Submissions currently accepted. Deadline: Jan. 8, 2022.
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- Works newly written in 2020-21; unpublished or self-published on a small scale; and not widely performed (2 performances maximum).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. Email one PDF score (recording/MIDI not necessary) to by Jan. 8, 2022, (1) with the subject line “Pearl Prize Entry” and (2) your ACDA member number in the text of the email. The judges will evaluate using the above criteria, and results will be announced by Feb. 15, 2022.
Winner will receive $3,000; two honorable mentions 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.