Young Composers Competition

Thanks to those who entered our 2018 competition! Details on the 2019 competition will be available in the spring. For your reference, a summary of the 2018 rules is below.

Eligibility

  • Open to U.S. and Canadian composers who are not older than 40. The Capital Hearings, family members, those with close professional relationships (e.g., teacher/student), and previous winners are not eligible.
  • Entries must be scored for unaccompanied mixed choir, suitable for performance by 12-14 voices, either with or without divisi. Entries must be between two and five minutes in length.
  • Any style or genre of music is permitted (e.g., works need not be “classical”). Jazz, pop, rock, world, crossover works, etc., are all welcome.
  • Works must be original compositions (not arrangements), except that limited excerpting for artistic reasons is allowed.
  • Works must not have received a premiere, and must be unpublished. Exception – self-published, unsold works that are withdrawn from sale during the competition (see rules).
  • All texts must be cleared for performance and commercial recording, and evidence of copyright holder’s permission must be shown. For further guidance, see here.

Prize

  • $500 cash award. We will also provide the winner with an archival recording of the premiere or an early performance.
  • The winner will be announced in June 2018. All entrants will be notified by email, and the winner will also be announced on our website.
  • The Capital Hearings will have a two-year exclusive right to make the first commercial recording, with standard royalty rates paid to the composer. Any future publication of the score must reference that the work was a prize-winner in this competition.

Submission Guidelines

  • Only one work per composer will be accepted.
  • The competition will be judged anonymously. Finalists will be selected by the music director with input from a committee. The full ensemble will select the winner.
  • Entrants must submit an online application form, full score, audio realization (MIDI, MP3, etc.), standalone version of the underlying text (if not included in the score), translation (if not in English), and a resume, curriculum vitae, or program biography.
  • See Composer Competition 2018 Rules for complete submission instructions.
Winners

2018
Keane Southard
In this short Life
Premiered Sept. 15, 2018
Theme: Reality and Illusion
Announcement

2017
Rachel DeVore Fogarty
It Sifts From Leaden Sieves
Premiered Dec. 10, 2017
Theme: Holiday
Announcement

2016
Charles Perryman
Demagogue
Premiered Sept. 24, 2016
Theme: Politics and Political Capital
Press Release

2015
William Yanesh
The Astronomer
Premiered Oct. 10, 2015
Theme: Technology and Innovation
Press Release

2014
Connor J. Koppin
There Will Come Soft Rains
Premiered Sept. 27, 2014
Theme: Seasons
Press Release