Hello Brooklyn! The Steel Guitar Unconvention is delighted to have again received the backing of the Brooklyn Arts Council for a 3rd year!  

As well as holding another virtual festival in June, we will be holding a competition for composers to write an original piece for steel guitar! The winning composer will receive an honorarium, and the costs of recording the piece will be covered in full by our grant. The composition will then be premiered at our virtual event in June at Jalopy Theatre.  

The details for the composition competition are as follows: 


Composers must be Brooklyn residents. No other restrictions. 


No restrictions on length. 


The only restriction is that no more than 3 other instruments (or vocalists) besides steel guitar (lap or pedal are both acceptable) should be included in the composition. This is to make recording easier, more cost-effective, and simpler to manage given COVID considerations.  


There are no restrictions on style. Lap and Pedal Steel are versatile instruments and while we are totally open to receiving compositions in the genres they are traditionally associated with, such as Hawaiian, Country, Gospel, Swing, etc., we are also open to more unconventional submissions--modern classical, jazz, avant-garde, fusion, etc. The only limit is your imagination. To help you with this, please visit our youtube playlist which showcases some “non-standard” steel playing and includes videos with some technical information about the steel guitar which you may find helpful.  

You are also welcome to submit pieces you already have written that you have edited/retrofitted to include the steel guitar!

How to submit: 

Composers who use standard musical notation should email a score and a recording (even something simple like the Midi recording from Sibelius is fine) to unconventionSG@gmail.com.  

If you are a composer/sound artist/etc. who does not work with traditional notation, you are encouraged to send links to samples of your work and proposed ideas for how you plan to utilize the steel guitar in your compositions to unconventionSG@gmail.com


Compositions must be submitted by May 1st. 


Thanks to the generosity of the Brooklyn Arts Council, we are able to offer an honorarium of $750 to the winning composer, as well as covering the costs of recording and premiering the piece. 

For the top five runners-up, we can guarantee that your piece will be performed before the end of 2021, whether virtually or in person, and that their premieres will be professionally video-recorded for you. 

For all other submissions, we promise to provide extensive feedback and to work closely with you to get your piece into playing shape, in the hopes of developing a body of new music for steel guitar!


Please email us at unconventionSG@gmail.com