REMINDER: Youth Inspiring Youth – Commissioning Emerging Composers Composition Competition

As part of its Youth Inspiring Youth-Commissioning Emerging Composers project, WomenSing is pleased to announce its 2013-2014 choral composition competition. Composers, ages 18 through 30, who are residents of California are eligible to submit samples of their works for consideration.
Two winning composers will each create a new work based on River of Words poetry.

Project Description
WomenSing ( and River of Words, Center for Environmental Literacy at St Mary’s College of California ( are offering young composers the opportunity to create new choral music, mentored by teaching artist and composer Libby Larsen and advising composer Cristian Grases. The two winners will be commissioned to write a treble choral work to be premiered by WomenSing in early June of 2014, based on the highly inspired children’s poetry from the River of Words project. Each commissioned composer will receive a commissioning fee of US $1,000 and a recording of the work. Mentoring will include a public composer’s workshop with WomenSing on April 11, 2014, six weeks prior to the premiere.

Founded in 1995 by former US Poet Laureate and 2008 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Robert Hass, along with writer Pamela Michael, River of Words has energetically enlisted youth from around the world to compete annually in both art and poetry on the subject of the environment.

• The competition is open to California residents who have reached their 18th birthday but have not yet reached their 30th birthday by the submission deadline of April 8, 2013.
• Submissions must be an original work for accompanied or unaccompanied chorus (not necessarily treble), must have been composed within the last three years, and should be between three and five minutes in length.
• All submissions must be anonymous. The composer’s name must not appear on the score. Please remove all names and identifying marks.
• Judges for the competition will be Libby Larsen, composer; Cristian Grases, advising composer; Charles Bruffy, conductor of the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale, and advisor to WomenSing; and Martín Benvenuto, artistic director for WomenSing. The decisions of the judges are final, and the two winners will be notified by May 24, 2013. WomenSing reserves the right not to award a prize.

• The composers will choose texts from the River of Words Collection no later than August 5, 2013.
• The composer will deliver a draft for review to the commissioner/s and teaching artist by November 4, 2013.
• The final approved score and parts, ready for reproduction, will be due no later than January 6, 2014.
• A workshop with all performers led by Libby Larsen will be held on Friday April 11, 2014 in Lafayette, CA.
• Deadlines are strictly adhered to due to WomenSing’s performance schedule.

To enter
Submit five clearly legible copies of the work. A sealed envelope labeled with the title of the work must accompany each submission. The sealed envelope shall contain the composer’s name, address, phone, email, title of the work, and a brief bio. Please send submissions to:

WomenSing Youth Inspiring Youth Composition Contest
P.O. Box 2014
Orinda, CA 94563

Scores and applications must be postmarked by April 8, 2013. Scores will be returned if a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included with your submission.

For further questions please contact Teresa Caldwell, Youth Inspiring Youth-Commissioning Emerging Composers, at

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