Announcing the 2024 Young Composers Competition


[Washington, D.C. April 22, 2024 ] 

The 2024 Young Composers Competition:


In a world increasingly dominated by urban landscapes, it’s crucial to pause and reconnect with the natural world that sustains us. Through our voices, we aim to evoke the vivid imagery and emotional resonance of nature’s grandeur, offering a moment of reflection amidst the chaos of modern life.

As we witness the raw power of storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes, we’re reminded of our own vulnerability in the face of nature’s might. Yet, amidst this awe-inspiring display, we find solace and inspiration in the resilience of flora and fauna, in the cyclical dance of the seasons, and in the enduring circle of life.

This year, our 10th Annual Young Composers Competition asks for your thoughts on forces of nature, or perspectives on these concepts. If you feel like you have something to say–or find that something you’ve already written (but hasn’t been premiered) might speak to us–we’d love to hear it!

All U.S. & Canadian residents age 18-40 are welcome to submit a 2-5 minute original composition (arranged for mixed, unaccompanied choir) related to this theme, and we especially welcome submissions from unique or underrepresented perspectives – and in unique or underrepresented styles. Submissions are due by June 4, 2024, by 11:59pm and a prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winner.


Submission Guidelines

  • Entries must be scored for unaccompanied mixed choir, suitable for performance by 12-14 voices, either with or without divisi. Entries must be 2-5 minutes in length.
  • Any style or genre of music is permitted (i.e., works need not be “classical”). Jazz, pop, rock, world, crossover works, etc., are all welcome.
  • Works must be entirely original compositions (not arrangements of existing works), except that limited excerpting for artistic reasons is allowed.
  • Works must not have received a public premiere or publicly available recording, and must be unpublished. Exception – self-published, unsold works that are withdrawn from sale during the competition (see rules).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.
  • Open to U.S. and Canadian composers aged 18-40. Previous winners, members of The Capital Hearings, and their families, close friends and colleagues are not eligible.
  • The Capital Hearings retain a two-year “right of first recording” for the winning composition (see Rules for details).
  • Only one composition per submission will be accepted, but multiple submissions are welcome.
  • 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 a complete online submission form, including a full score pdf, audio realization (MIDI, MP3, etc.), standalone version of the underlying text (if not included in the score), a translation (if not in English), and any documents needed to prove copyright permission.

For press and general inquiries please email: 

Cristina Lopez

General Manager

Email: [email protected]

About The Capital Hearings:

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This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities