The Color of Music Art Contest Rules 2023/2024

Participating in The Color of Music art contest is fun and easy. It is also a great way to introduce your child to new pieces of music and the skill of music interpretation. Below is the information you need to implement the contest at home, prepare student entries and deliver them to the homeschool coordinator, Jennifer Smeltser. Please contact the homeschool coordinator if your student would like to participate, so the music and required labeling materials may be sent to you, and arrangements may be made for the delivery of the art submissions.


The Color of Music is open to all students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the West Tennessee school systems (Madison County and its surrounding counties, i.e.: Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison, McNairy and Weakley): public, private, parochial, homeschools and special education programs comparable to grade levels kindergarten through eighth.


Three pictures per grade level will be submitted from the homeschool submissions. The artists of the works selected to represent their schools will be considered finalists in the contest. If needed, an independent party will be used to judge the entries that are submitted. Artwork must be two-dimensional, using crayon, pen, ink, watercolor, tempera, batik, collage, etc. No pastels or powdered chalk. The artwork will be moved several times, and pastels may be damaged. It is also suggested crayon colored pictures not be submitted, because they “do not seem to do well in judging when being compared to other mediums used“.


Artwork must be on 12” x 18” paper. Mount the artwork on Black 14” x 20” poster board using rubber cement.
Do not use white glue, as it will buckle the picture. Do not mat artwork.
Artwork that does not meet specifications will be disqualified.
• All work must be titled.
• Attach information only to the back.
Front: Work may be signed, but no other information should be included on the front.
Back: Attach a completed identification card from your entry packet to the back of the poster board. Please double-check the spelling of each student’s name.
Type or print information legibly.
• Circle the musical selection and include the child’s title for the work.
• The Identification Card and Inventory Sheet (homeschool coordinator will have) must have the same information.


All homeschool entries must be delivered to the homeschool coordinator, Jennifer Smeltser, on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at a designated meeting location. If you are not able to meet at the location, alternative arrangements can be made. Please e-mail Jennifer for more information.


Contact Jennifer Smeltser for the material required to implement the contest.


A panel of local artists and musicians will consider all entries and select the blue ribbon and top prize winners and optional honorable mention awards.


A student whose work best reflects the spirit of The Color of Music contest, illustrating music as the universal language, will be awarded the Jackson Symphony League Bravo Award.

The Conductors Awards will recognize the students whose works best represent, in the opinion of our judges, the “essence” of their musical selections. The Prelude Award will go to a student in kindergarten through second grade.; The Capriccio Award will go to a student in third through fifth grades; The Fantasia Award will be selected from the entries from sixth through eighth grades. These works will become the official symbols of the next year’s contest and will be recognized in advertising materials for the following year.

• All top award winners will receive a plaque and a cash prize. Their artwork will also be professionally framed. These four winning entries will be featured in publications of The Jackson Symphony and The Jackson Symphony League, as well as on The Jackson Symphony website.

• 45 Blue Ribbon Winners, five from each grade level, will be selected from the finalists on the basis of the guidelines given in the section How to Implement the Contest. These award winners will receive tickets to a Jackson Symphony Orchestra concert, a ribbon, and a T-shirt. Additional Honorable Mention Awards may be given at the discretion of the judges.

The Jackson Symphony League Awards will be presented to the schools in each division with the highest percentage of winning entries. The school must send a minimum of three entries for each grade level that participates to be eligible. A cash award for art supplies will be presented to each of the Symphony League Award winners at the Award Ceremony.


All Honorable Mention, Blue Ribbon, and top prize winners, along with their parents, principals, and teachers will be honored at an Awards Ceremony and Reception at The Ned Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 9, 2024.


All finalist entries (those representing their schools) will be tentatively displayed in The Ned lobby March 9 – 11, 2024. The award-winning entries selected for the Jackson Symphony League Bravo Award, the Conductor Awards, Blue Ribbon, and any Honorable Mention Awards will later be displayed at a date and location to be determined. Finalist photos will be displayed on the Jackson Symphony League website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024 – Deadline for homeschool entries to be delivered to the homeschool coordinator, contact Jennifer Smeltser.
Friday, February 2, 2024 – Official JSL Judging
Friday, February 9, 2024 – Notification of Winners
Thursday through Saturday, March 7 – 9, 2024 – Exhibit of all finalists’ entries in The Ned Performing Arts Center lobby.
Saturday, March 9, 2024 – Reception and Award Ceremony at The Ned Performing Arts Center

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