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Choral Composition Competition

By South Dakota Synod | Posted 3/15/17 at 2:02pm |
Category: Synod News

Call for Scores – Deadline: July 25, 2017

The South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (SD Synod) is sponsoring a Choral Composition Competition in conjunction with the Lutheran Church’s worldwide commemoration of its 500th anniversary. It is intended that the winning compositions will be included in a community commemorative service that will take place on November 1, 2017, at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD.

The South Dakota Synod, ELCA Choral Composition Competition will award two winning compositions from two pools of submissions:

  1. Open to all composers with no age restriction. Prize: $1000
  2. Open to composers 25 years of age and younger as of July 25, 2017. Prize $500

Eligibility and Guidelines

  1. Works to be submitted must be unpublished, and must not have received a prize for a previous competition, but they do not need to have been composed specifically for this competition.
  2. Works must be 3-6 minutes in length and with a difficulty level that would allow a massed ensemble of church choirs the ability to prepare the work over a six-week period.
  3. Works may be entirely original compositions or arrangements of pre-existing hymns or other melodies in the public domain or for which usage permission has been obtained.
  4. Works should be scored for SATB choir, either a cappella or including organ and/or other instruments. Works that incorporate congregational singing are encouraged but not required.
  5. Works must be composed using a text that relates to the Lutheran Reformation that is 1) original (written by the composer), 2) in the public domain, or 3) under copyright, but with written permission of the copyright holder.
  6. A cappella works should be written in open score with a piano reduction underneath.
  7. Works must be submitted in a PDF format produced using music notation software.
  8. Applicants should submit two PDF copies of the composition—one with the composer’s name on it and one unattributed (without the composer’s name)—to
  9. The winners of the competition will give the right to SD Synod to webcast and/or telecast the premiere performance of the winning compositions live and post a video of the performance on YouTube.
  10. The winning composers will be invited to attend the commemorative service, however, travel and accommodation to attend the performance will be at the cost of the composers.
  11. The panel reserves the right not to name winners if suitable compositions are not found.


The deadline for submissions is July 25, 2017.

Direct questions to Dr. Paul Nesheim at or (605) 274-5402.

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