Below is a gallery of a shortlist of top 40 submissions for the #Quarantunes student music competition.

The Quarantunes student music competition offered students a chance to inspire each other and our communities by making music. Students were challenged to help fellow students see beyond current difficulties, come together in mutual support, and strengthen the determination and hope for the future.

The Shortlist


With over 100 entries, we selected a shortlist, of which, the public voted for the winning teams. The shortlisted entries were chosen using five criteria: musical arrangement, technical proficiency, originality, video and/or audio quality, and concept and message.

Vote For Your Favorite Entry (Closed)

The voting period for the APRU Quarantunes competition has closed and the audit has been completed. We thank all of the students who have participated and for inspiring communities worldwide to keep a positive view on our collective future.

  • The tally of votes for each entry is subject to audit.

  • APRU discourages sponsorships to boost Facebook posts and will take precautions to mitigate sponsored posts.

The APRU Quarantunes competition results are announced on the Student Competition webpage.


1st Prize      US$5,000

2nd Prize    US$3,000

3rd Prize     US$2,000

Review the shortlisted entries below.

I couldn’t sleep well last night
These days realities are so tough, everyone is struggling to overcome the pandemic nightmare. But sometimes we lose our will and often get depressed. I want to remind that we all had dreams. I want this music to comfort people and encourage them not to forget their dreams.
Moon River
I am sure we all feel a little like Holly Golightly right now: alone, sitting on a windowsill and staring outside longingly, working through a difficult present and dreaming of a future that feels uncertain. She sings “Moon River” and we share her hope.
During the pandemic, the numbers of domestic abuse towards women have been on the rise, and we thought it was important to keep on talking about these issues. It is, in a way, a wake up call to the people that ignore those situations, which could get lower if we keep on talking and trying to give a bit of hope to the ones supporting the movement. As men, it’s pretty important for us to not question the movement but to support it in any way possible, and the pandemic situation is a way in which our voices can be heard better.
The Promised Land (แดนเนรมิต) : A Full Band Cover by Artsband
As the pandemic moves swiftly from community to community, region to region, and continent to continent, us humans are getting more desperate for the ‘old’ way of life which, despite its substantial hardships and drawbacks, seems to be better than whatever we are currently presented with. For us (part-time) musicians, the inability to even physically gather in both private and public premises has a detrimental effect on our financial, social, and undeniably, spiritual circumstances. In light of this situation, we acknowledge our privilege of access to internet, recording hardware and software, and the ability to connect by means of virtual platforms. With these tools in our hands, we come together to regroup our values and ideas, come up with novel solutions to overcome difficulties, and play, play, play.
Holy Holy Holy
This piece aims to offer a calm and peace amid the restlessness of today’s world.
Somos Más
We have addressed the theme of the competition because the main message our song tries to convey is that, although it may seem that you are alone whilst trying to make a change in your country, community or campus; the truth is that there are lots of people trying to make a positive change in the world too. In fact, there are more people trying to make this world a more accepting, tolerant and loving than the opposite. As our song says in Spanish: “somos más”, translated literally as “we are more”; as in we are more people trying to do good. Our hope is that people will find the song comforting in this uncertain and sometimes lonely times with knowing that they are not the only ones seeking change.
Annie Lin
We wrote this song about the passage of time. Quarantine kind of feels like it’s just lost time, and the verses reflect this. The chorus, on the other hand, is optimistic, looking forward to the future when we are free and “we can enthrall.”
True Visionaries
The lyrics of this song, while being very honest about the sorry state of race in America manages to at the same time to allow the listener to be empowered by the power they have within themselves to change the world for the better, stating that each one of us is the revolution we need. The song provides hope that we as individuals can both acknowledge the defeats of our past, and at the same time use our power to make the future into a better reality.
Dear World : a letter to the world
In this situation where everyone is paralyzed by the corona, I wrote this song hoping that people could heal a little bit with my music.
Dimitri Shostakovich – Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano – IV. Waltz
