MakeMusic, Inc. (NASDAQ:MMUS) announced today the winner of the Finale National Composition Contest. Andy Akiho of New Haven, Conn. won the final prize, which included $3,000 and a future public performance by the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird.

“We were delighted with the response this contest received in its first year,” said Karen van Lith, MakeMusic CEO. “Both the number of submissions and the quality of the music received were truly inspiring. In addition to congratulating Andy and the other finalists, I’d like to thank every applicant for enriching our lives with their compositions.”

First announced in July 2010, the Finale National Composition Contest is a partnership between MakeMusic, the American Composers Forum and the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird . The objective of the competition is to encourage creativity by composers throughout the United States and to recognize and reward their accomplishments.

The contest inspired submissions from 504 composers. In February 2011 three finalists were announced: Andy Akiho, Eric Lindsay of Bloomington, Ind., and Kurt Rohde of San Francisco, Calif. Each finalist subsequently wrote a piece specifically for eighth blackbird and traveled to Chicago to rehearse and prepare the music with the ensemble. On Dec 8 all three pieces were performed at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the winner was announced later that evening.

A second competition, the 2012 Finale National Composition Contest, was announced in October 2011. This time MakeMusic and the American Composers Forum team up with the acclaimed American string quartet JACK Quartet. Finalists will be announced by February 1, 2012, complete details can be found on the contest website.

Follow Finale from our Community page, which offers access to the Finale Blog, Forum and links to Finale’s presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About MakeMusic, Inc.

MakeMusic ®, Inc. is a world leader in music technology whose mission is to develop and market solutions that transform how music is composed, taught, learned and performed. For more than 20 years, Finale ® has been the industry standard in music notation software, enabling composers, arrangers, musicians, teachers, students and publishers to create, edit, audition, print and publish musical scores. MakeMusic is also the creator of SmartMusic ® education software that is transforming the way students practice. With SmartMusic, students and teachers have access to thousands of band, orchestra and vocal pieces allowing students to practice with background accompaniment and get immediate feedback on their performance. SmartMusic allows teachers to individualize instruction and document the progress of every student. The SmartMusic® Inbox™, an Android™ and Apple ® mobile application, provides additional access for teachers to review, grade, and comment on student assignments. MusicXML™ is an Internet-friendly way to publish musical scores, enabling musicians to distribute interactive sheet music online and to use sheet music files with a wide variety of musical applications. Garritan sound libraries provide musicians with state-of-the-art virtual instruments with the playback quality of a live performance. Additional information about this Minnesota company can be found at www.makemusic.com.

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