Announcing the Winner of the 2024 Young Composers Competition


The Capital Hearings Announce Winner of the 2024 Young Composers Competition: 

“Give orange me”

Courage Barda

Washington, D.C., [July 1, 2024] – The Capital Hearings, a leading vocal ensemble known for its innovative and eclectic performances, proudly announces Courage Barda as the winner of the 2024 Young Composers Competition. Barda’s extraordinary talent and unique artistic vision have earned them this prestigious accolade.

Courage Barda’s work is a captivating blend of visual media, choreographed and improvised movement, stream-of-consciousness prose, and experimental vocalism. Their compositions are deeply personal, exploring themes of disability, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. After sustaining a severe neurological injury in September 2020, Barda became physically disabled and has since used their art to document and reframe their relationship with their disability. Through their work, they challenge and expand perceptions of physical disability and dance.

Barda’s music has been performed by numerous esteemed ensembles, including Indiana University’s contemporary vocal ensemble NOTUS, the Choral Arts Initiative, the International Brazilian Opera Company, and Hub New Music. Their recent collaboration with baritone Kyle Forehand won third prize in the inaugural songSLAM Indiana for their performance of “Golden Eyed-Girl.”

Regarding their winning composition, Barda explained, “I learned about Nim Chimpsky awhile back. He was a chimpanzee involved in an animal language acquisition study at Columbia University in the 70s. He is credited with signing an impressive 16-word-long sentence: ‘Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you.’” Barda further noted, “Initially, I saw the text as silly and fun, but after learning more about Nim’s story, I felt compelled to address its deeper aspects. This piece is an opportunity for Nim to share the joy he wanted to feel.”

Currently pursuing degrees in Composition and Historical Performance (Voice) at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Barda studies composition under Han Lash and voice with Judith Malafronte. They are also a part of the Wells Scholars Program, Indiana University’s most prestigious scholarship program. Learn more about Courage on their website

The winning composition by Courage Barda will be featured in an upcoming performance by at The Capital Hearings Fall Concert, “Force of Nature”, taking place on October 5, 2024

For press and general inquiries please email: 

Cristina Lopez

General Manager

Email: [email protected]

About The Capital Hearings:

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**About The Capital Hearings**

The Capital Hearings are a dynamic vocal ensemble based in Washington, D.C., known for their diverse repertoire that spans classical, contemporary, jazz, and pop genres. With a mission to transcend traditional boundaries and engage audiences through innovative and eclectic performances, The Capital Hearings have established themselves as a leading force in the world of choral music.