With our submission, we wish to share the experience of making music with friends, despite current circumstances. Usually music performances are attended in person, but despite that fact, we are still able to explore different ways of bringing music to peoples’ lives. We are lucky to be living in a time where technology can virtually connect us, and we wish to spark joy through these outlets. Though we are apart, music travels beyond barriers and has the ability to bring communities together. Creating music is our contribution to the collective effort to better the world we live in, and we aim to inspire hope for the future. We strive to support an atmosphere of artistic expression, and encourage others to join as well.
Virtual Ensemble – Summer Medley
As we adjust to a new normal, we continue to find ways to support each other. We played the pieces ‘Summer’ and ‘One Summer’s day’ by Joe Hisaishi in our Virtual Ensemble to show that despite the distance between us, our passion for music continues to shine through. Hopefully this piece lifts your spirits and provide some cool relief in these warm months, and inspires you to continue enjoying and making music together even through social distancing. We wish that everyone stays safe and maintains a sunny outlook throughout the rest of Summer and beyond!
《笔尖青春(Regretless youth)》
By creating this song, we are hoping everyone keeps in mind our beautiful dreams in youth, and makes our youth regretless. We use the first two paragraphs to show our colorful life on campus, and to hint that those are all what we should never forget. Then we raise a question: if we meet again after years, will we still remember the dreams we dreamed. This question leads to the refrain, where we propose our expectation: what we are creating should not only be the youth, but also the dreams which will be kept with us forever. By doing this, we will have no regret for our youth.
Emerging Dreams
Throughout the last few months, the world has faced many uncertainties. Our daily lives have been significantly disrupted, leading to a multitude of difficulties for individuals around the world. Despite the challenges that we have faced, there is plenty of hope and optimism for the future. We dream that the world will emerge a better place, where individuals will show more love and compassion to one another. We hope that people will be more grateful for the little gifts of life, and that they will cherish their family and friends even more. We believe that individuals will begin to better share in the beauty and wonder of the world. Our video shares our optimism about the exciting future of the world and our hope that the world will emerge stronger than ever before.
“As stated in the criteria, we were challenged to create a song that encapsulated our hopes for the world in which you want to live in, and the world we will make. As a group, we decided to focus on an issue in which was very important to us within the current state of the world. Our hopes for the future include the fair treatment for all people, but at the moment more seriously the black communities. Over the past few months, we have all had to learn to deal with and experience this global pandemic, and stemming from this, many people have come into struggles with mental health. One of our aims for this piece was to show that there is always someone here for you, to stand by you and support you.
Essentially, with all that has happened in our world, whether they be stemming from this global pandemic or from the movements regarding the fair treatment of all people, particularly the black communities.”
Socially Distanced Performance by Waseda Symphony Orchestra​
As an orchestra consisting of over 200 members, we had to go through some difficulties including having to be inactive for over 3 months, cancellation of concerts and Europe Tour 2021, and not being able to have as many freshmen enroll to our orchestra. However, creating this video of our socially distanced performance gave us an opportunity to virtually come back together and work towards the same goal. We uploaded this video on our Youtube channel as well, and we heard back from many people including alumni of Waseda University and alumni of our orchestra that they watched this. This gave us more motivation to work hard during this difficult time hoping that we will be able to present our best performance to the audience at our first post-quarantine concert.
A Falling Star
This music video’s theme is about hope and hardwork, where when one hopes and does his/her part in community, a better future can be accomplished.
We’re all heroes
This song is for those who are fighting the Corona virus in different forms around the world. Many people, as well as medical staff, are undergoing changes in their daily lives, continuing their heroic acts that no one recognizes. The song sends the message that all those who give up their daily lives and endure little by little are heroes. It’s never a reassuring step yet, but since each of us is a hero solving the situation, it contains consolation and hope that it will be okay in the not too far-off future.
Somethings we already know

“””I’ll take the rest of my year to save all the memories””

It seems we have lost 6 months of our time, but always remember, it’s not about what we lost. It’s about what we will do with what we’ve got.

In this unexpected situation, it seems like a lot of us lost our sense of hope and determination for the future. Being locked down, some couldn’t see their friends and family for quite a while. Everyone has a different dream, but we thought that a certain part of the energy to pursue those dreams comes from our friends and family. We wanted to tell the people who will be listening to our song that it’s going to be alright. We didn’t want “hope” to be something hard to reach. Rather than that, hope can be found within yourselves or near you. All you have to do is look back at your memories, and look around at your friends and family. They will give you the energy to make the best out of 2020. You already know.

“Imagine the world healed from the pandemic.
No quarantine anymore, and we can hang out together.
No compulsory social distance required, and we can hug our loved ones.
No masks needed, and we can see the smiling faces again.
We shall sing together under the blue sky without fear.
“”I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.””
We are Tunatics, which stands for “”Tune + Lunatics””. We’re music enthusiasts who enjoy singing together.
Through this cover version of “”Imagine””, a song originally written by John Lennon, we want to spread love and hope to people swept by the global pandemic.”
Homenaje a Lucho Bermúdez
“El mundo quedó paralizado, todos quedamos en casa, muchos hasta perdieron su trabajo, y ahora, ¿qué vamos a hacer? Debemos reinventarnos, saber que de esta salimos más fuertes y con más ganas de darle un mejor futuro a las próximas generaciones.
Desde Colombia, el ensamble del Caribe de la Universidad de los Andes, presenta: “Homenaje a Lucho Bermúdez” (Home Sessions).”
“This song, called “”Isolation”” is a 2:58 minute composition wrote and arranged by Caridad Espinosa and Eduardo Faour.
With the lyrics we wanted to express how frustrating the whole quarantine experience has been, as we miss our family and friends. It also talks about what we want to do when all of this is over. The main message of the song is: We are all doing the same things, we are bored and worried about the future, but we know it’s all going to be okay and we’ll meet again, with a new perspective of the world and as better people.
At the same time, the rhythm of the song is a funky-pop, fun and up tempo, with which we wanted to make the listener smile and enjoy the tune, the percussion used in this song was extremely home-made, with objects we found around the house, as you will be able to see in the video.
We need things that light up our mood and give us hope. This is why our video is super light hearted, we are putting our worries a side and not taking life so seriously. This is what our composition is about. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.”
Hold On
We hope to live in a world in which there is mutual respect, solidarity, and love. We want to build a community where the boundaries of distance, color, or faith don’t stand in the way of genuine relationships. To achieve this vision, we must learn from those we admire and keep those we care about close, despite challenges. Our song portrays this message by reminding the audience to hold on to each other through hard times.
Get Down
A song that combines dancy, hopeful music and reflective lyrics about the happenings right now. Quoted from our favorite band Snarky Puppy, It’s music for the booty and the brain. We hope to present a honest yet playful version of the world, inside which people acknowledge the flaws of the society but remain optimistic for a brighter future.
Six Feet Apart

With the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and the many injustices happening in the world around us, the song, Six Feet Apart, is our ode to all of our fearless heroes who strive to stand up to these issues in society and try to make a positive impact in their own ways; big or small.

As dental students, we feel the anxiety and pain the future may hold especially as the dental profession is declared to be one of the most high-risk professions to COVID-19. With our country, the Philippines, suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we also dedicate this song to the Filipinos and to everyone in the world who braved the “storms” and continue to fight against the “waves” that try to bring us down. We hope that this song may give strength and courage to each and everyone to make a stand and unite against these problems for a better tomorrow.

