Emerging Composers Competition

Nurturing choral music as a living, evolving art is central to Cerddorion’s mission. In 2013 we launched our annual Emerging Composers Competition to foster the creation and performance of new works for mixed chorus.

Our eighth annual Emerging Composers Competition is being judged right now! The next competition will open in Fall 2020. 

Submission Guidelines 2019-20

1. Works must be:
– Scored for SATB a cappella (some divisi acceptable)
– Approximately 3-5 minutes in length
– Unpublished and unperformed

2. The winning compositions will be premiered next season as part of a program featuring music composed by and about women, in honor of the centennial of the 19th Amendment (recognizing women’s right to vote). Although there are no thematic restrictions on the competition, entries related to this theme are encouraged.

3. Composers may submit more than one work, but must complete a separate entry form and fee for each.

4. Submission of MIDI realizations is encouraged, but not required.

Visit www.cerddorion.org/ensemble/past-performances to get a sense of the styles and level of difficulty of Cerddorion’s repertoire.


Composers should be in the early stages of their professional careers, without substantial publishing credit, national awards, or commissions. There is no age limit. Beginning in 2020-21, composers who have won a prize from Cerddorion in prior competitions will be ineligible. 

Panel of Judges 2019-20

James John, Veronika Krausas, Dominick DiOrio


1­st Prize – $500 plus performance and archival live recording

2nd Prize – performance and archival live recording

The judges reserve the right not to award a prize.

Previous Winners

2019: First Prize: Karen Lemon (Sydney, Australia), Lève-toi, et viens; Second Prize:  Jordan Andrew Davis (San Diego), Ave Maria; Honorable Mention: Martin Sedek, The Fair-hair’d Girl.

2018: David Åberg (1st prize), Bernardino Zanetti (2nd prize)

2017: Bernardino Zanetti and Ron Anderson (tie for 1st prize)

2016:  Antonio Somma (1st prize), Kyle Pederson (2nd prize)

2015:  Craig Bakalian (1st prize), Francisco José Carbonell (2nd prize), Brian Mountford (honorable mention)

2014:  Steven Serpa (1st prize), Joshua Fishbein and Theo Popov (tie for 2nd prize)

2013:  Dominick DiOrio (1st prize; no other prizes awarded)