Emerging Composers Competition

The Canticle Singers of Baltimore is pleased to announce its Second Annual Emerging Composers Competition, sponsored by Canticle Singers member Sharon McKinley. Entries will be accepted from Monday, May 15, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. through Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. The winner of the competition will receive a $750 cash award and their composition will be featured at the in-person and live-streamed Canticle Singers Winter Concert on December 1, 2023. They will receive a professionally mastered audio and visual recording of the performance.


We feel it is important to lift up the voices of the next generation of composers, and we recognize that people may begin composing at any age. For the purposes of this contest, “emerging composers” may include those who have not received a major composition commission or award (e.g., awards or commissions in the multiple thousands of dollars, or of national or international repute, or have received publication contracts with major music publishers or record labels). If you are concerned about whether you qualify as an emerging composer, we encourage you or your teacher to reach out to canticlesingersbalt@gmail.com with any inquiries.

Criteria for Selection:

  • All entries will be reviewed by a jury consisting of 3 – 5 composers and conductors. 
  • The scores should be anonymous. The entry form will NOT be seen by the judges. Please do not put your name anywhere on the composition.
  • Submissions must be: 
    • original compositions (not arrangements of pre-existing tunes or carols, no revoicing of existing pieces)
    • scored for Women’s Choir (SSA, SSAA, and SSAA divisi).
    • 2-5 minutes in duration
    • either a cappella or piano and/or approved solo instrument(see the list here)
  • The work may utilize any style, genre, or text that would be appropriate for a winter concert. Composers using copyrighted texts must have permission from the relevant author/publisher.
  • Though the submitted works may be previously performed, they should not have previously received an award or monetary commission for that piece.
  • Submissions are limited to one entry per composer.

Submission Process:

  • Submissions are free for the entering composer
  • Applicants should complete this form by 11:59 p.m., Saturday, July 15, 2023.
  • Submitted with this form should be a PDF file of an anonymous score. The applicant’s name should not appear on the score.

Additionally, applicants should submit a brief, one-page resume with their musical experience.

Important Dates:

  • July 15, 2023, 11:59 pm – submissions due
  • September 8, 2023 – the winning score and composer will be announced. Please note: the organization reserves the right not to award a winner. 

December 1, 2023 – the winning composition will be premiered as part of the Canticle Singers winter concert on the Music at St. David’s concert series.

The winning composer will receive $750, an audio/video recording of the work, and free tickets to the performance. Please note: Additional travel and housing costs are not covered by the award.

Please send all inquiries to canticlesingersbalt@gmail.com. To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.Canticlesingers.org.