Six Feet Apart talks about every one of us that is stuck in the loop between the ongoing COVID-19 quarantines and our own isolation from the everyday normal we all got used to. The song tells about our shared experiences, fears, anxieties, and worries during these troubling times with a longing for a respite of what used to be out there in the world before all of this happened. We want to shed light on the challenges that all of us face at this point in time to remind each and every one of us that we are not alone in this and that there is always hope. We salute and praise those who continue to fight the good fight in the frontlines and in the streets. Though we may be separated and lost, our actions, spirits, and collective movement can still make a difference in the world and see the change we want to see in society amidst the current pandemic. This is a song states that no matter how far you may be or how small you may feel, you are doing the best you can and with that, you contribute to the hope that inspires us all to look forward to a brighter and better future.

Due Time – Emilia & Channy
Our song is a reflection about our mistakes as humanity and how we have affected ourselves and the planet. This in an effort to inspire our community to change their perspective about the future and replace it with a better one. We believe this quarantine is the perfect time to reflect about what is wrong in the world in order to rebuild a system that will be able to work for us and the earth in the future.
Golden Girl

“This song is about the sun, and how no matter what happens, she is one of the few things that stays a consistent source of happiness in our lives. In quarantine, we see her less, so we wrote about how much we miss her.

Our hope for the future is that through difficulty, people will be able to see that not only is there always a “bright side to every situation”, but that things are constantly changing. So no matter how bad things are, it’s not forever.

Only the sun ever really remains constant; that’s why we love her, and we love the world for its constant shifting. ”

CH4LIE & JRod Keep On Going
Our song attempts to inspire hope through commemorating inspirational American figures. It utilizes multiple genres to create a journey like experience where the listener is constantly being transitioned between different moods, sounds and emotions. Mostly Future Bass and Trap, we focused on creating melodic sections that would immerse the listener. We hope you enjoy this track.
Destine fighting
We are deemed to be free as to fight against the world, others and even ourselves. We may get lost, confused of our life in every minute, but at the same time, that could be seen as the signal, a sign which guides us to our golden future, or the true destiny of our own by endless struggling and fighting. Hope is just another perspective viewing this human essence. For us, “hope to future” is a battlefield for us to shine whereby an unbroken steadfast will and determination to fight against our so-called “fate”.

“Hello! We are five student musicians at the University of Southern California.

Our song “Together” addresses the nostalgia and hope students might be feeling right now. Although our graduations and summers may not have gone as planned, and it’s frustrating to be apart from our friends, our song reassures the listeners that we can always find ways to connect with each other emotionally.

We are all members of Trogons, the premier East Asian a cappella group at USC, and we have gotten to understand each other and our cultures by sharing music. Our song has a verse and chorus in English and Mandarin that speak to the ways we can uplift each other during this time, no matter where we are. Even though some of our members are back home in Asia and others are still in the U.S., we were able to connect across the distance by making this song, and we hope “Together” reminds listeners that they, too, are not alone.

Song credits:
– Vocals: Aaron Sha (solo), Tiffany Wong (solo), Patrick Gil, Grace Trang
– Songwriters: Aaron Sha, Emily Kuo, Tiffany Wong, Patrick Gil
– Producers: Aaron Sha, Emily Kuo, Grace Trang”


“Our composition addresses the theme through our choice of music genre and the lyrics.

Our song is heavily influenced by disco, funk and pop as we wanted to create a catchy, upbeat song that could lift everyone’s spirits up! The title “”Dizzyscape”” is a play on the words “”Dizzy”” and “”Cityscape”” where things evolved faster than we could comprehend them at one point during the pandemic.

As for lyrics, the verses took inspiration from our own personal experiences and challenges we faced during the circuit breaker in Singapore. The pre-chorus and choruses on the other hand are reflective of our determination and hopes for the future. We also wanted to share the positive message that even if things look bad, our futures are still our own to make – hence why we wrote in the recurring tagline “”What do you wanna be””.

We also wanted to emphasize that with the help of science, love and technology, we were able to make it through this pandemic and are sure that others will be able to do the same.”

Odd Times

“””Odd Times”” is a simple love song.

