Student Composition Competition Rules

2019 Competition has now closed.
The winner will be announced on July 8, 2019.

Orpheus Chamber Singers, a Dallas/Fort Worth 24-voice professional chamber choir announces its first annual choral competition for students, with the chief aim of promoting student composers and the performance of their new and innovative choral repertoire.

  1. Participation is open to any undergraduate or graduate student aged 30 or younger as of March 7, 2020, enrolled in an institution of higher education or conservatory in the USA, Canada, or Mexico. Students who are graduating in spring 2019 are eligible to apply.

  2. For this choral competition we invite students to submit two of their existing SATB choral compositions. These pieces will be judged by a 4-member jury consisting of choral conductors and composers.  Special consideration will be given to those pieces that demonstrate excellence in compositional craft, imagination, idiomatic effectiveness, and, most importantly, a fresh approach to choral writing. A capella works are preferred, but students may submit choral works with one or two instruments (including piano or organ). Please do not submit works for choir and orchestra.

  3. The Jury’s decision is final.

  4. The winning composer will then receive a contract for a $1,000 USD stipend to write a new composition, which is to be a reflection on Heinrich Schutz’s ‘Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Gott’.  Though this new composition can take many directions, the following parameters must be followed:

    • A cappella for 4-8 part SATB chorus, with divisi if appropriate

    • Duration of 4-8 minutes

    • For medium to advanced choirs

    • May use the same text as the Schutz OR a text of your own choosing, which can be sacred or secular in German, Latin or English. The text must be available in the public domain, and if not, permission must be obtained in writing from the author or copyright holder of the text.

    • Must be completed and submitted to the Orpheus Chamber Singers office by December 31, 2019.

    • The winning piece should be marked, whenever possible, as the “2020 winning entry of the Orpheus Chamber Singers choral composition competition” on the music score, cover, or in the concert program.

    In addition to the $1,000 USD stipend, the winning composer will receive:

    • Performance by Orpheus Chamber Singers on March 7, 2020 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, TX

    • A professional recording of the live performance

    • Reimbursable travel allowance of up to $500 USD to attend the premiere performance.

    The composer will be also be featured in social media and promotional materials prior to the premiere.

  5. There is no entry fee.  All entries must be received by June 15, 2019.  Scores must be sent electronically, in PDF format, via a Google Form link posted at Previously published works are acceptable. Each score must be clearly labeled with title only, and the composer’s name shall not be on the scores.  The Orpheus Chamber Singers office will receive all works which will then be sent to jury members. No composer’s identity will be divulged to the jury before or during judging. The jury’s decision will be announced online at the Orpheus Chambers Singers website and on social media platforms on July 8th. Works cannot be revised after submission. Late, incomplete, or illegible entries will be disqualified.

  6. The jury reserves the right not to award any prize and Orpheus reserves the right not to perform the commissioned work in the case the artistic standards are not met.

  7. The winning prize monies will be presented to the composer at the March 7, 2020 premiere performance.

  8. Compositions submitted to the competition shall be deemed the Intellectual Property of the submitting composer and any rights relating to this shall remain with the composer. The winner of the competition shall grant OCS the right to premiere the newly-written composition. No public performance shall be allowed prior to the premiere performance. Orpheus Chamber Singers shall not pay any additional fee to the composer for any audio and/or audiovisual recordings of the performance.

  9. Participation in the competition implies full knowledge and acceptance of these regulations. Orpheus does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. 

  10. All questions should be directed to Orpheus Chamber Singers, or 214-530-0018.

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