2022 Prize Winner
Ellen Gilson Voth for Standing Tall, a four-minute work for two-part treble choir and piano, commissioned by Dr. Jennifer Kane in memory of a recently deceased young friend of her family. Its text was written by Dr. Voth, mixed with affirming statements written by singers from Dr. Kane’s Handel and Haydn Society Youth Choruses. Read more.
Blake Mitchell for When Storms Arise
Amy Bernon for The Soul of a Tree
Carlos Cordero for Pastores
William Roberts for O keep me as the apple of your eye
About the Prize
Composition prizes, by design, often stimulate the creation of works that explore the boundaries of difficulty and feasibility, and we fully affirm the importance of supporting this kind of new repertoire. However, the ACDA Composition Committee exists to promote “the creation of quality new music for choruses of all sizes, ages, and abilities.” Accordingly, we are pleased to announce the new and unique Pearl Prize, named for the beauty yet simplicity of a pearl. This composition prize calls for works that
- rely on beauty of musical idea, not strength of vocal technique; exhibit the finest craft without requiring great difficulty
- speak with deep musical eloquence yet remain accessible to volunteer choirs (including community choirs or church choirs, as well as school choirs)
- aren’t necessarily “easy,” but are scored efficiently yet effectively, creating maximum musical impact with minimal rehearsal time; only such difficulty as makes the investment worthwhile
- utilize ranges, textures, and voice-leading which sing naturally and beautifully
- rise to the challenge that “the most difficult music to write is music that is accessible yet eloquent”
Accordingly, we call for entries which fit the following criteria:
- Works newly written in 2020-21; unpublished or self-published on a small scale; and not widely performed (2 performances maximum).
- Any choral voicing (SATB, Treble, TTBB, etc.), in any style of choral repertoire. Minimal divisi is acceptable if musically justifiable/worthwhile.
- A cappella or accompanied (keyboard, solo instrument, or small chamber ensemble) are equally acceptable.
- Sacred or secular texts are equally acceptable; texts in English or Latin are preferred.
- Original works or creative arrangements (of folk songs, hymns, etc) are equally acceptable.
Composers must be a current member of ACDA.
No entry fee.
Winner will receive $3,000; two runners up prizes of $500 will also be awarded.
The prizes are funded jointly by ACDA and the choral industry publishers and partners listed below.
Choral publishers are always looking for works that fit these criteria for potential publication. All entrants (including the winner) are encouraged to submit their entry to any of the publishers (one at a time) for publication review.