Dalton Competition Guidelines

The Journal of the American Viola Society welcomes submissions for the David Dalton Viola Research Competition for university and college student members of the American Viola Society.


All entrants must be members of the American Viola Society who are currently enrolled in a university or who have completed any degree within twelve months of the entry deadline.

General Guidelines:

Entries must be original contributions to the field of viola research and may address issues concerning viola literature, history, performers, and pedagogy. Entries must not have been published in any other publication or be summaries of another author’s work. The body of the work should be 1500–3500 words in length and should adhere to standard criteria for a scholarly paper. For more details on standard criteria for a scholarly paper, please consult one of these sources:

Bellman, Jonathan D. A Short Guide to Writing about Music. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson, 2007.

Herbert, Trevor. Music in Words: A Guide to Writing about Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Wingell, Richard J. Writing about Music: An Introductory Guide. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2009. 

Entries should include relevant footnotes and bibliographic information and may include short musical examples. Papers originally written for school projects may be submitted but should conform to these guidelines; see judging criteria for additional expectations of entries. Any questions regarding these guidelines or judging criteria should be sent to info@avsnationaloffice.org.


A panel of violists and scholars will evaluate submissions and then select a maximum of three winning entries. Prior to judging, all submissions will be reviewed and anonymized. All references to name, institution, course names/numbers, or any other identifying information will be redacted and a random numerical identifier assigned for the duration of the judging process.

Entries will be judged according to scholarly criteria, including statement of purpose, thesis development, originality and value of the research, organization of materials, quality of writing, and supporting documentation.


Entries must be submitted electronically via downloadable link by August 1, 2022. For the electronic submission form, visit Dalton Competition Submission Form.

Please note that the your submission and documentation of your student status will be submitted via shareable links to downloadable files, so you may wish to upload your files to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, WeTransfer, Box, or another file sharing service before completing this form.


Prize Categories:

All winning entries will be featured in the Journal of the American Viola Society, with authors receiving the following additional prizes:

1st Prize: $400, sponsored by Thomas and Polly Tatton
2nd Prize: $200
3rd Prize: Henle edition sheet music package including works by Schumann, Reger, Stamitz, Mendelssohn, and Bruch, donated by Hal Leonard Corporation
Harmony Prize: $200, awarded to winning research focusing on non-canonic, underrepresented, and marginalized composers, their music, and/or performers and pedagogy