Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest

History & Objectives

As an outgrowth of The Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission series (est. 1991), the American Choral Directors Association established the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest in 1998 as a means to promote the development of new composers of choral music. A list of previous winners and their compositions is available.  Applications must be made online.

The objectives of the contest are three-fold:

  1. to acknowledge and reward outstanding undergraduate and graduate student composers,
  2. to encourage choral composition of the highest caliber, and
  3. to further promote student activity at ACDA divisional and national conference.

Next Application Deadline & Fee

September 1, 2019.  There is no application fee.

Applicant Qualifications

Applicant must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, and no older than twenty-seven on the date of the application deadline. 


Only one composition will be considered from each applicant. Submitted work must meet all the following criteria:
  • Voicing. Composition must be set for a combination of voices that may be found in a single choir with members of similar ages
  • Accompaniment. Composition may be unaccompanied or accompanied by a single piano
  • Text. Any sacred text or a text that is sacred in nature may be used with the following provisions:
    1. Text must be in the public domain, or the text must be accompanied by the written permission of the author.
    2. The source for the text must be accurately and completely documented.
    3. Non-English language texts (except Latin) must include a phonetic pronunciation guide underlaid in the score.
    4. Non-English language texts must include both poetic and literal translations.
  • Copyright. Composition must conform to all U.S. copyright laws. Those works in violation will be disqualified.
  • Format. Composition must be submitted in a computer-generated typeset format. Include a title sheet identifying the work, composer, text, text source/author, voicing and accompaniment.
  • Duration. Length of composition must be at least three minutes and no more than five minutes.
  • Past Performance. Composition must have received no public performance.
  • Past Publication. Composition may not be published anywhere.


The winning composer will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and a complimentary registration to the ACDA conference at which the winning work is performed.  The winning composition will be presented on the main stage of an ACDA Conference by a choral ensemble selected by the Association. During division conference years, the work will be performed at the winner's divisional conference.


By applying for this competition, applicants release to ACDA in perpetuity all video, audio, duplication, broadcast, and photography rights generated by the performance of this piece at the ACDA conference.  

Competition Judges

The ACDA National Office will administer the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest. An independent panel of distinguished choral musicians and/or composers will judge all entries submitted. The decision of the judges is final.

Application Process

All application materials will be submitted electronically through the ACDA website. A complete application includes the following:

  1. Score:  PDF file, max file size 1 MB.
  2. Completed  application form (with faculty endorsement)
  3. Written permission from the author to use the text (if applicable):  PDF file, max file size 800 KB
  4. Recording - A recording of a private performance of the work may be include, but is not required:  MP3, max file size 800KB

Note: applicants must be a current member of ACDA and be logged into in order to submit an application. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.


No person connected with the Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Contest, nor any judge connected with the selection process shall be involved with a decision involving that person’s student (over the past three years) who has entered the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest. ACDA is not responsible for electronic submission failures.

Contact the ACDA National Office with questions or for additional information.