The song started by sketching a general impression of the world with the present pandemic—its uncertainty, distance, and darkness. It then demonstrates a lover’s intent to pursue his beloved in spite and despite the situation, to bring his beloved in a world where they never thought they could imagine. The lover, thrown into a seemingly uncertain situation (the pandemic), derives his hope in imagining a time wherein he dances all night with his beloved, holding her and swaying to the groove of a song. In the middle part, a chant is sung, calling the situation an “”odd time”” in which they intend to face and overcome together.

The final part of the song calls for everyone to join the dance of love, full of hope and joy. That although this hope is derived from a specific love object, it transcends into a vital hope that ignites a will to go on.”

Little Girl
I wrote this later in quarantine, when I had been stuck inside for weeks. In the moment, I felt small and insignificant in the context of the world. I wrote this song from the perspective of someone looking down on a little girl, telling her that she is seen, even though she may not feel it.
Think About It
While there are a lot of serious and possibly more important issues at hand, our song is about a lighter but yet extremely common issue that a lot of people are facing in this difficult period – the impact of quarantine on relationships. It’s about a person and their significant other who were separated due to quarantine and are unable to meet for obvious reasons such as travel restrictions and safety. It’s about how one misses and “thinks about” someone they love and wishes that things don’t get distant between them emotionally once the pandemic is over. The song makes references to the sudden leaving of a person and prolonged periods of physical distance between them – “I was broken when you left me, it’s been days and days and days since I’ve seen your face… I can’t sleep tonight without you by my side”. Think About It is an upbeat, catchy and vintage sounding tune which portrays a very real quarantine problem in a rather fun and simplistic manner.
Better Than it Seems
In the state of the world today, bad news is a daily expectation. With nothing left but uncertainty, it is quite easy to get lost in feelings of hopelessness and negativity. And in these moments when we feel as though there is nothing to look forward to, this song encourages us to hold on to the hope we can find in the dreams that we had back then that we still aspire to reach; to find the strength we need deep within us– in the things we want to do, the places we want to go to, the people we still want to spend time with and the people whom we have yet to meet. We hope that this song will inspire people to keep pushing forward no matter how dark it gets, and will help people believe that someday, somehow, the stars will shine on a better tomorrow and that things will still get “Better Than it Seems”.
Absent addresses the presence of loneliness and lack of relationships that can arise from isolation, with emptiness and numbness in the beginning, a crisis that strikes halfway through and bubbles up to a catharsis that breaks through the angst to find relief, and hope for the future at the end.
A Walk Around
I miss walking around UCSC and viewing the beauty of the redwood forest and the beach; the music center has one of the best views on campus. But more importantly, I miss the people who I regularly see in the music department. Collaborating on chamber music, performing, and hanging out outside rehearsals with music colleagues are some of my fondest moments at the university, and I wish to evolve on how we could work together. I composed a piece inspired by these experiences so we can stay connected, even if they are hundreds of miles away.
Be Alright
This song encourages teens who are facing various difficulties and obstacles to hold on as things would eventually be alright. I designed the light background EDM which creates a delightful ambience. In the lyrics, you could tell that teenagers like us are stuck in an embarrassing situation- we start understanding the reality and losing our belief and dream. Responsibility starts falling on us and we can no longer do what we want in the past. Time seems to run fast ridiculously and soon we would become a true adult. Friends and our love ones are leaving us one by one and eventually we have to walk our path alone. All these could make a youngster lost. Nevertheless, as time passes, I am sure that things we went through at our age were not as tremendous as we thought. Keeping our feet on the ground and everything would just be fine. Besides, there are still many people supporting us. Therefore, we hope this song could inspire others and they would head towards their future with confidence.
Tomorrow always comes
“In our song, we tried to sing of hope amongst the tragedy we are facing.
Many people would have lost their loved ones, and many have fallen ill.
We intended not to entirely neglect the current situation, but rather to embrace it.
Therefore, listeners would likely sense a hint of uneasiness if not a murky somberness.
However, through the lyrics, we encourage everyone to not lose hope, and dream a better tomorrow,
for a world everyone dreams is far more than a dream.”