personal drive and passion for supporting young artists has inspired WAYO members and staff over many decades and we are proud to name this commission in her honour. It is with much gratitude that we say thanks to Carol for her tireless support and dedication to WAYO and the broader Australian arts community.


NEED ASSISTANCE? Get in touch with WAYO’s Sponsorship & Development Manager, Rebecca Erin Smith. Composer, educator, and performer from Perth WA, Rebecca is a strong proponent for gender parity in the music industry and Ambassador for this award. You can reach her here, or on (08)9328 9859 during office hours.